Here’s a topic to explore over Father’s Day brunch today: How has your father influenced your decision to use or not use condoms? Or, do you think your father’s physical or emotional presence – or lack of presence – has impacted your sexual decisions?
SuzyKnew! has discussed the role of mothers in women’s love lives. Today for Father’s Day, we look at research that reveals a father’s engagement or disengagement in his daughter’s life may affect the risks she decides to take sexually.
Of course, those of us who come from certain families can relate to sitting around the dinner table and being told by Daddy to keep our “pocketbook” closed and our panties on. Our fathers can be real clear on some thangs – right? But, such orders don’t speak about the everyday physical presence a father may or may not have, and it doesn’t describe the level of emotional engagement between father and daughter.
There have been many studies that indicate an absent father may result in girls getting pregnant earlier or having a plethora of sexual partners. But, a recently published series of psychological studies by Danielle J. DelPriore and Sarah E. Hill of Texas Christian University show that fathers may have a lot more influence on our romantic and sexual lives than previously believed. In a Huffington Post blog, the results and implications of this study are further explained stating father absence promotes ‘short-term mating strategies’ in daughters which renders one parent families more likely in future generations. In other words, when times are tough, the evolutionary imperative of ‘survival means it makes more sense for women to reproduce sooner than later. Have that baby now! Who knows when the next man will come ’round.
Even other “privileges” such as a college degrees do not erase the effect of a father’s absence – or feeling of absence. Reaching for a condom or waiting to find Mr Right doesn’t necessarily make sense to a woman who hasn’t had a lot of male parental care. Feeling loved and cared for by a parental male can help women develop a strong romantic and positive sex life, not to mention a successful marriage.
Regardless of our situation, today we celebrate our fathers and the beauty and benefits they have brought to our lives. Understanding their presence or absence helps us understand a father’s value even more and to consciously carve out the romantic and sexual lives we want for ourselves and out daughters.
Happy Father’s Day!