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Today’s Fatherhoods Is Affective Responsible And Equitable

The journalist Carles Francino melts into a hug with his three children. There is a 30-year difference between the birth of the first, the actor Carles Francino (40), and that of the two little ones, Iván (10) and Lucía (8), so the radio presenter has witnessed the evolution of fatherhood in the last decades.

It celebrates the changes: “For example, more parents go to school meetings, or paternity leave, previously non-existent [and since January 2021 equated to maternity leave].” But he feels that there are still chauvinistic conversations. “I hope that changes with my children’s generation.”

The journalist Carles Francino wears a pullover from Octobre, trousers from Purificación García, shoes from Salvatore Ferragamo and the Force Supreme Youth Architect anti-aging cream, from Biotherm Homme. Along with him, his children.

On the left, the oldest of the three, actor Carles Francino (40 years old), wears a Sandro polo shirt, Canali trousers, Camper Lab shoes and a Cartier watch, and wears the Aquapower Eye De-Puffer eye serum. , by Biotherm Homme, with anti-bagging effect.

At his side, the two young children, the journalist’s children with his current wife and co-worker, Gema Muñoz: Iván (10 years old), wearing a T-shirt and sneakers, both from Vans; Quiksilver shirt, Stella McCartney shorts and Jimmy Lion socks; and Lucía (8 years old), wearing a dress and socks, both by Chloé, and sneakers by Superga.

The journalist Carles Francino wears a pullover from Octobre, trousers from Purificación García, shoes from Salvatore Ferragamo and the Force Supreme Youth Architect anti-aging cream, from Biotherm Homme. Along with him, his children.

On the left, the oldest of the three, actor Carles Francino (40 years old), wears a Sandro polo shirt, Canali trousers, Camper Lab shoes and a Cartier watch, and wears the Aquapower Eye De-Puffer eye serum. , by Biotherm Homme, with anti-bagging effect.

At his side, the two young children, the journalist’s children with his current wife and co-worker, Gema Muñoz: Iván (10 years old), wearing a T-shirt and sneakers, both from Vans; Quiksilver shirt, Stella McCartney shorts and Jimmy Lion socks; and Lucía (8 years old), wearing a dress and socks, both by Chloé, and sneakers by Superga. PAPO WAISMAN / EPS

Javier de Domingo, psychologist, professor at the European Institute of Perinatal Mental Health and father of three children, recalls that in the past the figure of man was associated with the role of caregiver outward: search for food and shelter, protection against threat external … “Adrenaline is the hormone that is activated by predation and from it the inherited paternity model has been built.”

With this model, based on the foundations of a traditional masculinity that places the man as an authoritarian, dominant and responsible figure for family maintenance, many parents of today have grown up, such as Francino . “It is a stale model that delegates a lot to women and denies the affection between parents and children,” says the presenter of La Ventana.(String SER).

“In my house there were eight siblings and none of the boys were required to make even the bed. That was my sisters’ job. My father was a complicit and humble man, but he did not show affection. So no one questioned that things were like that ”. At 63, Francino does the dishes, prepares breakfast in the mornings, takes the children to after-school when he can and, above all, hugs his children and his wife, Gema, a lot. “But I have had to change,” he acknowledges. “It was a choice and I am very happy with it.”

The emancipation of women and the successive feminist waves have simmered the emergence of these new masculinities that break with stereotypes . More and more men like Francino are joining the fight for gender equality. Campaigns such as the United Nations #HeForShe contribute to generating this slow, progressive and far-reaching change.

By recognizing women as equal in work, social, public and private matters, many men begin to assume the couple’s commitments with equity, from housework to childcare, just as at the beginning of the century, Professor Rafael Montesinos, from the Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico, presented in Paternity: Expression of Male Transformation(2004). It is a beginning, although there is still a long way to go to build that “new culture for genders” of which the researcher speaks.

The chef Quique Dacosta, with three Michelin stars in the restaurant that bears his name and a great international projection in haute cuisine, has for five years the joint custody of his two children, Noa (12 years) and Ugo (9).

“When you make the determination to separate, you realize that this implies another even more painful separation, that of your children,” he explains. At first, the children lived with their mother and spent time with Dacosta. “When work allowed me to be in Dénia,” he says. He was very “unstable” and decided to reorganize to ask for joint custody.

Since then they have lived a week with him and another with his mother. “The day they go with her there is an indescribable void. But the penance of not having them makes you take advantage of them more when they are there.

That quality time is what you need as a parent to know and understand them ”, says the 49-year-old chef who received the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts in 2020. “Obviously, I would like to have them every day, but the shared one is the most equitable.” His case is less and less exceptional. In the last five years, agreements of this type have doubled (they represent more than 37%).

The actor Juanjo Ballesta , who has just separated from the mother of his son, Juanjo, 14, says that in his case the child lives with him. “Juanjito sees Vero [his mother] on weekends.” According to the latest data, in 4% of separations with children, custody is held by the parents, a figure that was close to zero just a decade ago.

In the case of Ballesta, the decision was made in the interest of his son. “My house is in the middle of the field, in the village; we have a sheep called Copo and it is a very healthy environment for him ”, says the protagonist of films such as El Bola (Goya for the best new actor in 2000) or 7 virgins(Silver Shell in 2005).

