“I am my father’s daughter and I am not afraid of anything.”
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Mark 5:34 NRSV
How does fatherlessness affect boys differently than girls?
Research show that girls are twice as likely to suffer from obesity without a father present, compared to boys. They are also four times more likely to get pregnant as teenagers. Boys are more likely to act out, but when a young girl is affected, people do not usually notice. They usually implode internally, and it affects their mental and emotional health.
When the father is absent, the rate of early sexual activity or experience increases for girls. The earlier a father becomes absent in a girl’s development, the more likely she is to engage in sexual activity and become pregnant as a teen.
Fathers generally have as much or more influence than mothers on many aspects of their daughters’ lives. For example, the father has the greater impact on the daughter’s ability to trust, enjoy and relate well to the males in her life …well-fathered daughters are usually more self-confident, more self-reliant, and more successful in school and in their careers than poorly fathered daughters …Daughters with good relationships with their father are also less likely to develop eating disorders.”
Fathers have an imperative role in a girl’s development. Research is clear that the lack of a father can increase the likelihood of early sexual activity, higher rates in teen pregnancy, high rates of child abuse, higher rates of abortion, and poverty.
Sexual Abuse Among Fatherless Daughters
A girl’s sexual vulnerability skyrockets after her parents’ divorce, without any indication of how and when this risk goes down.
It’s a sad truth that it is because the protector of the daughter is gone. Either because of uncontrollable circumstances or because he or his wife chose for him to leave, the one who becomes most vulnerable is the daughter. Married couples, especially those who have daughters, need to truly consider the consequence of separating. A girl’s sexual vulnerability skyrockets after her parents’ divorce, without any indication of how and when this risk goes down.
Girls who were raised in fatherless households are significantly more likely to suffer from abuse in their formative years, and even as adults. The 2002 cycle of the National Survey showed that women aged 38-44, those who were born in intact two-parent households were least likely to be forced to have sexual intercourse. The absence of the biological father contributes to the increased risk of child maltreatment. The situation in which the child has the lowest risk of physical and sexual abuse is when the biological parents are married, and the family is intact. On the other hand, the risk of abuse increases 3.5 times if the child is living in a single parent household. If the parent is co-habituating with another adult, the risk is multiplied by 10.
Daughters who were raised without fathers are more likely to become abusers themselves. Many women who are involved in pornographic films have been sexually abused when they were young. According to David Mech, pornographic actor and producer, female actresses have been damaged by histories of sexual or emotional abuse. Being in this industry for a decade, he said he was yet to meet a “non-damaged” female who left her profession (e.g. attorney, doctor, or professor) to make adult videos.
Many women who are involved in pornographic films have been sexually abused when they were young.
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