Presentation at the 2019 Male Psychologies Conference, University College London, London, UK.
This presentation is based on my chapter ‘Deconstructing Dad’ in the The Palgrave Handbook of Male Psychology and Mental Health (2019).
Fatherhood is seen a natural right – a transition that is the ultimate sign that a man is virile and bestows concomitant status, rights and privileges.
The demographic, social and economic changes across the last few decades have led to increased scrutiny into fathers, fatherhood, and fathering.
However, there is a paucity of data on the estimated 25% of men who are childless and how not becoming a father affects men’s social and economic status and their mental and physical health across the life course.
The aim of this talk is show how men are affected by not achieving the key status of fatherhood through a critical examination of the gerontological and psycho-social data surrounding male childlessness and fatherhood.
The lack of literature and research on childless men has implications for a range of stakeholders: policymakers, academics, social and healthcare service providers, and mental and physical health practitioners.
Therapists need to recognise that the effects of childlessness are unique to the individual and shapes their behaviours and interactions on many levels.