I’m beginning to wonder if being a card-carrying lunatic facilitates getting published in journals of the American Psychological Association.

A report recently published in the APA’s Psychological Bulletin by Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch, and Robert Bauserman, asserted that the “negative potential” of child sexual abuse has “been overstated.” The authors rationalized that while “child sexual abuse is harmful,” supposedly consensual “child-adult sex” is not necessarily harmful and may, in some cases, even be “beneficial.”

Facing a firestorm of outraged protest, the APA finally backed off, grudgingly releasing a resolution on June 9 condemning all “sexual relations between children and adults.”

However, the APA nuts are at it again. An article in the June 1999 issue of an APA journal,The American Psychologist, argues that the presence of fathers in families raising children is “not essential,” and that fathers “may be detrimental to the child and the mother.”

In their article entitled “Deconstructing the Essential Father,” Louise B. Silverstein and Carl F. Auerbach proceed to “deconstruct” traditional ideas about fatherhood and marriage, which they disparage as “neoconservative.” They dismiss the assumption that single mothers have a difficult time raising boys as based in “the larger cultural context of male dominance and negative attitudes toward women … Within patriarchal culture, boys know that when they become adult men, they will be dominant to every woman …”

It is obvious to the discerning reader that this attack on fatherhood and the family is pure post-modern feminist quackery. Indeed, Silverstein, (alarmingly) the past president of the APA’s division of family psychology, is current chair of the APA’s Feminist Family Therapy Task Force. What this article isn’t is science, because its conclusions fly in the face of all credible research on the topic.

According to data compiled by The National Center for Public Policy Research:

Eighty-five per cent of youths in prison come from fatherless homes (Men Against Domestic Violence survey).

Teenage girls raised in homes with fathers are significantly less likely to engage in premarital sex, and 76 per cent of teenage girls surveyed said their fathers are influential over their decisions regarding sex.

Girls raised in single-mother homes are more likely to give birth while single and are more likely to divorce and remarry. Girls whose fathers depart before their fifth birthday are especially likely to have permissive sexual attitudes and to seek approval from others.

Paternal praise is associated with better behaviour and achievement in school, while a father’s absence increases vulnerability and aggressiveness in young children, particularly boys. Kids of both sexes whose fathers actively participate in their early development tend to have higher IQs, get higher marks in school, and possess a better sense of humour.

Fatherless children are “at a dramatically greater risk” of drug and alcohol abuse (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).

The National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth also indicates that children with single-parents are more prone to behavioural problems. Children in single-parent families, regardless of income, were almost twice as likely to exhibit behavioural problems such as aggression, hyperactivity or depression, than children raised by two parents.

A British study confirms that when their mother is cohabiting with a man other than her husband, children are 73 times more likely to suffer fatal abuse than children with married parents. The report presents evidence that children are 20 to 33 times safer living with their biological married parents than in other arrangements.