By Ellen Bravo and Dan Mulhern

After being inundated with news reports of male public figures behaving badly, Father’s Day gives us a much-needed opportunity to turn attention to the many fathers and husbands who work tirelessly to support their families -- – and to call on elected officials to move policies that allow all men to be good fathers, sons and husbands without being punished for it at work.

First, we saw Mark Kelly take time off from his space training to be at the bedside of his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, as she recovered from the traumatic shooting.

Then, in a more celebratory moment, Colby Lewis and Ian Desmond told the baseball league and fans that while they loved the game, the birth of a child warranted missing one or two.

Happily but not surprisingly, the Texas Rangers are still in first place, and the Endeavor shuttle launch was a success.

The iconic photos of Mark Kelly camped out at Gabrielle Giffords’ bedside and holding her hand offer poignant evidence that men, as well as women, respond to a loved one’s crisis by wanting to be right by that person’s side.

Scientific evidence demonstrates that the presence of these men is not just sentimental or symbolic. Babies whose fathers have been more actively involved with their care score higher on a key infant development test and are more socially responsive. A year later, these babies show more resilience when faced with stressful situations.

Similarly, the involvement of loved ones is critical to the recovery of brain trauma patients. According to Dr. Stephan Mayer, director of the Neurological Intensive Care Unit at Columbia University Medical Center, “the common denominator is a present, loving and supportive family. I can’t say how important it is to have your loved ones around you helping you battle through.”

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