FRIDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- The daughters of fathers
with good parenting skills are less likely to engage in risky
sexual behavior, a new study finds.
"When it comes to girls and their decisions about sex, it turns out a father's influence really does matter," lead author Bruce J. Ellis, of the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona, said in a university news release.
Ellis and colleagues looked at 59 pairs of sisters in families
in which the parents had divorced and the father moved out, and 42
pairs of sisters from intact families. For girls with divorced
parents, older sisters spent an average of 7 more years living with
their fathers than their younger sisters did, the study authors
"It turned out that it didn't matter that much how long each daughter lived with her father, but rather what he did when he was there," Ellis said in the news release.
While living for a longer amount of time with a father who
provided high-quality parenting reduced the likelihood of risky
sexual behavior by daughters, spending more time with a father with
poor parenting skills actually increased risky sexual behavior, the
Risky sexual behaviors include having sex without a condom,
having multiple sexual partners, having sex while intoxicated, and
becoming pregnant before age 19.
The study is scheduled for publication in an upcoming issue of
Development and Psychopathology.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has