Are daughters sexually attracted to their fathers?

The importance of the father in education


Dobler, A. (2014). Fatherlessness: On the Trail of Oedipus in Psychology and Art.
Die Welt compact from December 8, 2014.

Interview on “Fathers often don't even know how important they are for their children” with Christa Schirl-Russegger in the OÖN on June 12, 2010
Eduard Waidhofer on the subject of "The importance of the father relationship for sons and daughters".
50 YEARS / SPEAKERS / waidhofer.html (10-04-02)

Without author (no year). The importance of the father-daughter relationship in a partnership
papatoechter / (11-12-21)

See also
History of Raising Children - Education and Culture
Changing values ​​in child-rearing - recent developments in child-rearing
Effects of class differences on upbringing - possible causes of these differences
Parenting styles - definition and delimitation of terms
Limits of Education



Many studies show that children need mother and father for healthy development, whereas children growing up without a father often have limitations in their identity and self-worth development, in their ability to bond and relate and in their productivity. One of the basic biological tasks of being a father is protecting and recognizing children, because the older children get, the more they seek recognition from their father. Children who feel the pride of their fathers radiate more self-confidence and therefore spare themselves some juvenile carelessness. Above all, girls who have a good father bond are much more careful with relationships as adolescents and do not blindly seek confirmation from young men, since the father should be the first man in their life who makes them feel important by giving them his attention. Father-daughter relationships are usually less aggressive than father-son relationships, because fathers place fewer demands on their daughters and are more patient with them. With their daughter they often satisfy their own narcissistic needs, because daughters hold on to the idealization of their father for a long time, they seek his closeness and find it more difficult to separate from him than sons. It is not uncommon for daughters to split their parents into a "good father" and a "bad mother". Fathers enjoy these idealizations and therefore run the risk of binding their daughters to themselves through excessive emotional devotion. However, father and daughter are faced with the developmental task of coping with the detachment so that the daughter can come to a suitable level of autonomy, which is made easier if the daughter can identify with the mother in this phase. Julia Onken ("Father Men") boldly describes three types of daughters in this context: the favored daughter, the achievement daughter and the defiant daughter. All three have the same goal, which is to achieve the Father's attention and love.

There is often mutual identification between father and son, i.e. the father is proud of his son, the son is proud of his father. In the second to third year of life, boys begin to break away from the symbiotic phase with their mother and gradually identify with their father in order to slowly develop an ego identity. Although the son identifies with the father, he also develops his own will and increasingly distances himself from the father. Fathers with narcissistic insults in particular cling to their sons, and some fathers are unable to set boundaries for their sons and to endure conflictual disputes, which often has a negative effect on the son's later development. Especially during puberty, fathers are challenged to set boundaries for their sons, to lay down rules and to show a consistent attitude. In the case of sons with very successful fathers, however, there can also be an over-identification with the fathers, which saves the sons the perception of their own inferiority.

In fatherless families, there are often no models for gender roles, i.e. boys are unsure how to behave as boys and they also have difficulties dealing with girls. The mother often compensates for the absence of the father by pampering the son, and on the other hand, the son should compensate the mother for her deprivation caused by the absent father. In order to get out of the dependency on the mother, the son needs his father, because if the son has a "weak" father, it is very difficult for him to break away from the mother. In early and middle childhood, boys almost exclusively meet women (mother, childminder, kindergarten teacher, teacher, kindergarten teacher) and are looking for lively male role models, but often have to orientate themselves to father substitute figures, imaginary images or male figures from the media due to the lack of a father . As a rule, if the boy wants to become a man, he aggressively differentiates himself from his mother and devalues ​​the feminine, because after all he does not want to become the mother like that. Boys can only find out what a man is if he has experienced the father as a father or has found a father figure with whom he can identify, because only through tangible and authentically experienced masculinity in the social environment can the boy find himself and to find one's gender.

