Suicide is Never Victimless

Suicide statistics: 6,233 in 2013 for UK

 

 

 

The rate of suicide in men is highest in the age group from 20 through to 64.

 

My concern is that I am unable to research how many were as a result of men falling into hopelessness as a result of the outcome of divorce and child residence orders. The research available does not deal with the question WHY?

 

I offered my services for approximately 50 Days, free of charge, to our Prime Minister to carry out research, but my letter was passed to the Ministry of Justice and I got a sweet ‘go away’ response!!

Would my observations be too unpalatable, and would my findings upset vested interests?

Woman Symbol
Man Symbol
Men: 4,722
Women: 1,375
Man looking out over sea

Only in 10% of residence orders does the child end up with the father, and yet 90% of divorces are filed for by the wife. I have had many people communicate with me about how they feel ignored by our current Legal system, Cafcass Reports, Social Workers and our Constabulary, and this does not show that we are a caring society, despite the constant platitudes handed out.

 

Why are there few refuge places for abused men compared to the fact that now about 50% of reported cases of abuse notified to the police are from men? What would happen if a man demanded to be placed into a Refuge that currently only has women? Is this why he is homeless, or sharing a flat, or had to return to some other place? When examining Support websites for victims of Domestic Abuse there are hundreds that deal with female victims. Men in the main are dismissed, and indeed the Serious Crime Bill is sex discriminatory in its observations that only women are victims. It's no wonder men feel abandoned by the society that they pay taxes into, a society that talks about equality, yet does not practice equality, and what about the interests of children that are paramount?

 

Abused Man - Taxation without equal rights is tyranny

Statistics show that children have less of a developed life if left in a fatherless family, and we also have the problem of Parental Alienation against the non-resident parent, usually the father. No wonder that some fathers, and one is too many, give up on life because society has failed them. How many fathers and children have suffered needlessly because of outmoded Attachment Theories advanced by Social Workers to influence Judicial decisions, usually Bowlby [1951], when others have contra arguments against Bowlby? Some of these are Weisner and Gallimore [1971], Schaffer [1990] and Sir Michael Rutter [1981], the Father of English Child Psychiatry.

 

There are implications arising from Bowlby’s work. As he believed the mother to be the most central care giver, and that this care should be given on a continuous basis, an obvious implication is that mothers should not go out to work. There have been many attacks on this claim:

 

  • Mothers are the exclusive carers in only a very small percentage of human societies; often there are a number of people involved in the care of children, such as relations and friends. [Weisner & Gallimore, 1977]

 

  • Van Ijzendoorn, & Tavecchio [1987] argue that a stable network of adults can provide adequate care. and that this care may even have advantages over a system where a mother has to meet all a child’s needs.

 

  • There is evidence that children develop better with a mother who is happy in her work, than a mother who is frustrated by staying at home. [Schaffer, 1990]

 

  • Sir Michael Rutter [1981] has displayed a healthy scepticism and a readiness to challenge traditional beliefs throughout his career. Consequently, Sir Michael has debunked several apparent ‘truths’ along the way regarding the links between childhood experience and behaviour in later life. His work in the 1970s and 1980s, in particular, led to a major repositioning of our earlier ideas about the relationship between maternal deprivation and mental health, and challenged the influential and controversial theory that the absence of a warm, intimate and continuous relationship between a child and its mother would lead to significant and irreversible consequences for mental health in later life. Through painstaking research, Sir Michael established that this theory was, in fact, only partially correct – and sometimes for the wrong reasons. He showed that it was normal for children to form multiple attachments rather than the selective attachment to a single person, and that it was advantageous to do so.

 

John Bowlby's explanation of attachment was strongly influenced by the research and theories of ethologists, such as Konrad Lorenz, who investigated imprinting in geese.

 

Bowlby reasoned that attachment serves a biological purpose - to keep parents nearby so that infants are protected from danger.

