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Convincing the 'Australian System' - Jen McIntosh vs the likes of Warren Farrell?

I joined this Forum to learn what other father's in similar situations are doing to prevent this injustice to our children. I read with interest the article posted previously about the work of Dr Warren Farrell and watched the 'powerful video'

I am a father who has been actively involved with my children. (Quit my career to care for my children from 3 months old to allow ex-wife to enhance and continue in her highly paid profession - income in excess of $850,000 p.a.).

My kids are now 9 and 12 respectively, and I have been thoroughly abused by 'the family court' system, forced into protracted legal proceedings, wasted ridiculous amounts of money, etc etc. I went from having care of my 2 children for almost 90% to getting the stereotypical 'fathers' deal in the substantive Trial of 37/63%- mainly as a result of 'the contrived level of conflict' generated by her lawyer.

Now going through further mediation as a result of further action taken by my vexatious ex and her feminist/single junkyard dog of lawyer in an attempt to overturn the final Orders to seek 100% with the mother.

I joined this Forum to learn what other father's in similar situations are doing to prevent this injustice to our children. I read with interest the article posted previously about the work of Dr Warren Farrell and watched the 'powerful video' suggested by another forum member.

I was very heartened by his 'research' and took his view regarding the merits of forcing conflicting parents to equally parent children vs placing the children with a 'dominant' parent to FRC workers and other meditation counsellors.

Their reaction to viewing Dr Warren Farrell's video is one of complete disbelief. I was warned 'this guy is not a scientist, he is a fake.' and

'his views are extremely destructive, damaging and plainly wrong when it comes to the children's best interests.' and

'Warren Farrell's work doesn't hold a candle to Jenn McIntosh's research' and

'Farrell goes on about the 'non-measurable data' - which simply translates into very dangerous and misleading work by the 'mens movement' at the expense of the children' and

'his work is simply not peer-reviewed by the scientific community - whereas Jenn McIntosh is a respected Australian pyschologist- he is just a good writer and salesman.'

In summary, I have to agree that on the face of it - Dr Farrell may be nothing more than a 'popular author' masquerading as a 'political scientist'- a degree you can 'literally buy' in USA.

I'd really like to put some meat on the bones about his work, because no-one I come across who seems to be interested in anything but the 'preliminary data of the work done by Jenn McIntosh' where she  has found that 'parents in conflict are highly damaging on the children'. Go to the FRC or do a POP course and you get a face full of the apparent negative and damaging effects on children caused by parents in conflict.

Comments please.

(DACC = Dad's Against Contrived Conflict)
DACC

I don't know much about the research you talk about.  I will take a look at both.

In the meantime, how was it that entrenched conflict somehow got translated in your case into less time with the previous main carer parent?

Sounds a bit a** about to me!

Thinking about changing my username to MACC in support. (M being mother, and, coincidentally also the initials of my eldest son)

katie (for now)



My personal opinion of Jenny McIntosh's work and this is personal.

Is that it has been construed to suit what is required to achieve by those who have a predetermine outcome in short the bits they want to use is made to fit the situation.

The research talk about high conflict situations and that if the parents are both attacking each other then 50/50 may not suit. Well isn't that just common sense ? she didn't specify if the child would be better with mum or dad but seemed to hint towards the parent who is providing the more stable enviroment.

It looked to be an unbiased study in the way I read, although it has been quoted incorrectly and those in a position of authority seem to be accepting this as truth.

In my opinion the study seemed to concentrate more on those in high conflict.

The current system is still bias and will use whatever it can to cling to the old and attempt to stop the new creeping in, yet still it creeps and will keep creeping. Change comes slow and when people have an opportunity to retreat to what they know best they will do, you often see abusive people change for a limited time but they can never seem to form the habit that is required to change so they revert back to what they know.

At the end of the day who has the power and how can you find a way to question their interpritation.

Perhaps calling Jenny MacIntosh in a trial as her work has been used as a definitive would be the only true way of obtaining confirmation on her points ?

Of course the easiest way to handle parents in conflict is to separate them from contact and make them liable to punishment if they inflict Parent Alienation on the children. Children should not be used as a deterrent by the court with out an in depth study into all parties that is unbiased.

