The Many Faces of Fathering
This chapter considers some of the more common family constellations in which men carry out fathering roles. It describes men’s ethno-theories or beliefs about fatherhood, masculinity and manhood, and the division of household roles. Approaches to marriage vary widely across cultures. Marriage among same-sex couples is permitted mostly in cultural communities in the developed world. Often independent of romantic love, most marriages in the developing world are usually arranged by family members on both sides. Men in several societies become fathers in visiting and common-law unions. As examples, in the Caribbean region, Brazil, and South Africa a number of children are born in non-marital residential and nonresidential unions. Multiple-partner fertility is on the rise among low-income men in different cultural groups in the developed world. The stay-at-home father is not only counternormative, but it indicates a new trend in fathering where men are able to shed traditional role ideologies and engage in full-time caregiving.