Fathers are understood as having a unique and essential role to play in a child’s development, and boys benefit from a positive male role model as their own sense of identity is developing and they are coming to understand what it means to be a young man.

If men can be induced to care-take young children, their unique, male contribution significantly improves developmental outcomes for children. Boys need a male role model in order to achieve a psychologically healthy masculine gender identity. And this gender identity might be a lot more evolved than trying to fit into being “ man enough “ or just a provider role.

Boys who are raised in homes with their fathers are more likely to acquire the sense of self-worth and self-control that allows them to steer clear of delinquent peers and trouble with the law.

Boys are disadvantaged without the emotional presence of a man in their lives, according to Patra Antonis, social researcher who is interviewing men about relationships with their fathers and it’s the emotional presence that counts. This bond could also be with a nonbiological father. She also said “the level of emotional bonding between father and child, and the use by the father of an authoritative parenting style, were found to be positively related to schooling success and negatively related to problem behavior”.

Impact of an emotionally distant father and not having appropriate male role models result in being under achievers.

There are now more boys who lack adult male role models, or whose experiences of adult men have been limited to those who are uncommunicative, uncaring, or violent and abusive.  Their exposure to the often stereotypical and one-dimensional types of male images available through film, television, magazines and popular sport are not being compensated for by the role of the real-life male figures in their lives. As they get older they will gravitate towards those negative male mentors, peers and behaviours who are best able to duplicate the unrealistic images they may associate with male identity. The media depictions of many sporting heroes and the limited range of masculine values these public images present (strength, toughness, winning) may affect the self-esteem of those boys who do not, or cannot, identify with this type of masculinity. (“Canberra,” 2002, pp. 59–60)

Adding insult to injury, society still pressures the youngest of boys into burying their true feelings, even while it also castigates them for not being sufficiently sensitive, empathetic, and communicative in their relations with women. The boys tend to accept the existing norm of masculinity and try to internalise the existing norm of masculinity in an environment which punishes them when they practise the same.


  1. Teaching Boys who struggle in school
  2. Boys Harmed by fathers absence
  3. Fatherhood.com