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Extended Audio Sample Do Fathers Matter?: What Science Is Telling Us about the Parent We’ve Overlooked, by Paul Raeburn Click for printable size audiobook cover
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For too long, we have thought of fathers as little more than sources of authority and economic stability in the lives of their children. Yet cutting-edge studies drawing unexpected links between fathers and children are forcing us to reconsider our assumptions and ask new questions: What changes occur in men when they are “expecting”? Do fathers affect their children’s language development? What are the risks and rewards of being an older-than-average father at the time the child is born? What happens to a father’s hormone levels at every stage of his child’s development, and can a child influence the father’s health? Just how much do fathers matter?

In Do Fathers Matter?, the award-winning journalist and father of five Paul Raeburn overturns the many myths and stereotypes of fatherhood as he examines the latest scientific findings on the parent we have often overlooked. Drawing on research from neuroscientists, animal behaviorists, geneticists, and developmental psychologists, among others, Raeburn takes us through the various stages of fatherhood, revealing the profound physiological connections between children and fathers, from conception through adolescence and into adulthood—and the importance of the relationship between mothers and fathers. In the process, he challenges the legacy of Freud and mainstream views of parental attachment, and also explains how we can become better parents ourselves.

Ultimately, Raeburn shows how the role of the father is distinctly different from that of the mother, and that embracing fathers’ significance in the lives of young people is something we can all benefit from. An engrossing, eye-opening, and deeply personal book that makes a case for a new perspective on the importance of fathers in our lives no matter what our family structure, Do Fathers Matter? will change the way we view fatherhood today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “To answer the provocative question ‘Do fathers matter?,’ Paul Raeburn draws extensively on cutting-edge science, animal research, neurobiology, and large-population studies. Anyone interested in parenthood, human development, and culture must read this thoughtful book.”

    Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project

  • “A wide-ranging plea for both genders to remember that dads are not also-rans in the business of child rearing. They are just as valuable (and just as liable to screw up) as moms.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A clear-eyed march through the history of family studies and a helpful review of the new generation of research devoted to identifying the impact of dads.”

    Washington Post

  • “Raeburn shows with mounting evidence the role of the father and his effect on the care and nurturing of children…As the father of a rapidly growing and changing little girl, I gained more from Raeburn’s work than all the daddy lit put together.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Astounding in its scope and perspective on fatherhood, with some of its revelations being downright shocking.”

    Washington Times

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