Question is is this possible for the court to view any situation with out social bias ????

Dr Jen again

DACC,
I went to see Jen McIntosh speak at a family law lawyers conference earlier this year. She is persuasive to those who do not listen closely. She has plenty of marrow but not much meat to go on her old tired bone! The left wing press and the feminist movement love her, as she articulates their 'shared' view of shared parenting; that is to say 'not really supportive'. She is very clever, as she never comes out and says "I am against it", no, too smart for that - she leads the reader gently down a path of self doubt, which leads to the 'correct' conclusion.

Any one with common sense knows that conflict is not good for the kids. What troubles me Is that I am constantly seeing manufactured conflict, sexual abuse claims and that old chestnut, domestic violence, being used more and more often. Some of the comments I have heard from FMs and Judges makes me wonder if they realise that we have left the last century behind! A certain female FM in Goulburn street court, still makes me wince - she even attacked Dr Tom Altobelli for his views - all done in that nice legal way.

Talking of Dr Tom, he made a speech about the McIntosh report straight after Dr Jen - it was very good, made a point of saying that what she offers is not new, that she offers no solutions and that a report by Johnson(1996 I think) covers the same ground, but more importantly, offers solutions.
It is still very easy for the mother to manufacture conflict, alleged abuse etc - even rules such as s.117AB (FLA1975) do not really provide an answer to the falsely accused, especially if you are a SRL.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
DACC said
….. no-one I come across who seems to be interested in anything but the 'preliminary data of the work done by Jenn McIntosh' where she  has found that 'parents in conflict are highly damaging on the children'. Go to the FRC or do a POP course and you get a face full of the apparent negative and damaging effects on children caused by parents in conflict.
(DACC = Dad's Against Contrived Conflict)
We are extremely concerned at the elevation of this piece of journalism as an authoritive document without extensive longitudinal studies and with such a minuscule sampling as to make it hardly worthy of write up. It is of great concern that mediators and Family advisors seem to have taken to this piece of wishful postulation like lemmings to a cliff…but I guess when you are in a corner and you see many shared parenting outcomes on the rise, courts making 4, 5 and 6 days orders as the norm out of 14 and a reduction in conflictual cases then I guess you will resort to any means to discredit the major steps we have taken since July 2006 in an attempt to reverse the trend and slow up the judicial outcomes.

I would refer you to our own rebuttal of the article .. The Mcintosh article is being circulated as if it a ministerial directive to the FRC's (Family Relationship Centers) We will be having more to say to the AG's department about this. I will also be writing to the Law Council as we are a bonifide full member  of the Family section of the Law Council yet their editor will not print our rebuttal to the article. It seems if you can write nothing positive and find only the bad you can get published. Our last hope with the Law Council is Federal Magistrate Tom Altobelli who has said that he would not accept the report being used in all cases before him; only those that were in high conflict. He has also written a substaintial paper on the McIntosh report which we are informed will be published in the Law Council Journal next month.

The issue of conflict is relatively simple to resolve. So simple that it seems to have been completely overlooked…Make appropriate contact on separation (Where tehre is no danger to the children of course) so that the children are available to both parents. If the related agencies that handle Family Benifits, Pensions, Unemployment allowances and Child support worked on the principal of proper contact in place and then money it would be an entirely different situation in my own personal opinion (I can't speak on behalf of the SPCA but it will be a topic I raise at the National conference on June 14 at Terrigal)

I would also refer you to the comments one of our executives made in closed forum. This is not, all but a small "snippet" and I apologise to those who attempted to gain access through the published link to material that was in secured forums.

Dr. Tom Altobelli FM, responds to Dr. J McIntosh report with extensive quotes from a report by Johnson J (1995) 'Children's Adjustment in Sole Custody Compared to Joint Custody Families and Principles for Custody Decision Making', Family and Conciliation Court Review, 33, pp.415-425.

Dr. Tom talks about Johnstone's six principles to guide decision making. He compares these principles to comments made in j McIntosh's report.

Some of Tom's interesting comments are as follows:

in A Cautionary Tale there are strong reasons to support the proposition that neither equal time nor substantial and significant time is in the best interest of children. The law is not the problem here, the evidence is.

