Daddy issues

Daddy issues

Monday, November 30, 2020

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A 2017 study, Impact of fathers on parental monitoring of daughters and their affiliation with sexually promiscuous peers: A genetically and environmentally controlled sibling study by researchers DelPriore et al, published in the journal Developmental Psychology , found that higher quality fathering may decrease daughters' engagement in risky sexual behaviours.

It solidified previous research that showed that children who grow up with present, engaged fathers are more likely to have better social, emotional and better life outcomes than children who do not. In fact, some researchers go as far as to suggest that children who grow up without present fathers are more likely to engage in risky behaviours, less likely to have high-paying jobs, and less likely to have healthy, stable relationships.

How did the relationship you had with your dad as a child affect your present relationships? Have the researchers' predictions held true for you?

Shanoy, 33, business owner:

I didn't grow up with my father — I was the outside child, so I basically watched him have a whole other family, and only contribute to me financially. He came to my high school graduation, and that was the only time he really participated in anything of interest to me. Even today we don't really have much of a relationship — it's awkward. I'd say that I try to overcompensate for it, and I deliberately chose a mate, not for love, but his interest in family life, because I want my children to have what I didn't. So my husband is super involved, because I didn't just want a provider, or someone who would make them feel the way I used to as a child.

Wayne, 37, architect:

My father's street name was 'Pussman', and it wasn't because he liked cats. He drove a bus from Mandeville to May Pen, and everywhere he went, he left a woman with a baby. My mother was the one he came home to at night, so technically he was present in my life, but we never had that wholesome father/son relationship. Instead, at 16 he introduced me to sex with an older woman at a guest house, and for years after that I was like him. But I'm different now. That life was never going to be for me, and after my first child was born I manned up, settled down, and have never cheated on my wife.

Lennox, 29, photographer:

I didn't have a father figure so I had to figure out manhood on my own. My father was married, and it was basically a one-night thing with my mother, and when my mother told me it was difficult for me to digest. He was out of my life for all my childhood, then showed up at 16, insisting that I call him daddy. Bright! He got upset when I wouldn't, and changed his number. Then when I was 18 a strange number called me, and it was him again. I pledged that the first woman who got pregnant for me I would respect and marry her, and that's what I did. I would never disrespect my wife, abuse her, or abandon my children. My father and I talk now, and I visit him when he's in Jamaica, but I will never forget the kind of man he was. But I will say that being forced to grow up that way made me a better man.

Shereen, 30, sales clerk:

I had a great relationship with my dad. When I remember him it's all good memories. My dad did everything for me, and he was my guide for how a woman should be treated. Every man I meet is judged off that template.

Andrea, 20, student:

Sometimes I wonder, what if I choose a man like him? My father and mother were at each other's throats my whole life — my father saw me as a liability, someone he paid child support for, and not a human being capable of being loved. I feel so empty sometimes, that I don't even feel like I'm capable of having a healthy relationship with a man. I just fear the whole relationship thing because men are horrible, and if I went through what my mother did with me, and with a father like mine, I'd probably end up in jail.

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