Parenting, etc

Uncertain Father
Birth Rite
It's Only Natural?

On this page I've pulled together a few things I have written about fatherhood and parenting:

The Uncertain Father.

When I started to get involved in the subject of fatherhood by giving talks, running a fathers' group in Ealing and writing for the Open University on some of their parenting courses I read a great deal of the literature currently available. I was struck by the realisation that most of it was either about mothers (what women wanted from a father) or about children (the effect of different kinds of fathering on child development). There was very little on the father himself.

So in 1985 I decided to write a book which put the father and his experience on the centre of the stage. It is based on three things: my own experience, the experience of other fathers I met and interviewed and some theory, especially anthropological perspectives on fatherhood. The resulting book is rather uneven, I think; neither fish nor fowl. But it does have some interesting observations and reflections.

The book was published by Gateway Press in Bath in 1987. It has been out of print for some time now and so I offer it here.

Birth Rite

My anthropological studies led me to become interested in rites of passage and how van Gennep's model worked in Western birth practice. Much has changed in hospital delivery practice since this was written in 1986 but some of its observations are still valid. The link between birth ritual and postnatal depression which I posit is still unproven but several researchers took it up quite enthusiastically at the time.

It's Only Natural?

This is a brief article I wrote for the National Childbirth magazine New Generation, which I edited for three years. It looks at some of the contradictory implications of the term 'natural', especially as applied to natural childbirth.