It seems that many shared parenting arrangements that are inappropriate are being made by consent. (In response to the fact that two thirds of orders are by consent)

Interestingly, Johnstone does not explicitly suggest that a child's time with a parent needs to be circumscribed, rather it is (by implication) one parent's ability to interfere with decision making that is circumscribed as well as opportunities for interaction

The bench does take in to account social science research.

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
Monti… Do we have Dr Tom's paper on the site yet? 

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
I tried the link Sec but I don't have the top secret clearance to view it. Is there another way of accessing this.

The biggest problem seems the spin the article is being sold with and it's misuse. I understand that it appears that Jenny Mc seems to have re-hashed material that has been written on before that has made good common sense at the time and the article may not be designed for use against shared care, there seems to be a verbal spin associated with Jenny Mc presentation of the data and this is a true concern and I would appreciate reading more.

Secretary SPCA said
We are extremely concerned at the elevation of this piece of journalism as an authoritive document without extensive longitudinal studies and with such a minuscule sampling as to make it hardly worthy of write up.
Not only did they refer to her work, but in the POP course I was ordered to attend run by Relationships Australia, Launceston TAS the facilitators decided to 'embellish' the supposed results by quoting that 'recent studies by Jenn McIntosh have found that the youth suicide rate is as high as 1 in 4 for children who have separated parents in high conflict'.

I tried but could not find such a statistic quoted by her work.

BTW- the POP course attempted very poorly to achieve its very vague objectives by focusing mainly on the negatives. I asked why they focused so much on the negatives, and was told that their course has such good outcomes- it must be working???

The course material consisted of hackneyed 'Positive Visualization Techniques- 'man trapped in freezer wills himself to death"' and MBTI theories about personality types, lots of handouts on communication grids, moving on from separation, marriage decline, separation and life rebuilding. At the end we got another form which we were asked if we would like to use to 'communicate with the other parent'- this has a very annoying heading (according to my partner, looks as though it was written specifically with the 'father in the playground or supervised contact centre' in mind.) For me the 'moving on' stuff was a bit late- I repartnered almost 3 years ago and have 2 wonderful step kids (pure 50/50). I could not believe that chucking a 'communication' form at us without a plan was any use at all.

The course seemed to make a lot of noise about 'the conflict' but didn't really attempt to address this concern adequately. I found it even more bewildering as to why it never offered any REAL tools to improve effective parenting. It was nothing more than a 6 week information session with 6 counselling sessions - a waste of tax payers money and funding ought to be withdrawn or major changes made to make it effective… but I digress.

Thanks to everyone for your input.


To Sec SPSCA - I will take a look at your rebuttal article with interest. Obviously your rebuttal is a very important document - am I able to refer others to this rebuttal?

I guess I was also hoping for something more positive about other research that looks at the effects on children when there is a dominant parent. It would be fantastic to be able to refer to a scientific analysis that supports some alternative to the 'dominant view' held by our institutions.

Thanks- DACC
It is interesting that the same source material - Johnstone's earlier research - is quoted by both Jen Mc and Dr Tom Altobelli.

As Monti says, it's commonsense that a divorce and shared custody will cause children some angst.

The problem with Dr Jen's article is that it goes on, as explained in the rebuttal article (on the front of the website and in the news section), to throw the baby out with the bath water.

50/50 does not have to be shared care - it can be parallel parenting where there is no contact and only minimal discussion about big issues like schooling or serious illness. Parents in conflict do not do well with communication books etc. Children of these families can do very well when the time with each parent is not marred by continued harrassing calls and attempts to "get" at the other parent, through the requirement for contact.

Children are very adaptive. We just need to minimise the conflict in their lives.

My concern is that removing or minimising a loving parent from a child's life to the "conflicting" parent, will shift the maladaptive parent's focus from the other parent to someone else…more likely the child.

I have many friends who's custodial parents mantra was "I hate you, you're just like you [other parent]".

Let's do some studies on adults who felt that and how they turned out.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
My daughter is paralleled parented and it can work.

Due to the nature of many relationships being ended by one partner before telling the other conflict was high, the instigator actively sought to increase conflict to remove her guilt. They both seem to go hand in hand: a divide and conquer initiative.

After the relationship ended and the new boyfriend moved in, who was a pre-organized family friend, conflict increased.

