Dana Glazer's The Evolution Of Father

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What social psychologists call cognitive dissonance can account for the incongruence experienced by fathers. First introduced by American social psychologist Leon Festinger, his theory of cognitive dissonance found that people hold many cognitions about the world and themselves. When a discrepancy is found between what we believe and our actions, a resulting state of tension known as cognitive dissonance occurs. As the experience of dissonance is unpleasant, people are motivated to reduce or eliminate it, and achieve consonance. (Festinger, 1967) As previously stated traditional gender roles define the behaviors and boundaries of fatherhood, largely as a provider and disciplinarian. These same gender roles define mothers predominantly as…show more content…
Dana H. Glazer a newly defined stay at home father, embarked on a documentary focusing on the changes occurring in fatherhood. Glazer, a once up and coming screen writer and producer, found his carrier plateauing. Becoming primary caregiver to his two sons, Glazer found that although he loved his new role as parent, he was experiencing feelings of dissatisfaction and letdown. Setting out to see if he was alone in this duality, Glazer created The Evolution of Dad. Interviewing people in his community about fatherhood, Glazer presents the discrepancy of societal norms on fatherhood. When asked to define the most important quality a father could have to impact their children; the overall reaction was that being more involved in a child’s life was the best quality of a good father. When then asked opinions of stay at home dads, the responses were unanimously negative and contradictory to the value they had just implied. What was found was that people assume that a stay at home dad is lazy, unemployed, and over all failure. (Glazier) There is no questioning that society is also in a state of cognitive dissonance. Another source found similar responses; the public is largely supportive of the idea of mothers staying at home with their children, but they place less value on having a stay-at-home father. In a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, fully…show more content…
According to researcher Erin Rehel’s findings, the early months a mother spends at home with their newborn in the absence of other adults is when maternal instinct develops (Chodorow 1978; Oakley 1979). During this period, women develop a sense of responsibility that comes from being the primary caregiver. (Rehel 113) Rehel found that when fathers are given paternal leave of more than three weeks, they too develop the same sense of responsibility. After three weeks, a sense of routine and normalcy returns, the shock and stress fathers feel begins to subside. Family supports tend to leave or significantly reduces their assistance around this mark as well. Leaving both parents to actively develop their own instincts and parenting styles. (Rehel 117) Yet America is one of five countries that has no paid leave for mothers of newborns and is the only industrialized nation not to mandate paid leave for mothers. This lack of social support significantly increases the anxiety and financial burden of caring for a newborn. Most families find that they simply cannot afford to have both parents at home with the newborn. Several countries provide new fathers paid time off, as well as mothers, or allow parents to share paid leave time. Parents in the United States are not granted such luxuries. As of 1993, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), guarantees protected

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