 

Bowlby argued that evolutionary pressures have led humans to develop an Attachment Behavioural System which activates behaviours that cause caregivers to remain close when the child is anxious (eg. crying, clinging, intense protest, searching). In other words, babies are born with certain automatic behaviours that are triggered by events such as being alone. For example, when the infant finds itself alone it automatically starts crying. If a father was at home, he would equally react to the child’s sense of loneliness [Murphy, 2015].

 

Bowlby also claimed that mothers are genetically predisposed to respond to the baby. Infants are programmed to behave in ways that activate caring responses in adults, these are called "social releasers". Examples of social releasers are smiling, crying, gazing and grasping. So when the infant cries, for example, the mother feels compelled to respond to the infant's needs. Mother-child interactions eventually lead to attachment, since the two way process means that they are kept in close proximity with each other. So what happens when the father is excluded by the mother from this critical period, is it not self-fulfilling? [Murphy, 2015].

 

 

Critical Period

A further aspect of Bowlby's theory is the idea of a critical period for attachment to take place. Bowlby was clearly influenced by the ethologist, Konrad Lorenz, who found that Greylag geese would only imprint on moving objects that they saw within 24 hours of hatching.

 

Bowlby [1951] believed that if attachment formation is delayed for more than 12 months, it is unlikely that a proper attachment will form. However, he argued that sometimes the critical period can last up to 2½ years, although this is rare.

 

Monotropy

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of Bowlby's theory is his concept of monotropy. He believed that babies are programmed to develop a special attachment with one person, and that person is usually the mother or another significant female, only because the father is usually in work providing for his family. This relationship is fundamentally different to any other attachment and forms the basis of future relationships:

 

Mother love in infancy is as important for mental health as vitamins and proteins are for physical health." [John Bowlby, 1951]

 

My own comment is that Bowlby lived and practiced in a time when men went to work and women stayed at home and were wives, mothers and homemakers, and is therefore irrelevant to the structure and attitudes of family life and perceptions in 2015.

 

The Role of Fathers

To Bowlby, fathers are emotionally insignificant to the child, although they can provide emotional and financial support to the mother.

 

This is very insulting to caring fathers, and fathers are not emotionally insignificant. [Murphy, 2015 ]

 

Evaluation of Bowlby's Theory

Recent research using fMRI has shown that the reward centres of mothers' brains are activated when they see their own child smiling, but not when they see other children smiling [Strethearn et al. 2008]. This provides tentative support for some of Bowlby's ideas because it shows that there is a biological difference in how mothers perceive their own children.

 

So what about fathers reacting to their own children smiling? [Murphy, 2015]

 

There is a good deal of evidence that attachment formation is a biological process: attachment develops even if the child is maltreated – children tend to cling when they are frightened or upset and in the absence of anyone else, they will cling to the person maltreating them; external rewards are not required for attachment to develop; attachment is extremely resistant to extinction; and secure attachments tend to foster autonomy rather than dependency [Rutter & Rutter, 1992].

 

Sir Michael Rutter [1981] has strongly criticised Bowlby’s concept of ‘monotropy’. He claims that infants often show multiple attachments ,and often the primary attachment is to someone other than the mother, and this person can be male. So, Bowlby did, however, agree that infants can form multiple attachments. Nevertheless, Bowlby was adamant that the most important attachment is with the mother.

 

Shaffer and Emerson [1964] provide empirical support for Sir Michael Rutter's criticisms of Bowlby's theory. They studied 60 infants from birth at intervals of four weeks.

 

The mother reported on the child’s behaviour in a number of situations, such as:

  • Infant left alone

  • Left with babysitter

  • Put to bed

 

The researchers were particularly interested in the child's protest behaviour:

  • Did the infant protest when someone left?

  • Whose departure resulted in protest?

  • How much did the infant protest?

 

It was found that infants were often attached to people who did not perform caretaking activities like feeding, bathing and changing nappies.

 

Shaffer & Emerson Attachment Theory

Moreover, the primary attachment was often the father. Sometimes the attachment was of equal strength for both parents.