Already in the classical literature is the search for one's own roots, which is linked on a meta-level with finding the self, is a frequent topic. The principle of searching for a father is derived from this motif, including the Oedipus myth is to be found in which the father search for Father myth is stylized. The search for the father is always linked to one's own search for identity, which is an expression of the very own desire for originality. The key is often to be found in childhood, because people always develop a self-esteem regulation system for which they need primary caregivers, such as the mother, the father or both. The Self-esteem system a person is essentially fed by identification processes, i. That is, he / she achieves his / her self-worth by identifying with the good mother or the strong father, for example. If the father is lost to a child through death or divorce, from a developmental psychological perspective, male identification processes can be insufficient, and the self-esteem regulation system can remain unfinished into adulthood, and with it one's own identity. This deficit is then sometimes associated with a mostly unconscious fear and a strong urge to look for something. Such a search can lead to an ambivalent attitude if the person concerned does not find what he / she was hoping for. Often such a search also does not have the hoped-for result, whereby the person concerned not only feels his / her own incompletion, but also that the picture that has been built up so far does not yet correspond to reality, and so he / she would like to correct it more or less unconsciously. In these cases, a father-son relationship is to be understood as a relationship that creates identification, with a son suffering from the absence of his father, because fatherlessness usually has a deeper effect on a son than on a daughter, as a result of the inadequate education of a supervisor -I ... it. In the definition of gender roles and in socialization, the father represents an indispensable reference person for the development of more mature psychological processes. If this father search remains unfinished, a long father search is initiated (Dobler, 2014).

Fathers It is generally more difficult to break away from their children during puberty than mothers, because fathers usually see this process of detachment more negatively and react more worried, which is also due to the impending shift in roles within the family system. They perceive the separation as a loss, which is due to the fact that many fathers only deal with the separation of their children very late and then only superficially. Because of the traditional distribution of tasks, fathers have in many cases stayed out of upbringing for a long time and have put themselves off with upbringing for an imaginary future, so that at the moment when they have time, it is much too late, because the adolescents are in the middle of being replaced and experience the affection only as a control or holding on. Sometimes fathers try their hand at one Last minute educationwhich often ends in mutual accusations and power struggles.

The relationship with the father enables the child to take important steps away from the mother, because when there is a conflict with the mother, the child feels that the father is a second person who gives security. If there is only one caregiver, there is usually one Tie-in to the existing parent, both positively and negatively, whereby these children often cannot bear to share attention and always want to establish exclusivity in relationships, which can also affect later partnerships. Although children can also benefit from other male caregivers such as a patchwork father or grandfather who serve as a role model, they can only partially replace the biological parent. Studies in blended families show that children are worst off when they are supposed to forego the established relationship with their father in favor of a new relationship, which is why contact with the biological father should also be maintained in blended families. This means that in the event of a divorce, parents' willingness to stay connected and include the other in parental activities is essential from a child's perspective. The rule of thumb is that the younger a child is, the more frequent contact should take place, because small children experience the actual affection of the parent as love. You have the feeling: Those who take care of me love me - those who are not there do not love me. We recommend fathers who do not live with their young children that they make contact with them as often as possible, although frequent, short contact is more effective than long contact at a greater distance.


Girls learn the basic dialogue with the male gender through their father, since the early encounter with their own father opens up the male world for the first time. When the father turns to his daughter with love, credibly respects and recognizes her as a whole, a girl grows self-confidence and self-confidence, which are of great importance for her later life. However, if he does not care much about her due to work stress, long absence or lack of interest, then, according to Onken (2006), there are three ways to attract the father's attention:

The Favored daughter ("I like, therefore I am!") Tries to attract attention through visual courtesy and to acquire affection through particularly conspicuous behavior. As she gets older, the future seductive woman lives in fear that the older she gets, the less she will be. Fallen daughters develop a great ability to adjust to their husband and to resonate with him, because she knows what men want. Therefore, their life energy is often placed on the outside, developing a sometimes pathological body feeling. Her interest is focused on clothing, style and colors, the latest fashion, diets, wellness and whatever else there is that makes women more beautiful and attractive and thus more successfully attracts the eyes of men. The beauty and wellness industry thrives on exactly this need of the favored daughter. In terms of sexuality, she is more concerned with being desired than with sexual pleasure, which is often only faked in order to bind the partner to herself. Her own talents and abilities remain hidden from her because they do not have the courage to exhaust their potential. They often orientate themselves towards others and do not learn to live independently and subordinate themselves to the ideas of their partner. Failure to do so creates uncertainty in her.