I was advised by everyone to take it on the chin and fight my battle by controlling and reducing my part in active conflict.

Hence conflict was virtually one sided and energy was put into mediation and resolution.

All the usual tactics were used to try and engage conflict and even though I remained calm and tried not to instigate an argument this had the effect of just increasing her ire.

After contact was re-established with my daughter my home became a sanctuary for her and she started to develop into a child of her age and grow socially.

Simply put my X's children, family and close friends were strongly, deeply and emotionally effected by her personal conflict. Even if there is zero antagonism on the part of the other parent some will still manage to create a devastating emotional upheaval in their enviroment and will create a cyclone of emotional abuse by there actions.

It may be wise to pick your battles and battle ground very carefully.

When a statement was made that everyone in her home was scared every time the phone rang because it may have been me I could then ask why why would this be if the only person I rang to speak to was my child, and I only spoke to my child or her when she forced me to. This is still irrational conflict of the highest kind and will be on par with what many in conflict experience.

You may find a few of these types of thing in your situation DACC that can be effectively used to clarify conflict and why one suggests it's high where the other feels it's more of an inconvenience.

Best of luck, fight smart, not emotionally.
D4E I think that you would be the exception and must be congratulated for not buying into the bull*** so to speak. It must have been hard and probably still is but I admire your stance.
I had some very good mentors at the time when I needed them who gave me direction and listened to me, one in particular my " Devils Advocate " grounded me.

I simply took advice and ripped it apart till I found a logical solution to the problem.

Luckily I was told early to separate emotions from things and deal with reality.

I pay forward when I can because it works, but yes it is very hard and support is a major part of the battle as is to listen.

After all is said and done because the arguments were one way eventually she just run out of steam, then comeuth the legal battle, and ones she run out of funds comeuth mediation then once banked up back to legals and eventually orders by consent.

Far as I can tell this is simply the norm just at the time it is so hard to see the end and you feel like your at the bottom of a well.

Thats one of the reasons I encourage everyone to have two forms of support. Legal like FLWG and emotional such as counseling or DID's each serves a distinctive and different purpose that should be kept apart in many ways.

Thing is it can be done and it can work.
OMG - Did anyone see the 7:30 Report tonight. If that is Jen McIntosh and that is how the 7:30 report conducts itself when reporting- there is no hope for our children! :(

1. My partner wants to know if the 'bitch on wheels' woman actually cares about her kids more than controlling her ex? Why does she want to move away?

2. The picture drawn by a 'victim child of parental conflict' shown and discussed by Jen was so scientifically revealing. NOT - My partner commented that Jen doesn't look sincere when she is telling her anecdotes- does she even have children of her own?

I need no affirmation by way of your rebutal - It seems there is no hope convincing our sick system when you have such biased non-scientific views broadcast on our national network- shame on 7:30 report for such a one-sided story - I expect more from ABC than you get from Today Tonight or Current Affair.  O_o
I have seen the light praised be the father for he shall fight the demon harpies and their cult to save and salvage the remaining morsels of their plunder.

Perhaps a bit over dramatic but lets face it there was no misquoting of the integrity of the study but rather showed there was no integrity to begin with.

A white wash designed to simply manipulate, I am shamed to admit I saw positive in anything she has written her representation said more than any print on paper could say.

I was disgusted.

 
DACC,
i am glad to see you have come to your senses, i have posted a little on Dr Farrell on this site and quoted some of his work from his book "FATHER AND CHILD REUNION".

The latest video i have viewed called "The Best Interests of the Child" has given me true insight to the word Best interest's, i strongly recommend it to all in similar circumstances to yours.

monaro said
DACC,
i am glad to see you have come to your senses, i have posted a little on Dr Farrell on this site and quoted some of his work from his book "FATHER AND CHILD REUNION".

The latest video i have viewed called "The Best Interests of the Child" has given me true insight to the word Best interest's, i strongly recommend it to all in similar circumstances to yours.
 

Monaro -  I'm not sure 'come to my senses' accurately describes my view. I am genuinely interested in what Farrell has to say, and treat his findings with the same scrutiny deserving of McIntosh. My gut feeling (call it intuition if you like) - urges me to explore Farrell's work as one source of possible truth about what really is best for our kids.

