Summary and Conclusion

This chapter reviewed research that suggests that fathers and mothers often interact differently with their offspring, and that these differences influence offspring behavior across the life span. However, differences in fathers' and mothers' behavior have often been found to be a function of social, cultural, and economic circumstances. On the other hand, recent findings in Western and non-Western cultures show that fathers' and mothers' nurturing behaviors are similar across a wide variety of sociocultural contexts, and that paternal warmth is at least equal to maternal warmth in influencing offspring development. This latter finding raises questions about how knowledge about gender-related parenting is generated. For example, were fathers less warm and nurturing in the past, or did behavioral science neglect to investigate warmth-related fathering behaviors because of adherence to cultural constructions of fathers as peripheral to family life, or as less important than mothers? Notwithstanding this possibility, there may be more to our knowledge-building about fathering and mothering than can be explained by a failure to look closely at particular maternal or paternal behaviors, or by a failure to consider sociocultural contexts, or values, or ideologies that shape men's and women's behavior. That is, evidence from biosocial and evolutionary studies suggests that we have not heard the last word about the relationship among gender, parenting, and the survival strategies of our species. Indeed, the conjoint application of cultural and biological perspectives to research on maternal and paternal behavior seems ripe for further investigation during the 21st century.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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