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Adolescence. 1980 Winter;15(60):847-60.

Father psychological absence and heterosexual behavior, personal adjustment and sex-typing in adolescent girls.


Until recently, research efforts have neglected the father as a significant influence on female personality development. This study proposed that the psychological absence of the father is related to a greater frequency and extent of heterosexual behaviors, increased anxiety as a personality trait and increased anxiety in a dating situation. A positive psychological presence of the father was hypothesized to correlate with androgyny in adolescent females. Measures of perceived parental behavior, extent and frequency of heterosexual behaviors, manifest anxiety and sex-role identification were obtained from 160 single female college students. Results indicated a significant relationship between father psychological absence and a greater extent and frequency of heterosexual behaviors. Father psychologically absent girls also exhibited greater manifest anxiety as a personality trait and in a dating situation. Significant correlations between androgyny and a positive father-daughter relationship were not found. Also reported were additional findings relating several variables to self-rating of attractiveness.

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