Raising Girls Without A Father

Raising Girls Without A Father
Nowadays, it very typical to grow up without a father. “Despite their importance in the home, researchers have described the decline of fatherhood as one of the most basic, unexpected, and extraordinary trends of our time. In 1960, only 11% of children in the U.S. lived apart from their fathers. By 2010, that share had risen to 27%. Additionally, fathers’ living arrangements are strongly correlated with race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status as measured by educational attainment,” writes Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya. (http://www.insightnews.com/health/8148-growing-up-without-a-father-the-impact-on-girls-and-women)
In Insight News, Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya writes an article called “Growing Up Without a Father: The Impact on Girls and Women,” where she explains the negative effects of growing up without a father figure. She writes, “According to a new Pew Research survey (2010), seven-in-ten respondents (69%) tend to agree that a child needs a father in the home to grow up happily. Only 27% disagree with this statement, and 4% are not sure. Survey respondents were also asked how important it is to have a mother in the home. Their agreement that a child needs a mother in the home was only slightly higher—74%.” As the statistics show, most people think that children need to have a father figure in their lives. Girls build their view of men, and their expectations of them, through their fathers.

Garrett-Akinsanya refers to a study that followed girls age preschool ages to 18 years of age, “The study confirmed that teenage girls raised without fathers are more likely to suffer from depression, drop out of school, and have other behavioral problems.” Aside from behavioral problems, girls without a father figure struggle biologically and are faced with early puberty, “Girls who had close, positive relationships with their parents during the first five years of life tended to experience relatively late puberty, compared to girls who had more distant relationships with their parents. More specifically, the researchers found that the quality of fathers' involvement with daughters was the most important feature of the early family environment in relation to the timing of the daughters' puberty so that girls growing up in father-present conditions reach puberty later than girls growing up without a father present”

So, not only are they prone to more depression, but girls without father figures in their lives are more likely to reach puberty earlier than those who have a father figure in their lives.

However, they also are less likely to pick up on handy work skills. On a list of what fathers should teach their daughters, The Good Men Project writes, “Checklist of things to teach her: routine car maintenance, how to stop a toilet from overflowing, how to set a mousetrap, how to use the fuse box, how to turn off the water main. (Marcus’s note to self -- learn to maintain car, fix a toilet, use the fuse box, and find the water main.) There’s nothing wrong with needing help to get things done, but self-reliance and confidence are handy if you need to change a tire, fix a toilet, or even squish a bug without needing a rescuer to do it for you.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/14/rules-for-dads_n_1597115.html)