“Also, my ex works during the week and I find it easier to organize myself. But she sees him whenever she wants and vice versa. She has been the woman of my life and she is the mother of my son, so I don’t understand any other way to do it ”.

That respect and shared responsibility between both parents, together or separately, is one of the foundations of the new paternity. The Cuban musician Yotuel RomeroHe had his first son, Yotuel, at the age of 24.

He separated when the boy was barely 3 years old and eventually married and started a family with his current wife, the Spanish singer Beatriz Luengo. But he was always clear about it: “Children are a responsibility between two. Bea and I went to a house that was next to my ex-partner’s to be close ”.

The rapper grew up without a father figure. “My father fled the island [Cuba] to the United States in the eighties, when I was a kid.” He, too, left his country at the age of 18 for France. “Europe taught me that dialogue is the basis of everything and that is what I have tried to transmit to my children.” Communication is for the artist the pillar of upbringing.

This is how he has forged his relationship with Yotuel, 20, and with whom he attends this photo session. The connection between them becomes apparent as soon as they walk through the door. They look at each other with complicity, laugh and rap together. “We tell each other everything.

And although we now live far away [Yotuel and Beatriz Luengo have moved with their 7-year-old son D’Angelo to Miami and are expecting a girl in April], there is no distance if there is communication ”. Fatherhood is for the Orishas singer the opportunity to give his children what he never had. “I have been the father that I would have liked to have.”

Stewardship is a rational and voluntary choice made by a part of the male population. This conscious decision has allowed science to reformulate one of the arguments that have traditionally placed mothers as those responsible for the care of their children: the biological bond. Women produce oxytocin already during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.

This hormone activates a region of the brain, the amygdala, which generates the sensation of great reward in the mother. Dr. Ruth Feldman, from the IDC Herzliya Center for Social Developmental Neuroscience (Israel), discovered in a scientific study carried out in the 1990s that this activation of oxytocin in mothers continued during rearing and spread to babies. When they played with them, both mother and child produced oxytocin.

Aware of the social change at the beginning of this century, with parents more present in family life, in 2001 Dr. Feldman directed the first investigation to study this relationship of oxytocin in parents involved in child rearing and thus deepen the link between children. men and their babies. The study was conducted with 80 couples with committed parents.

He found that oxytocin levels were as high as in mothers: “We saw that the more the father interacts with the baby, the more he touches, feeds or cares for him, the more his oxytocin system is activated, although his amygdala was only activated in one fourth part ”, he explains in the documentary Babies, from Netflix.

“Paternity, therefore, is biological and as deep as motherhood.” For Javier de Domingo, this study makes it clear that the supposed differences that were biologically attributed to each gender and on which the traditional distribution of roles was based are not real. Oxytocin, the affections are inherent to the human being.

Organizational, social and cultural issues have been the ones that imposed roles that distanced man from his own nature. “By taking the step towards conscious, co-responsible and affective parenting, we reconnect with her. But for that we have to get rid of the behavior inherited from the patriarchy and rebuild our fatherhood from scratch, based on affection and the needs of the baby as the center ”.

The Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón , 35, remembers perfectly the responsibility he felt when he first took his daughter Olivia in his arms. His wife, Anna, suffered from a post-puncture headache after delivery (a problem with anesthesia) and was in bed unable to move for 10 days.

“I had to take care of the girl 100%, except for breastfeeding, which had to be placed on her mother’s breast.” It is not easy for him to explain in words the bond he created with the little girl. But he says he upset his world, his body and his mind.

“Men now learn about emotional accompaniment and participate in practices promoted by the World Health Organization, such as skin-to-skin, carrying or co-sleeping [sleeping with them], which generate oxytocin,” explains Javier de Domingo, who is writing a book on father psychology. Garzón and his wife have chosen precisely that attachment upbringing.

“In my case, by the example of my parents, I have always understood co-responsibility as something evident. However, this philosophy when raising, thought from the needs of the baby, I think it is a generational change in the way of parenting “, says the politician. “The emotional involvement is so great that it seems impossible to me that other physical issues such as sexual desire do not also change.

This is something that many men don’t talk about, because it seems that it goes against the figure of the alpha male, but it seems to me a mistake not to treat it naturally. When that phase passes, obviously everything is restored, but I find it difficult to believe that an involved, active and co-responsible father does not lose his sexual appetite ”. Javier de Domingo recalls that there are studies that show that “men who carry and co-ride reduce their testosterone levels.”

According to Dr. Feldman’s research, caregiver fathers experience hormonal changes that prompt them to care, although the brain amygdala was only activated by a quarter and not completely as in mothers.

But the fight for equal rights for gay and bisexual people has opened the door to another new type of fatherhood: that of homoparental families, many of them made up of two men. Spain was the third state in the world to regularize same-sex marriage with the July 2005 law.

The legal system thus favored the formation of homoparental families such as that of Óscar Lendinez (39 years old) and Vicente Molina (42). The couple married in 2009, they have two adopted children of 6 years and 17 months and they come to the photo session from Valencia. The little boy runs around every corner of the space while his brother, Sergio, plays with one of his parents’ mobile.

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