I was distressed to read your report which uncritically reported findings from a small research project ("Sexism stops fathers from seeing children", The Herald, November 20).

This was a small study of men who have contact issues with their children, most of whom have been accused of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse of their children. Asking them if services are sexist is akin to exploring how Catholic is the Pope. These men probably have lost contact because their partners and children were abused and do not want to see them. Of course social workers (often also women) will try to protect women and children in these cases, and that will be annoying to these men. We know from research we need to listen more carefully to the victims of abuse.

Sarah Morton,

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Co-Director, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships; Communication and Knowledge Exchange Specialist, Scottish School of Public Health Research,

23 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh.