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Letter: “Research shows that many Americans believe stay-at-home fathers couldn’t … parent as well as women.” What research?

FILE - In this June 21, 2009 file photo, fans tour in front of the scoreboard in Fenway Park in Boston in celebration of Father's Day following a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox. The U.S. Census Bureau has released a new report showing more than 60% of the 121 million men in the U.S. are fathers. The data in the report released this week of June 15, 2019, comes from 2014 when the bureau for the first time asked both men and women about their fertility histories. The report says just under three-quarters of fathers are married. Almost 13% of dads are divorced and 8% have never been married. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Regarding the recent commentary in The Tribune, “Give stay-at-home fathers the respect they deserve,” the authors (Daniel Frost, Aislynn Edwards and Kate Kelson — all BYU college of family life professors) immediately set up a strawman to knock down.

That strawman is: “research shows that many Americans believe stay-at-home fathers couldn’t possibly parent as well as women and that no man (or perhaps no “real man”) could enjoy being a caretaker full-time. When a man announces he is a stay-at-home father, he’ll often get a glassy-eyed, “isn’t that nice?” kind of response. Stay-at-home fathers are often unwelcome, either formally or informally, from spaces populated mostly by women and children.”

First of all, what research are they referring to? Making such a statement justifies some substantial backup, or they open themselves up to the following criticism: I doubt, in today’s world, very “many” have this attitude, except for perhaps those of the authors own faith who, as recently as April, had their leaders reinforcing strict gender roles that are “ordained of God.”

Methinks the pointing finger to the strawman is pointing inward based on anecdotal experiences of themselves. That being the case, I commend the authors for tearing down that nonstraw man that lives within their own world.

Jon Bischoff, Salt Lake City

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