Father Involvement in Young Children’s Lives

Volume 6 of the series Educating the Young Child pp 169-179


Honoring Women Who Must Raise their Children Alone

A Feminist Critique of the Current Focus on American Father Involvement
  • Beatrice S. FennimoreAffiliated withDepartment of Professional Studies in Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Email author 

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This chapter examines American policies seeking father involvement through the lens of feminist critique. While recognizing the important role of fathers, the author seeks to eliminate deficit-based stereotypes about the lives of single women and their children. Considering the rise in the number of American children born to single mothers and the problems faced by disadvantaged young men, the author challenges oversimplified assumptions that men will solve the economic problems of women. Ultimately, the author argues for a focus on the unfinished women’s revolution and the continued need for equal pay and child care support that will honor the capabilities and needs of women who must raise children alone.


Bias Biological father Child care Child support Ethical language Family structure Federal government Feminist Gender bias Income disparity Inequality Poverty Racial disparity Single mothers Single parenting Social fathering Traditional family Unwed mothers Welfare reform