A new campaign aims to challenge “pre-historic” attitudes to parenting after a survey found almost a quarter of people believe mothers love their offspring more than fathers.
The Fathers4Justice group said there is an increased risk of alcoholism, depression and suicide among fathers struggling to remain in the lives of their children after a separation.
A survey of more than 1,000 people by the campaign group found that 23% believe mothers love their children more while only 1% believe fathers love their children more.
Fathers4Justice said it is increasingly dealing with suicide reports and members gathered outside the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday to highlight the issue of “forgotten fathers”.
The members signed a large Valentine’s card to all children in Scotland.
Founder Matt O’Connor said: “The poll illustrates that people’s view of fathers is that dads don’t love their children as much as mums do – that to me is such a pre-historic view of parenting in 21st-century Scotland.
“As it’s Valentine’s Day, we’re trying to raise awareness about Scotland’s forgotten fathers and their love for their children.
“One of the issues we’ve been dealing with a lot recently as part of the work we do is suicides.
“Nine men die every week from suicide in Scotland and dads are three times more likely to die after separation than mothers.
“We want MSPs to deal with this as a public-health issue and look at the role of fathers and ask why Scotland doesn’t have parental equality.
“We believe the court system currently disproportionately favours the mother after a break-up and we want to see parental access considered on a more equal basis.”