Psychoanalyst Jean-Pierre Winter, author of the book L’avenir des pères, provides an objective explanation as to why he fears parenting without the father.
“Primarily as a paediatric clinician, I have been confronted for almost forty years with the damage caused by the father’s absence”, he says. “This damage is particularly evident in adolescence, because it is the age at which things that have been poorly digested in early childhood come back with a vengeance.”
Quoting psychoanalyst Pierre Legendre, he explains that “human beings fashion themselves on how they are perceived by others“, so children accidentally deprived of a father cannot be compared to those who are deprived of their father by law because “the legal decision acts directly at the symbolic level, suppressing a role rather than a being”. For him, this situation poses the risk of “segregation” between those born to parents of the opposite sex and those born to a woman and “nobody”. Because “it’s not the same as being born to two people who are different by nature“, he says. “Dealing with the other sex occasionally and from the outside definitely does not have the same impact as constantly being in touch with their differences. And “such repercussions take their toll over several generations.” Advocating the precautionary principle, Jean-Pierre Winter warns of the importance of being aware of the effects before legally establishing the fatherless family as the traditional family.
 Jean-Pierre Winter, L’avenir des pères, Albin Michel, 140 pages, €18.