The status of fatherhood and fathering in South Africa
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Having an involved father at home can make a big difference in the life of a young child. For one thing, the household with a father in residence is likely to be better off, the mother is likely to feel affirmed and assisted in her role, and children's nutrition, health care, and schooling are likely to be encouraged and supported. Children will enjoy a father's protection and will benefit from his position in the community. Most of all they will have the pleasure of receiving and giving love in what is an archetypal relationship - father and child - throughout the world. Acknowledged biological fatherhood is, moreover, an important element of identity development. In South Africa, children also take their clan name from their father. In times past, children were humiliated for being fatherless. Today, being considered fatherless generates in children as sense of loss and confusion.