I wrote a brief piece in the current issue of The Atlantic with the rather provocative title, Are Fathers Necessary? that to me, at least, offered a rather prosaic conclusion: Yes, most of us consider fathers to be necessary and value them as such, but the existing research does not bear out any benefits exclusive to biological fathers. The piece also substantiated the benefits of lesbian mothers, something I explored in an earlier piece on a lesbian foster couple in The New York Times Magazine.
Predictably, and unfortunately, there was a lot of misreading (or nonreading?) of the article, reflected in many of the comments, which were too often ad hominem and erroneous (both in describing the studies I cited and in characterizing the article I wrote). But today a bright light shines at The Economist, where a post reports, accurately and fairly, on both the study and its conclusions. It’s a bit late to celebrate Father’s Day proper here, but I’m always glad to see stories that fairly represent the benefits of both fathers and lesbian mothers.