The Myths and Barriers That Keep Men from Being the
Fathers They Want to Be
By Ross D. Parke and Armin A. Brott
ISBN: 0-395-6041-5, Pages: 272, Price: $ 24.00 HC
Pub-date: 25 January 1998 (USA)
Are fathers biologically unfit to parent? Are organizations such as Promise Keepers and
NOW helping or hurting fathers? Why, in a society whose definition of
"parents" has expanded to include same sex partners, do we perpetuate the 50s
philosophy that a father's main role is that of "provider?"
Fathers are, of course, vital to child rearing. Studies have proven that children
with active fathers are far happier and better adjusted than those without. Despite
this, we are bombarded with negative images: in movies and television shows fathers are
portrayed as uninterested, lazy, or bumbling; newspapers and magazines are full of stories
about neglectful, abusive, or deadbeat dads. The overall message is
consistent-fathers are not nearly as important as mothers to the family.
In Throwaway Dads, Armin Brott and Ross Parke explode these myths and examine other
obstacles that prohibit fathers from having deep relationships with their children,
thereby hurting children and our society as a whole. They look at the dubious
achievements of both the men's and women movements in reevaluating the roles of both
sexes, and discuss actions people of each gender can take to counteract the damage.
They also dissect ways that corporations have limited fathers' roles, and detail how
companies can be more "father friendly." Furthermore, they suggest steps
in addition to the Family and Medical Leave Act that our government can take to ensure
that dads are allowed to play an active role in raising their children, and to encourage
them to do so.
Brott and Parke contend that men want to be better dads, and a first step in reaching
this goal is to increase awareness of the barriers they face. This book is an
invitation to explore these issues and to join in the process of getting men more
Ross Parke has six children and is a professor of psychology at the University of
California at Riverside. He has more than thirty years of experience researching and
writing about fatherhood. Armin Brott is the father of two girls and lives in
Berkeley, California. He has written about fatherhood for the New York Times and the
Washington Post, and has discussed the topic often on radio and television, including the
Today show. His previous books are The Expectant Father, The New Father: A Dad's
Guide to the First Year, and A Dad's Guide to the Toddler Years.
To obtain tour information and a copy of Throwaway Dads, or to schedule an interview
with the authors, please contact Lissa Warren at (617) 351-3240 tel., (617) 351-1109 fax,
or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Praise for Throwaway Dads
"Too often in recent years, the debate about fatherhood in America has been
polarized between two equally unsatisfying opposites: the gender warriors who view fathers as unnecessary if not
dangerous, and the traditionalists whose defense of fathers rests on the belief in rigid gender roles. Throwaway Dads by Ross Parke and Armin
Brott offers an inspiring alternative vision, shattering many myths along the way."
Author of Ceasefire! Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve
"Throwaway Dads is an essential guide not only for fathers but for a culture that
is not sure what to do with them. This book has the potential to redefine fatherhood
Author of A Fine Young Man and The Wonder of Boys
"For far too long, American society has perpetuated the myth that fathers are at
best superfluous, and at worst dangerous, to the well-being of their children. Parke
and Brott explode this myth with facts and uncommon insight, and offer a compelling vision
for recapturing responsible fatherhood as a valued and cherished ideal."
-Wade F. Horn, Ph.D.
President of the National Fatherhood Initiative
"Throwaway Dads is an enormously important book which combines a trenchant account
of how American society sidelines Dads with a package of practical solutions.
Modern-day Dads will derive a great deal of comfort and support from this book."
-Sylvia Hewlett, Ph.D.
President of the National Parenting Association
"Just as Susan Faludi's Backlash revealed an unwitting social conspiracy against
women's achievement, Throwaway Dads reveals an unwitting conspiracy against men's
involvement with their children. Parke and Brott break new ground in this important and
-James A. Levine, Ed.D.
Director of the Fatherhood Project, Families and Work Institute, NYC
"An interesting and valuable book - Americans' approach to parenting has been too
Founder of the National Organization for Women
"A wide-ranging, cool-headed response to the current predilection for dissing all
2001 02 11 (format changes)
2013 03 29 (format changes)