THE LIZ LIBRARY: LIZNOTES - The Fathers' Rights Movement

Children Need... THIS?      1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8



(an example of dishonest statistics)

"Although I agree with what I think is his basic message -- that traditional sex roles have served none of us very well -- the book has quickly degenerated into an odd sort of logic designed to prove that men have never had power, they were just tricked into believing they had power by those deceitful, ungrateful parasites, women.

"The writing is poor, the logic faulty. While reading it, I feel as if I am fighting my way through a fog bank - there's nothing to grab on to, but I can't see anything, either. Is this the best the men's movement has to offer? I would appreciate references to something more substantial - this seems on a par with the Men Who/Women Who self-help silliness.

"FWIW, I have tracked down one of his stats which intrigued me.

"On p. 32 he says that female-headed households have greater net worth than male-headed households. The citation given is to a table in Statistical Abstract of the United States; consulting that, I found that the data was originally published in a Current Population Report called Household Wealth and Asset Ownership: 1984; the data itself comes from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, a survey designed in part to augment information available from the Census of Pop & Housing.

"Farrell says that women who are heads of households have a net worth that is 141 percent of the net worth of men who are heads of households. He then goes on to explain that net worth is assets minus liabilities, and that female heads of households have higher net worths than male heads of households "because although male heads of households have higher gross incomes and assets, they have much higher spending obligations. They are much more likely to support wives (or ex-wives) than wives are to support them and thus their income is divided among themselves, a wife, and children...." (p. 33)

"However, the Census table (both in the original report & the Stat Ab) gives THREE categories for type of household: married-couple households (median net worth $50,116), female householders (med. net worth $13,855) and male householders (med. net worth $9,883). The commentary on this is interesting enough that I'm going to include it here:

"The net worth holdings of married-couple, female-, and male-maintained households by age of the householder are shown in table I. Married-couple households were the largest category of households and, overall, had the largest median net worth holdings. Female-maintained households had a median net worth that was approximately one-fourth that of married-couple households, while male-maintained households had the lowest net worth, approximately one-fifth that of married-couple households. Married-couple households had a median monthly income of $2,220, while male- and female-maintained households had median monthly incomes of $1,300 and $870, respectively.

"The fact that male-maintained households had higher incomes but lower net worth is explained by differing age distributions. Only about one-sixth of the male group was 65 years old or over, compared with one-third of the female group. Because net worth increased with age, the result is a relatively high level of net worth for the female group. When net worth levels are compared within age groups, households maintained by a female less than 35 or 35-54 years of age had lower net worth totals than their male counterparts. (For the 55-64 and 65 and over age groups, the differences were not statistically significant.) The group with the lowest net worth ($1,290) was made up of female householders under 35 years of age.

"To examine whether the difference in net worth was the result of higher home equity for elderly households, median net worth was calculated excluding home equity. In general, the same conclusions held. Households maintained by a male less than 55 years of age tended to have higher net worth as compared with female householders the same age. (For householders 55 years of age and over the differences were not statistically significant.)" (CPR P70-7 p. 6)

"There is a more recent version of this available, giving data for 1988 and 1991 (CPR P70-34; also called Household Wealth and Asset Ownership). The overall picture is similar, though female-maintained households had a statistically higher med. net worth than males in the 55-64 age category ($39,591 vs. $30,857; excluding home equity, it's $6,048 vs. $5,860). Unfortunately neither report looks at the size of the household (one person living alone counts as a household) or at the presence of children.

"I chose this statistic to investigate partly because it struck me as interesting and curious but also because I am a government documents reference librarian and work with Census data extensively. I am most distressed to discover Farrell's distortion and misrepresentation of clearly presented data; it makes me question the validity of his other stats. I am about to read the section on death rates & will be checking up on him in Vital Statistics of the United States.

"Please, if anyone has suggestions for other, less foggy reading -- send them to me!"

-- Cynthia Teague


  • Icon of the Father's Rights Movement.
  • Advisor to F.R.E.E. (Father's Rights and Equality Exchange.)
  • Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Fathers and Children.
  • Member, Board of Directors, Children's Rights Council.
  • Supporter of and touted by AFC (American Father's Coalition rights lobbyists.)
  • Advocate for men's rights post-divorce.
  • Advocate AGAINST the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Author of Myth of Male Power, a book of nonsensical illogic and propaganda.
  • Political science Ph.D who decided to study sex and advertised for examples of "positive incest" on the part of daughters.
  • Advocate of joint custody.
  • But still lists as a primary "credential" all over the place that he was once a member of the board of N.Y.C. N.O.W.  (Note, a CITY chapter.  Also that this was before his incest research, here 1977, and his "falling out" with the feminists. Yet he complains that bringing up his past pro-incest advocacy -- of many years' duration -- is unfair, being so long ago.)
  • A man with no professional expertise pertaining to children or in law, no particular personal child-rearing experience we can glean, now lecturing to all these groups, and sitting on -- terribly interested in these matters -- so many "father's and children's rights" (codespeak for men's rights) boards.

  • Farrell Pages: 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8


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