Author's Note

Until recently, fatherhood has gotten short shrift, scientifically and culturally speaking. When it comes to parent-child relationships, motherhood has long been considered the crucial bond, which makes sense since moms are babies' biological conduits. But fatherhood also makes a powerful impact in children's lives, as evidenced by governmental efforts to get more men involved with their families. And even without prompting, modern men have taken a greater interest in fatherhood, spending more time than ever before with their children and helping around the house, putting in their own "second shifts."

This article was a welcome chance to shed light on how the cultural constructs of fatherhood developed as well as the ways that fatherhood impacts families -- and the men themselves. In that way, giving proper due to dads can only improve prospects for healthier, happier families, and it's high time that we understand the difference that they make.

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