If you scrutinize both points of view there will always be someone who claims that 'their agenda' is driven irrationally by either the 'womens' or 'mens' movements and then you start hearing statements like 'very dangerous, fake, non-scientific, propaganda, etc)

I am grateful for those who have contributed to this thread, particularly in support of a rational view about the real effects of conflict on children. Unfortunately, although the rebuttal does appear to agree with at least some of the theories offered by Farrell about what is best for kids, it does not elevate his work to the level required by peers in the psychology, and therefore fails to be seen as a factual reference by our Family Court's or supporting Family services.

I really want to motivate people who can make a difference to our children to read Farrell's books, but find it impossible to convince them. Does anyone have any references to peer reviews or rebuttals of Farrell's work?
DACC,
'Warren Farrell's work doesn't hold a candle to Jenn McIntosh's research' said
 A little insight on Dr Farrell - he trains psychologists and lectures at universities.

The only ones that are against his work are the feminists - which is strange as he is a great supporter of women and their issues.

Attachment

'Warren Farrell's work doesn't hold a candle to Jenn McIntosh's research' said

I think that was the view of councilors and FRC workers when introduced to Dr Farrell's work, they then went on to debunk him as a scientist and fraud.

Perhaps a little too much fear that the system is quickly reaching tip point, discrediting it because it seems like common sense perhaps ?

Monaro what is the source of that document please?

I am not a feminist but I am a woman and a mother nor am I a supporter of Jenny McIntosh. I feel I need to look into this as I never take anything at face value especially information passed around the internet. The research I found available on Warren Farrell said that he did not have any qualifications in Psychology but only had a degree in Political Science that he had never used. Also that he had never had any children himself although he has had older step children for a few years and that his association with the feminist groups was in the 1970's and they say they threw him out. His own website is not very forthcoming and the qualifications claimed in that document far surpass what he says about himself there.The article link you posted suggests that he is highly regarded in Psychology circles and implies that he has qualifications to teach psychologists. I would like to know which story is correct so I hope you don't mind passing on the source.
Aphrodite,
              it's not very hard to find biographies of Dr. Warren Farrell that mention his teaching pyschology.

Try using Google and putting in Warren Farrell Biography.

The first one that I get at Speak Inc includes this.

Speak Inc said
He has taught in the School of Medicine at the University of California in San Diego, as well as at Georgetown University, Rutgers, Brooklyn College, American University, and the California School of Professional Psychology. He has taught in political science, psychology, sociology, women's studies, and public administration.

The second one does, as does the third.


The second find said
Dr. Farrell has taught the psychology of gender roles and parenting at the California School of Professional Psychology, and at the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He has taught in five different disciplines, including at Rutgers, Brooklyn College and Georgetown University.

Dr. Warren Farrell has been a resident lecturer at Yale, and been selected as a speaker for the Distinguished Lecturer series at Stanford and more than fifty universities in the U.S. He was chosen by President Johnson as one of five young educators to be invited to the White House Conference on Education.

The American Psychological Association's official publication on gender,  Bridging Separate Gender Worlds , published in 1999, recommends all three of Dr. Farrell's books that were published prior to 1999. (He is the only scholar for whom they recommended three books.)
At Esalen, the country's Mecca for leading psychologists, Warren Farrell both trains their staff and also conducts weekend workshops in couples' communication. Most of these couples have children. Psychologists, MSWs and MFTs are all awarded advanced credit for the courses they take with him. Similarly, Psycho-Legal Associates, the leading West Coast trainer of psychologists for Continuing Education Units (CEUs), has used Dr. Farrell to train their psychologists on the unique and interdependent contributions of dads and moms as parents.

The Third find said
Dr. Farrell has taught at the School of Medicine at the University of California in San Diego, as well as at Georgetown University, Rutgers, Brooklyn College, American University, and the California School of Professional Psychology. He has taught in political science, psychology, sociology, sexual politics, and public administration.

In 1965, President Johnson chose Warren as one of the nation's outstanding young educators. Warren later served as assistant to the president of New York University and received NYU's highest honor for his Ph.D thesis on changing men's roles and behavior in response to women's roles.
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