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Rev Saude Publica. 2009 Feb;43(1):85-90.

Paternity: social responsibility of man's role as provider.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Grupo de Pesquisa Políticas Públicas de Atenção à Mulher e Gênero, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, João Pessoa, PB, Brasil.



To analyze meanings attributed to paternity by men who are fathers.


Study with a qualitative approach and gender-theory focus, performed in the city of João Pessoa, Northeastern Brazil, in 2003. A total of ten men, whose children had been cared for in the pediatric outpatient clinic of a university hospital, participated in the study. Information analyzed was obtained with semi-structured interviews. Critical discourse analysis technique was employed to analyze participants' speech. DISCOURSE ANALYSIS: Participants in the study viewed paternity as a new social role, more closely associated with material support for the family than the dimension of affective involvement with the child. However, participants experienced a transition process where the traditional father lived with those whose affective dimension of paternity was found to be the main concern of being a father.


The meaning and concrete exercise of paternity were found in an area of responsibilities that predominantly reproduces the traditional father, but also recreates the father's role, including the affective dimension.

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