By Trish Wilson, © 1999
All rights reserved by author


David Blankenhorn
IAV Founder and President
Former Chairman of the Board of the National Fatherhood Initiative


The William H. Donner Foundation, the JM Foundation, and the Philip M. McKenna Foundation; financed by contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals, as well as fees from the sale of publications

IAV's Link to the Scaife Family Foundation

The Scaife Family Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Carthage Foundation, and the Alleghany Foundation, also known as the Four Sisters, are amongst the largest conservative family foundations in America. They provide funding for ultra-conservative and anti-feminist organizations and causes, including The American Enterprise Institute, the American Family Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Independent Women's Forum, the Women's Freedom Network, the Center for Individual Rights, the National Fatherhood Initiative and the Heritage Foundation. Scaife provided a great deal of funding towards organizations and media which supported and promoted the impeachment of President Clinton.

The Scaife Family Foundation has provided the following amounts in grants to IAV since 1997:

1997 -- $55,000

1998 -- $70,000

Read about the Envy expressed by fathers' and men's rights advocates on the Fathers' Manifesto mailing list. These people did not get the kind of funding that IAV and NFI get because IAV and NFI couch their rhetoric in family-friendly terms. The reason Blankenhorn, IAV, and NFI get so much press is due primarily to Scaife funding.

David Blankenhorn endorses marriage as a cure for domestic violence!

By correlating the higher rates of reported domestic violence between non-married couples, such as those living together and those dating, with the lower rates of reported domestic violence within the bonds of matrimony, Blankenhorn has erroneously concluded that marriage acts as a buffer against abuse. How absurd! Correlation does not equal causation. Domestic violence is about power and control, not the victim and perpetrator's marital status. Of course, Blankenhorn does not mention the power and control dynamic at all. To do so would squash his "marriage cure."

Non-married couples have not been together as long as married couples. Married couples have more access to each other due to living in the same home as well as sharing expenses. A married woman's actions are under much more scrutiny due to the intimate nature of marriage itself. Also, married couples are much more likely to have children than non-married couples. The fear of losing custody of children, of harm coming to themselves and their children, a realistic concern that she may not be able to financially support herself and her children, and the greater ease with which a married man may control finances and constantly check on the whereabouts of the spouse with whom he lives are only four reasons married women are more reluctant to report abuse. All of these reasons have to do with the power and control the abuser hoists over the victim, not the victim's marital status.

From Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem, by David Blankenhorn. 1995. pgs. 32-39.

"...[O]ur public discussion of domestic violence almost never acknowledges, much less analyzes, differences in marital status among men who assault women. Indeed, to avoid making these distinctions, certain rules of language are widely observed. Almost without exception, journlaists, legislators, academics, and advocates for battered women adhere to the convention of calling perpetrators of domestic violence "husbands" or "partners," or sometimes, even more elliptically, "husbands and boyfriends." As a result, the public repeatedly hears that men who batter women are either husabnds, or well, we would prefer to to be precise."

"Male violence is rooted in families is rooted in, and sustained by, male marital privilege. Because of the causal link between marriage and violence, and because husbands are the principle victimizers of women, "wife beating" properly emerges as a generic term for male violence against a female sex partner."

"...[M]arried fatherhood emerges as the primary inhibitor of male domestic violence. By reducing the likelihood of sexual jealousy and paternal uncertainty, and by directing the male's aggression towards the support of his child and the mother of his child, married fatherhood dramatically restricts the tendency among men toward violent behavior."

From the KidsCampaign website page for Institute for American Values:

Among the beliefs of the Council regarding the declining well-being of children in the U.S. are:

"The current disintegration of the well-functioning, two-parent family is a central cause of rising individual and social pathology."

"A major cultural imperative for our time is to increase the proportion of children who grow up with their two married parents in supportive communities and to decrease the proportion of children who do not." (Family Affairs, Winter 1994)

On child support

In his book, Fatherless America, Blankenhorn argues that it is unlikely that the child support collection system will ever function well enough to keep pace with the caseload. For this reason, we should not expect to meet the needs of children through improved child support enforcement. Blankenhorn believes that the emphasis on child support collection and "deadbeat dads" over the past twenty years has been misguided. He writes that the government efforts to ensure that children get at least financial support from fathers simply point to a larger problem--the diminished societal expectation that marriages will succeed and fathers will remain connected to their children.

"Every child deserves a father. At a minimum, for example, all levels of our society must insist that no father, regardless of his circumstances, can ignore his financial obligation to his child. More broadly, we should expand efforts such as Cleveland's National Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development, which powerfully conveys to young unmarried fathers the meaning and importance of effective fatherhood."

"In about 75% of out-of-wedlock births, the father is never legally identified. States should approach this issue with more seriousness. For example, perhaps fathers who do not acknowledge their paternity, as well as mothers who do not identify the fathers of their children, should be denied eligibility for public assistance." (Blankenhorn, Family Affairs, Winter 1994)

On custody

Blankenhorn's ideas on reversing the trend of fatherlessness include:

"Reform marriage laws to emphasize the social importance of marriages that endure. In cases of divorce, we should establish 'children first' legislation. To help remove child custody as a bargaining chip for divorcing couples, legislatures should adopt the 'primary caretaker' rule: a presumption in favor of granting custody to the parent who is already providing most of the day-to-day child care. Finally, legislatures should consider moving away from easy, no-fault divorce, especially when the divorce is contested and minor children are involved." (Blankenhorn, Family Affairs, Winter 1994) Collaborative Lawyers Southeast Florida


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