Why are girls with fathers less likely to be promiscuous?


There are many studies that support the fact that girls without fathers are more likely to be promiscuous. In fact a study published in the New York Times found that girls whose fathers disappeared before the age of 6 were 5 times more likely to end up pregnant as a teenager. The question is what do fathers do that make girls less promiscuous?


Well, it all starts out with the way fathers play with their daughters when they are babies. When fathers play with their daughters (and sons for that matter) they tend to promote independence and orientation to the outside world. The sense of independence that a father inspires in a child helps promote confidence, security, and a higher self-esteem in an adolescent daughter. This allows them to make smarter decisions and have better relations with their peers. Confidence, self-esteem, and sound judgment all lead teenage girls to be less promiscuous (to see this article click here ).


Further, girls who have little contact with their father during adolescence are more likely to have difficulty forming long lasting relationships with men. Females with fathers have a better sense of acceptance of themselves knowing that there is at least one man that loves them. Having a father makes a female less desperate for male attention. However, this differs slightly for girls who have lost their father because of death; these girls are more likely to shy away from men and are unlikely to seek out any male attention. On the other side girls who have lost their fathers due to divorce or abandonment are more likely to have physical contact with men, crave male attention, and be more critical of the opposite sex because they are constantly seeking refuge from their missing father. In general, girls who have lost their fathers due to abandonment or divorce are much more likely to be sexually promiscuous than girls who have lost their father due to death. However overall, it still holds true that girls without fathers are more likely to be sexually promiscuous, because girls lose their fathers to divorce or abandonment much more frequently than girls lose their fathers to death (checkout this article here).


Clearly, the reason girls without fathers are more likely to be sexually promiscuous than girls with fathers is because they often have low self-esteem, lack confidence, lack of independence,  lack the ability to form long lasting relationships with men, and crave the male attention that they have lost. So even today when we see the supermom, who thinks that she can be both parents, we now know that it is still better for girls to have an active father in their life than supermom. In today's society where divorce is becoming more common I think we often forget the impact that a father can have on a daughter's life. Active father's breed strong, independent, and confident young women, which can impact the kind of relationships their daughters have later in life.


Good dad's seem to play a much bigger role than most people realize. The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre recently did a study on the impacts of an absent father to brain development and behavior. They found that children, regardless of sex, who do not have a father during critical growth periods tend to have impaired social and cognitive functioning.
This study used mice but it's still important because these mice form monogamous relationships and raise families in the same way that humans do.
They did not that this effect was stronger in most of the female offspring than it was in her brothers.
The lead researchers noted that the behavioral effects they noted in the mice were the same as what was noted in many similar studies done in children.

What's special about this study is that they could look at the brains of the mice. In the brains of mice who had an absent father, the prefrontal cortex had defects. This area of the brain plays an important role in helping to control social and cognitive activity


Wow this is really interesting! I've always wondered exactly why it is that girls without fathers are more promiscuous (I've noticed it in a few of my friends) and this explains it!
I also wondered what the effects on daughters would be if they had an absentee (physically/emotionally) mother and those were even more distressing. (read more here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/tech-support/201304/daughters-unloving-mothers-7-common-wounds)
It's a constant reminder of what a huge role parents play in a child's life and how important childhood development is to an adult's life - and what's astonishing is that people still continue to take decisions like having a baby lightly!

Interesting observation. I think the comparison about the promiscuity differences between girls who lost their fathers because of divorce and abandonment vs. girls who lost their fathers because of death supports the idea that the promiscuity stems from their lack of confidence, but what about girls who have a divorced dad that is still very involved in their lives? Does not having a mother around affect girls in the same way? Here is a description of one of the observational studies done that found evidence about this element of the dad/daughter relationship.

I loved reading this article because this is something I have never given much thought to, but now that you pointed it out I can definitely see it with certain people in my life. I was curious to see the similarities and differences in girls who grew up without a mother figure in my life, and the results were a little different. According to this site here, http://wrylilt.hubpages.com/hub/Growing-up-without-a-Mother, girls mainly feel unwanted and jealous of other girls. I think it is interesting that the lack of a parental figure can result in such different emotions!

I also have never given this idea much thought before but now it makes sense to me why some of my friends are the way they are. Parents are the bigest factor in kids growing up and you become who your parents raise you to be. That would be a bit difficult with a father being absent in your life.

This blog post did a great job of breaking down why exactly girls without healthy or even existent relationships with their fathers tend to be more promiscuous because I’ve honestly never actually known why, but now I understand. Researchers did an intriguing study using writing exercises and word stem activities to gauge the levels of sexual concepts between girls with and girls without fatherly support. It’s actually pretty cool to see what the girls’ responses were: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2340431/Do-absent-dads-make-promiscuous-daughters-Study-finds-lack-father-figure-triggers-risky-sexual-behavior-young-girls.html

I like the question you pose here as it is very interesting and gives an insight into father/daughter relationships. I think one of the main reasons why daughters are are closer to their dads are less promiscuous is because the dads are in the daughters lives to teach them about different life facts and make sure they stay on the right path. As a male, he should know something about what can happen if a girl goes down the wrong path. The mothers teach their daughters some things, while the dads teach them the other things. Bottom line is having both parents in the daughters lives has a large impact on who they will become in this world.

The points that you make regarding emotional or psychological needs with an absent father (such as with self-esteem, need for attention, etc...) are interesting points but the conversation shouldn't end there. I think that the socio-economic background of the women, which in some cases is directly related to the presence/absence of a father, may also contribute to a lack of resources, education, and things that would otherwise affect teenage pregnancy. Of course there are many factors that lead to an inclination towards promiscuity, but income, education, and cultural background should be essential to any understanding of sexual development. The following is a great exploration on this same issue.


I really liked this article because it is a common stereotype in our society whether it's through music or just media in general. Girls without fathers are often said to end up as teen moms or as strippers. This obviously is not always the case. However, I decided to take the opposite stand. Perhaps depending on why the father is missing from his daughter's life, his absence could have a positive effect on her life. Many females feel then a higher connection with their mothers. They tend to avoid men and dating and falling in love easily because they do not want to be hurt like their mothers. They also learn to be independent for themselves. Contrary to popular belief, they stay in school and graduate so that they may be able to provide for themselves and their families whenever they are willing to settle down. They also learn to love themselves because they have seen that no one is reliable in the world and that the only person someone can count on is themselves. This is just to look at the situation from a different standpoint. A survey or study may perhaps help to prove these points farther.

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