Research effects of father absence



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This child, the middle child of three half-siblings with different mothers, was born in the 16th century. The child's mother died when the child was three. The child's father was rarely present, visiting with the child only a few times each year, being far more interested in his current paramours, or else away at work. The father died when the child was 13, after which this orphan primarily was raised by a stepmother and hired tutors. While still a teenager, the child was sent to prison for treason.

As an adult commanding thousands of soldiers, and on the field prior to leading them into battle, this child made a famous speech, which is one of the most quoted of all time. Part of that speech follows:

    "My loving people, we have been persuaded by some, that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people.

    "Let tyrants fear; I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good will of my subjects. And therefore I am come amongst you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all; to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honor and my blood, even the dust.

    "...I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too; and think foul scorn that... any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms: to which, rather than any dishonor should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general... and rewarder of every one of your virtues...

    " your valor in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over the enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people."

This battlefield speech is remembered as particularly remarkable because the general making the speech was a woman. This woman was one of the most beloved and successful rulers in English history, first becoming monarch at a time of widespread poverty and discontent, and upon her death 45 years later, leaving a transformed country that was the most powerful and prosperous in the western world.

Queen Elizabeth I, a girl from a "fatherless home."

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* The term "fatherless" is used in this series as it is in current research and policy rhetoric by the U.S. federal government, DHHS and the National Fatherhood Initiative, most U.S. states in connection with child custody law and policy, and various family values and fatherhood interest policy and lobbying groups.

"...Just add Dad, the magic ingredient. It's hard to know where wishful thinking becomes deliberate deception. But this argument, advanced by the fathers' rights movement, is like saying that, since Mercedes Benz owners make more money than people who drive Hyundais, you will become wealthy if you buy a Mercedes..." Mike Peterson



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