indeed presents a grim picture of the claims made by activists in the Men's Rights Movement, unfortunately at least one of eliserh's objections is misleading
. Eliserh stated that:
This is, of course, ludicrous. "Actually, fathers do not do all that badly, vis-a-vis mothers, when they contest custody. Here, estimates vary widely, but it appears that in formally contested cases, women get custody only about half the time, or less." See e.g. Comparing Race and Sex Discrimination in Custody Cases, 28 Hofstra L. J. 877, 886 n.49. (noting also double standards applied against women in custody disputes)
This quote, put in context, reads as follows and presents a far different picture of the situation than that provided by eliserh.
Another set of discrimination claims concerns the complaint of fathers that the sex-based double standard works against them, not in their favor. The evidence offered is circumstantial, but rather impressive: women obtain custody in eighty to ninety percent of cases.49... The statistical disparity for mother custody...proves only disparate results, not that discrimination has actually occurred...
Note 49. See ELEANOR E. MACCOBY & ROBERT H. MNOOKIN, DIVIDING THE CHILD: SOCIAL AND LEGAL DILEMMAS OF CUSTODY 99-103 (1992). Actually, fathers do not do all that badly, vis-a-vis mothers, when they contest custody. See generally id. at 99-106. Here, estimates vary widely, but it appears that in formally contested cases, women get custody only about half the time, or less. See id. at 104 (reporting results of California study showing that in contested cases in which each parent wanted sole custody, fathers won 11.3% of the time, as compared to 45.3% for mothers, 35.9% for joint custody, and 7.5% for split custody); Stephen J. Bahr et al., Trends in Child Custody Awards: Has the Removal of Maternal Preference Made a Difference?, 28 FAM. L.Q. 247, 256-57 (1994) (reporting Utah study of 1087 cases decided between 1970 and 1993, showing that where custody was formally disputed, custody was awarded to the mother 50% of the time, to the father 21% of the time, and to both parents jointly or in a split custody arrangement 30% of the time).*
Since this was originally posted, eliserh has provided the following statement, which again excludes some of the facts:
The courts have tended to prefer joint custody arrangements where feasible. Indeed, in the California study, men received some form of custody, ranging from sole custody to joint custody, 54.7% of the time. Similarly, in Utah, fathers prevailed and obtained joint custody in 51% of cases. Clearly, men are not getting disproportionately cut out of custody arrangements.
What eliserh fails to mention is that according to the source she provided, mothers get some form of custody in 80 to 90 percent of contested cases, compared with around 50 percent for fathers. Apparently, this is not "disproportionate
In addition, according to a 1990 report by the CDC, "the wife was awarded custody of the children 72 percent of the time in divorces in which custody was awarded. Joint custody was the second most common arrangement (16 percent), while husbands were awarded custody in 9 percent of divorces..." ** Though, apparently these statistics are not limited to custody cases contested in court.
While there certainly are valid objections that may be raised against any ideology, distorting the facts in order to do so does not lead to greater understanding for anybody. Nor does it lend credibility to any further statements one might make on the issue.