Parental Involvement Paper

Posted by Winnie Melda on March 6th, 2019

Parental involvement is the engagement of a parent in his or her child’s life.  Involvement ensures that the parent guides and corrects the child through his or her life thus enabling the child to grow to be a responsible adult.  The male parent becomes actively involved after the birth while the female parent becomes involved in the child’s life from gestation and throughout after their birth.  However, an issue such as paternity can influence the extent with which the male parent is involved and invested in the child’s life.  According to Anderson & Lancaster (2007), a confidence of paternity results to complete involvement and investment of the male parent.  In contrast, males that are unsure of the paternity of their children are likely to demonstrate reservation until paternity is confirmed.  When a male confirms that the child is not his, there is a high chance of the man ending the relationship with the child’s mother.  There is also a high chance that the male will cease to live with the mother and the child.  Ultimately, the male will distance himself from the child and become less involved over time.  The male will also cease investing in the child.  Overall, paternity confidence thus plays a critical role in shaping the relationship of male parents with their children (Sheldon, 2002).

            Concerning sexual behavior, parents tend to have a deeper concern for the sexual behavior of their daughters than their sons because of the underlying cultural norms.  Parents have gender-stereotypical expectations towards their children.  For instance, the girl child is expected to be morally upright and thus not expected to demonstrate sexually-reckless behavior.  In contrast, there is less concerned about the sexual behavior of the male child.  In fact, some cultures and families hold the belief that a man’s sexual escapades are a show of his or her prowess.  In such a culture, the boy child would not be prevented from engaging in sexual activities.  In contrast, the girl child would be considered immoral and irresponsible if she adopted similar sexual behaviors.  There is also the expectation that the girl-child should not give birth out of wedlock.  The girl’s experience strict rules and regulation of movement so that they do not fall pregnant. 

Moreover, such beliefs have seen parents provide their girl-child with contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies.  The tendency to show concern over the girl child over the boy child on the sexual matter has reinforced gender stereotypes.  The 21st century has seen societies fight for gender equality (Leaper, 2014).  Unfortunately, parents continue to reinforce gender stereotypes been without their knowledge.  Parents demonstrate descriptive stereotypes through the emphasis of the essence of sexual behavior to each gender.  For instance, the perception that the girl should not be sexually aggressive encourages the girl child to be timid and reseed about their sexuality.  Marks & McHale (2009), highlights that the parent’s perception of gender roles can influence how they handle their children.  Children learn behavior from their parents, and thus the perception of what is sexually appropriate for the child will be based on the parent’s perception of the same.  Socioeconomic factors can also influence gender behavior attitudes as educated parents may express more egalitarian gender role orientations.

 Evolutionary psychology is a theory that stipulates that the human mind is shaped by pressure to survive and reproduce.  Concerning parenting, children have a greater bond with their mothers than their fathers.  Women are said to have the maternal instincts that enable them to assist, support and invest in their offspring (Salmon, & Wilson, 2013).  There is a general assumption that an adopted child will not be treated as well as a child sired by the parents.  From an evolutionary psychology perspective, parents that make the conscious decision to adopt a child are making the decision to hijack their parental instincts that would go to their biological child (Segal et al. 2015).  The situation is common among couples that have attempted and failed to have their biological children.  The parents that adopt the child can raise the child with love and care just like they would for their biological child.  It is, therefore, possible for a step parent to transfer his or her positive traits to an adopted child.  The step-parent takes the role of the primary caretaker and thus can exert positive behavioral traits upon the child.  Traits are not permanent and thus can be influenced by a person’s life.  Adoption, therefore, can take place even when the child to be adopted is an older child (e.g. five years old).  The step parents have the opportunity of eliminating the negative traits and replacing them with the positive traits.  Moreover, the provision of a warm and loving environment may influence the adopted child to change his behavior and adopt positive traits.  In other words, traits may be durable, but they do not have to last a person’s lifetime.  Traits can, therefore, be passed to other children other than the biological offspring.  A parent thus can adopt a child and help the child become the ideal child that he or she wants (Workman, & Reader, 2004).


 Anderson, K. & Lancaster, J. (2006). Confidence of paternity, divorce, and investment in children by Albuquerque men. Evolution and Human Behavior. Vol. 28:1-1

 Leaper, C. (20140. Parent’s socialization of gender in children.  University of California

Marks, J., Bun, L. C., & McHale, S. M. (2009). Family Patterns of Gender Role Attitudes. Sex Roles, 61(3-4), 221–234.

Salmon, C., & Wilson, M. (2013). Kinship: The conceptual hole in psychological studies of social cognition and close relationships. Evolutionary social psychology, 265

Segal, N. & Miller, S. (2015). Do parents favor their adoptive or biological children? Evolution and Human behavior. Vol. 36(5):379-38

Sheldon, B. C. (2002). Relating paternity to paternal care. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, 357, 341 – 350

Workman, L. & Reader, W. (2004). Evolutionary Psychology. Cambridge University Press

Carolyn Morgan is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in research paper writing services if you need a similar paper you can place your order from Top American Writing Services.

Winnie Melda

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Winnie Melda
Joined: December 7th, 2017
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