Stuff: Men marginalised as parents
A Nelson research project on fathering has revealed natal support services focus on women, marginalising men and their role as parents in their own right.
Men interviewed said they lacked preparation and information, and the process stressed their relationship.
While this is not exactly earth-shattering news, it’s great to see the Nelson-Marlborough District Health Board funding this kind of study. Men in other parts of New Zealand might find it interesting to check what kind of similar initiatives their health boards are involved with.
Co-author and NMIT lecturer and researcher David Mitchell said the project highlighted the continuing difficulties midwives and support agencies, such as Plunket, had in engaging with and understanding the roles of fathers as a parent in their own right.
I know a lot of young men feel dis-empowered around childcare issues when confronted by assertive women, especially en mass which is the likely experience in female dominated organisations.
Co-author Philip Chapman, a Public Health Service fathering promoter, said the research showed men wanted to be better informed about fatherhood.
If there ever is any genuine commitment on the part of the government to encouraging males to be more involved with fathering, I think programmes targeting young men are likely to be extremely effective – provided they are delivered by experienced fathers!