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Involved fathers offer developmentally specific provisions to their children and

are impacted themselves by doing so. Active father figures may play a role in
reducing behavior and psychological problems in young adults.[8] An increased
amount of father�child involvement may help increase a child's social stability,
educational achievement, and their potential to have a solid marriage as an adult.
Their children may also be more curious about the world around them and develop
greater problem solving skills.[9] Children who were raised with fathers perceive
themselves to be more cognitively and physically competent than their peers without
a father.[10] Mothers raising children together with a father reported less severe
disputes with their child.[11]

The father-figure is not always a child's biological father and some children will
have a biological father as well as a step- or nurturing father. When a child is
conceived through sperm donation, the donor will be the "biological father" of the

Fatherhood as legitimate identity can be dependent on domestic factors and

behaviors. For example, a study of the relationship between fathers, their sons,
and home computers found that the construction of fatherhood and masculinity
required that fathers display computer expertise.[12]

Determination of parenthood

Paternal love (1803) by Nanette Rosenzweig, National Museum in Warsaw

Roman law defined fatherhood as "Mater semper certa; pater est quem nuptiae
demonstrant" ("The [identity of the] mother is always certain; the father is whom
the marriage vows indicate"). The recent emergence of accurate scientific testing,
particularly DNA testing, has resulted in the family law relating to fatherhood
experiencing rapid changes.

History of fatherhood

Painter Carl Larsson playing with his laughing daughter Brita

In medieval and most of modern European history, caring for children was
predominantly the domain of mothers, whereas fathers in many societies provide for
the family as a whole. Since the 1950s, social scientists and feminists have
increasingly challenged gender roles in Western countries, including that of the
male breadwinner. Policies are increasingly targeting fatherhood as a tool of
changing gender relations.[13]