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Most important, I also have an ego and a face, and would like for people to tell me that my daughter resembles me.
When I brought up my misgivings, a few of the researchers I spoke with said they saw all this research on fathers as evidence of things moving forward.
(Interestingly, the mother’s family is one of the most common perpetrators of this effort.
Platek told me research on families in hospital nurseries showed that the mother’s family members were the most likely to remark on how much the baby looked like the father.) It also felt regressive—that my husband would need our child to resemble him for him to get involved in parenting.
“You know, there’s been a lot of research in the past on the role of mothers,” Polacheck told me.
There are countless studies about the role of mothers and how children benefit or suffer from the mother’s time investment and actions.
Indeed, one interesting result of this research is the finding that a father’s perception of whether a child resembles him can change based on the amount of time he spends with the child.
But then I started noticing that all my friends’ kids looked like their fathers.
And both my mother and mother-in-law thought their children looked only like their fathers.
“Independent of whether the baby actually looks like Dad is the perception that the baby shares resemblance with Dad,” Platek told me.
Platek said I should be happy that seemingly everyone I know thinks my child looks like my husband.