Paternity laws, court cases discriminate against men

Don Norvell

In last week’s Point/Counterpoint, Erin Roof provided an intelligent discussion of how women are abused; however, Tony Cox failed to provide the counterpoint that men are not free from evil either. In defense of my fellow man, I now pick up the slack by exposing the ills that befall men.

An article on titled “Men Wage Battle on ‘Paternity Fraud’” reveals how adulteress women can extort child support payments for illegitimate children from ex-husbands. The culprit is a 500-year-old British Common Law stating that any child to whom a married woman gives birth is assumed to belong to the husband. This ruling may have been necessary 500 years ago; however, modern DNA tests can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the ex-husband is not always the father. Whenever such a case occurs, the ex-husband should be exonerated from all paternal liability, for the boyfriend should take responsibility for his actions.

In the event that parents divorce for other reasons, men are still not treated fairly. The Web site summarizes the Maccoby and Mnookin study from Dividing the Child: Social Dilemmas of Custody (Harvard Press, 1992) with statistics of how fathers usually lose child custody disputes. When a mother wanting sole custody for herself challenges the father’s joint custody proposal, the court orders joint custody only 25.8 percent of the time.

Guess who wins the other cases.

Even when both parents agree to joint custody, the courts only agree 54 percent of the time with 30.7 percent for maternal custody and a low 8 percent paternal custody. The courts are biased against men. There is no reason for amputating loving, responsible fathers from their children’s lives. Children, especially boys, need the strong presence of a male role model.

This disrespect also permeates entertainment and society at large. Television and movies have degraded the art of slapstick into an anti-male hate fest wherein eye gauging and nose punching have been replaced by kicks to the groin. Worse yet, this degradation has become acceptable among the general public. Any sentiment one wishes to express with a knee to the groin can be expressed equally well with a broken nose, and any clear-thinking man would gladly take the latter. These anti-male sentiments have risen to a new high as states experiment with chemical castration for sex offenders. The best way to prevent repeat sex offenders is the death penalty, but the Supreme Court overturned such laws in Furman v. Georgia (1972). We could consider Bill O’Reilly’s suggestion for building maximum security military prisons in Nowhere, Alaska, wherein inmates perform 60-hour weeks of hard labor.

And finally, there is circumcision. There have been many myths supporting this barbaric practice, and they have all been proven false. The American Academy of Pediatrics has admitted that medical science cannot provide a compelling reason for the practice; however, it has not been proactive in eliminating the routine mutilation of helpless infant boys. Many in the general public do not question the practice because it has afflicted their families for generations. Meanwhile, doctors profit from abusing boys while girls have the dignity of keeping their bodies intact.

Don Norvell is a physics graduate assistant and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].