A young girl grows up without her father. That young girl grows into a teenage girl who begins to date. She dates boys who aren’t right for her. She matures into a grown woman, and she still can’t seem to get her relationships right. She has lingering trust issues and abandonment issues.
She has “daddy issues.”
A woman who doesn’t have her father around while she’s growing up can suffer from a range of troubles. She may have a low self esteem or lack of self worth. As she gets older, she may have a lack of understanding as to how men ought to treat women. She may remain complacent in toxic relationships. She may even date men who emulate characteristics of her father—distant, unavailable, or altogether absent.
According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, 24 million American children grow up without their biological fathers. Fathers play a major role in their children’s emotional development, and growing up without a dad can increase a child’s chances of poverty, incarceration, behavioral problems, teen pregnancy, promiscuity, drug use, and cognitive disabilities according to NFI.
Of course, not every woman who isn’t raised by her father will have “daddy issues,” but it’s a fact that being raised with both parents has a multitude of benefits.
The daddy issues story is so widespread (especially in the Black Community) that there are thousands of articles, blogs, books, and journals written on the importance of fathers being present in their daughter’s lives. There was even a show called “Daddyless Daughters” as part of “Oprah’s Lifeclass” on OWN with Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant.
Some articles are written to warn men against dating a woman with daddy issues. Take article “Her Daddy Issues: Are Her Daddy Issues To Blame?” written on Askmen.com.
“These days, people say a woman has daddy issues when she appears to be seeking attention from men in order to compensate for the attention she may not have received from her father. When we talk about her daddy issues, we’re generally talking about things like aggressive flirtation, promiscuity, a tendency toward exhibitionism, and certain emotional hang-ups,” writes Andrew Chomik.
Madame Noire has even featured this idea in article, “Papa Pains: Signs You May Have ‘Daddy Issues.’”
The article cites dating older men, being extremely jealous, demanding constant reassurance, being sexually aggressive, and always needing to be in a relationship as signs of having daddy issues.
Do you think the absence of a father damages a woman in any way? I’ve grappled with the idea of having daddy issues myself, so I’m inclined to say yes. What do you think?