From the Lilienfield text, the role of the father is discussed on page 389-390. The text presents differences in parental involvement with children between fathers and mothers. Fathers do not appear to pay as much attention to nor do they seem as loving of their babies as mothers. Fathers do not spend as much time with their babies as mothers (Golombok, 2000). Also, fathers engage with their children in physical play more often than mothers (Parke, 1996). Finally, boys and girls have a tendency to choose their fathers as playmates rather than their mothers (Clarke-Stewart, 1980).
Of particular importance, is how attentive and affectionate fathers are in comparison to mothers as well as how much time fathers spend time with their children. Overall, society says that mothers spend more time with their children than fathers. This societal belief is even more strongly imbedded in certain cultures. It was found that sons with poor relationships with their fathers were more likely to have poor relationships and parenting for their own sons (Doherty, 1991). Thus, strained relationships between fathers and sons may carry onto future generations through father-son interactions. It is important for fathers to be involved in their children's lives despite what societal and cultural norms dictate. Such endeavors are beneficial to the development of the children as well for society and culture.
Source: Doherty, W. J. (1991). Beyond reactivity and the deficit model of manhood: A commentary on articles by Napier, Pittman, and Gottman. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 17, 29-32.