 

Children who have a secure attachment to their father tend to have improved developmental outcomes in a variety of ways, including having improved social abilities with their peers, having fewer problem with behaviour issues, and the paternal effects on developing a greater level of emotional self-regulation are especially significant. Furthermore, one study found that 11-13 month old infants who were securely attached to their fathers were more sociable with strangers in the Strange Situation Test. The mother-infant attachment security, on the other hand, had no effect on sociability with strangers in this study.

 

In addition, having a secure father-child attachment relationship can help compensate for potentially harmful effects resulting from an insecure mother-child attachment relationship.

 

Injustice against fathers, evil ex wife

Father-Son Bonding

 

Although dad may be beaming with pride when his baby boy arrives, it doesn’t mean the bond is automatic. From birth to 12 months, the primary psychological goal for every child is bonding or developing a strong, secure, healthy attachment to mommy, says Dr. Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent. “Daddy takes a backseat to mommy during this first important phase of developing trust and security within the newborn infant.” This is facilitated by the day-to-day contact with a new baby that the mother has whilst the father, in true hunter and provider fashion, returns to work, to ensure that the family is provided for [Murphy, 2015]. This bias towards the mother as the primary attachment figure is then used by Social Workers to say that fathers should not be the residential parent. This then becomes more argumentative and adversarial as the child matures, and points of view are reinforced that because the child has been placed with the mother on false and outmoded presumptions and advice, then that child should stay with the mother. A ‘Catch 22’ situation again.

 

As your son begins to crawl, walk and run, he establishes more of a separation from mom and gets active with dad, creating a bond through daily play. “Mothers tend to nurture their children, while fathers are more likely to roughhouse and play with their sons than mothers are”, says Steinorth. “Through this kind of play, fathers are teaching (via role modeling) how to handle aggression while regulating their emotions.” This teaching of emotional regulation from a young age has far reaching benefits for a child’s development, says Steinorth. “When we are able to self-regulate our emotions, we’re able to express ourselves without resorting to lashing out verbally or physically.

 

We have to be careful that external provocative conditions are not present and  exercised to impact upon or stimulate these reactions. Passion and oppression are close friends that will needlessly provoke a reaction [Murphy, 2015].

 

Benefits of a Healthy Attachment

 

A growing toddler or maturing adolescent son can thank dad’s involvement for the positive effects on his development. Numerous studies indicate that there is much to be gained when children have a secure attachment to their fathers, says Steinorth. "When fathers are involved with their children as infants, children seem to be more emotionally secure and therefore more comfortable in exploring their surroundings”, says Steinorth. In addition, Steinorth says that many boys with healthy attachments to their fathers tend to have higher IQs and better language skills.

 

As infant boys turn into talking toddlers, secure attachments to their fathers can teach them how to handle stress as they develop. “Toddlers who have secure attachments to their fathers tend to display higher levels of frustration tolerance and are better able to handle stressful situations, such as starting school”, says Steinorth. “Subsequently, they are less likely to get into trouble at school, at home or when interacting with peers.” The pattern continues as children grow older and head into adolescence. “Children with secure attachments to their fathers tend to do better academically and have better verbal skills as well as higher levels of intellectual functioning”, says Steinorth. A father’s role is as important as a mother’s.

 

Is there a bias, by mainly female staffed Social Workers, against men because of the high profile of women in DV situations,and because society traditionally ignores men who have become ‘Silent Victims’? Women are frequently known to subject children to DV in the majority of cases, this can be both mental and physical, and this fact is ignored when making residence orders. Remember that fathers only succeed in 10% of resident parent orders. How much genuine (non biased) ‘Due Diligence’ has been considered with a father’s ability, with his extended family and friends, to be the resident parent?

 

Should I have not acknowledged any authors in the information above, then it is by mistake, and my actions have been to reduce the impact of divorces on our social structure that we all aspire to.