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Father’s Day: What have we learned about dads recently?

A look at the Deseret News’ coverage for Father’s Day

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Photo illustration by Alex Cochran, Deseret News

Father’s Day is approaching, and there is so much out there to consider about fathers in modern America and how they reshape the lives of their families. It’s a new world, and with that comes a new role for fathers.

For Susan Masden, the founding director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project, the best dads don’t always see in pink and blue. She wrote for the Deseret News that there are “good men out there who make the world a better place for women through the seemingly simple choices they make as they raise their girls.”

“I salute dads who don’t see the world in black and white — or in this case, pink and blue. I love seeing the fathers and grandfathers in my family snuggle on the couch with their daughters and granddaughters watching Cinderella almost as much as I love when they teach that same daughters how to build a fire and pitch a tent,” she wrote.

You can read more of her thoughts at the Deseret News, where she talks about how dads are at their best when they nurture and teach their children — rather than babysit them.

Once again, it shows us the importance of dads. Society has not outgrown the need for fathers at all, according to Naomi Schaefer Riley, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Riley wrote for the Deseret News that fathers have a huge role to play in their daughters’ lives because they can help their daughters grow. Girls have such a vast amount of opportunities for daughters in modern America, and dads play a role in helping them reach their potential, she wrote.

“Fathers still have an important role to play in exposing daughters to the great heights they can achieve intellectually,” she wrote. “But fathers also play an important role in helping girls to see themselves as worthy of respect from men — girls with dads in the home have a later onset of puberty and a later age of first sexual experience.

“Guiding a daughter toward finding the right partner and putting her on the path to a happy family may not seem in vogue. But if helping a girl to achieve a satisfying adult life is not feminist, maybe society no longer understands what it means to truly advance women,” she wrote.

That’s why it’s important to remember the importance of father’s today, and why they matter in modern America. Recently, a slew of experts — including W. Bradford Wilcox, a professor of sociology and senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies — talked about the importance of dads and the importance of Black fathers in society, too.

There’s new research about how Black fathers play a role in helping children grow, especially when they’re one part of a two-parent family, as the Deseret News recently reported. A new brief for the Institute for Family Studies looked at how family structure impacts college graduation, poverty and incarceration.

The study found that Black children in single-parent homes, for example, were 3.5 times more likely to face poverty struggles. But their peers — who lived with both of their parents in a first marriage — didn’t suffer as greatly.

“Clearly Black children in stable, married families are better off financially,” the report said, according to the Deseret News.

For more, watch the latest episode of the Family Matters webinar, which you can watch below.