Rumor has it that Father’s Day is the biggest day of the year for collect calls — presumably children calling their fathers. Whether that is literally true or not, this rumor seems to capture something inescapably stereotypical about fatherhood.

A recent poll by Rasmussen Reports found that,

The majority (71%) of American Adults continue to believe that being a father is one of the most important roles a man can fill in today’s world, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Twelve percent (12%) disagree, and 17% are not sure.

An interesting related fact:

Sixty-four percent (64%) think that being a mother is the most important role for a woman to fill in today’s world.

It’s tempting to conclude from this that the options open to women in today’s world include more roles that trump parenthood than the options open to men.

Of course, plenty of famous people were never fathers. Jesus and George Washington come to mind.

More from Rasmussen:

…just 16% view Father’s Day as one of the nation’s most important holidays. Nineteen percent (19%) say it is one of the least important holidays, while 60% rate it somewhere in between the two.

By comparison, 34% last month said Mother’s Day is one of the nation’s most important holidays.

Thus, even though we see a substantial majority viewing Fatherhood as a man’s most important role, people seem evenly divided over whether the day set aside to honor it is the most important or least important holiday.

Other interesting Father’s Day facts from Rasmussen:

  1. 68% plan to give their father a gift.
  2. 64% say they will visit their dad. 26% will call instead.
  3. Men are much more likely to visit their fathers than women.
  4. Women are twice as likely as men to call their fathers on Sunday.
  5. Unmarried adults intend to visit their fathers more than those who are married.
  6. Those with children in the home are more likely to call their dads than those who don’t have children living with them.
  7. 80% believe it’s very important for children to grow up in a home with both their parents.
  8. 72% agree that children who grow up in a home with both parents have an advantage over children whose parents are divorced.

I am, as most people here know, a father to 4 girls (angelic beauties all) and 1 little boy (a ruggedly handsome and charming lad). Being their father is the most important thing I do, and no matter what they do, I’ll have a happy Father’s Day, because being their father is reward enough.

Happy Father’s Day!