The Performance daughter ("I am productive and successful, therefore I am!") Selects areas in which she thinks she can interest and delight her father. Their interest is directed towards performing well, both in school, in sports and in the arts, depending on the interests of the father. For example, these daughters do not choose their profession according to their interests but choose the one that is similar to that of their father or that was even chosen by him. Often these women switch to another profession later after realizing the mistake of their choice. This woman later denies the feminine side and trusts the ratio as the command center for all human concerns. She judges the mother from the father's point of view, and when the latter devalues ​​the mother in her female role, she makes it the same as him. In the course of their lives they allow each other few feelings and weaknesses, because the partner, who forms the counterbalance, is responsible for this. Often these women are in a relationship with uninspired men, but the initial fall in love with the weak man overturns over time and she begins to devalue and despise him. As a rule, this is what ruin relationships.

The Defiance daughter ("I feel resistance, so I am!") Leans against everything and offers resistance to the father in order to gain his recognition. Such girls think logically above all, so they are left-hemispherical and analytical. The defiant daughter is the little girl or adolescent who always finds contradictions and basically does not do what the father thinks or thinks good. She provokes him in order to get his attention. She may not have as physical advantages as the favored daughter, but she is very eloquent. Often the father is stuffy and moral, so that she draws attention to herself through her rebellion. She mostly foregoes the fact that she could appear attractive and anyone who turns away from her is a success for her. The defiant daughter carries this behavior into later relationships and partnerships: the strategy of first giving a counter. In longer partnerships, she becomes more and more aggressive over time, because relationships become battlegrounds for her.

According to Onken, it is therefore necessary for these women, in order to develop in love relationships, to deal with their personal father relationship and to recognize that possible deficits can only be changed through subsequent conscious maturation.

There is also a fourth variant (without an author, no date): the Defense daughter. She is a variant of the defiant daughter and at first glance not a typical father-daughter, because she is more oriented towards the mother, as she was more dominant and stronger than the father. Girls become defensive daughters when the father is weak, introverted, withdrawn and has little social responsibility. The defense arises from the disappointed hope of finding support, help, stability and a role model in him. It is also the mother's disappointed hope, which has turned into a devaluation of the man and is subsequently taken over by the child. The defensive daughter looks at the man through the dominant mother's glasses, with a disapproving look. Defensive daughters degrade the man in his manhood, often have a higher professional or social position than men. Initially subtle and quiet or, depending on the disposition, loud and overtly, she lets the man feel her secret contempt, devalues ​​him and robs him of his masculine position. In their eyes men in general or just their own partner are failures, show-offs, whippers, washcloths, everything that attacks them in their masculinity. Defensive daughters therefore degrade the man in his manhood. They often have a higher professional or social position than the man, but they are mostly found in professional or social positions, often caring positions that involve power and dominance, such as caring professions, housewives and mothers. The defensive daughter ensures that the man submits to her ideas, just like her children. She has a strong position, at least in the emotional context, through which she tries to obviously secure the attention and affection of the man and to control him.

Influence of father on career aspirations of girls

Croft et al. (2014) examined 326 children between the ages of seven and 13 years like the Attitudes of parents to equal rights for men and women reflected in the life goals of their children. They also wanted to find out whether it played a role in the children's career aspirations, regardless of how the parents actually divided up the housework.Although the mother's point of view influenced the attitudes and career aspirations of all children, regardless of whether they were son or daughter, the father's attitude almost exclusively affected the daughters, not the sons. Otherwise, the greatest influence on a daughter's career aspirations was neither the mother nor the father's attitude, but the part that the father took on in the daily housework, because daughters whose fathers washed, cleaned and cooked just as much as the mothers, tended to aim for a job that is not considered typical for girls, such as a police officer, tax advisor or scientist. The career aspirations were much more clearly gender stereotyped if the fathers were more in line with the classic male image, because then they wanted to become nurses, teachers or housewives. Obviously, when it comes to equality, views and theoretical resolutions do little to bring values ​​for life closer to their own child, because fathers who, for whatever reason, avoid doing housework, convey to their daughters that this domain is the one Mother and thus also hers in the future.

Mother's son or father's daughter

we call the people whose relationship with the parent of the opposite sex was permanently too close and therefore the gender-specific identification is insufficient due to a lack of or unsuitable role models.

The father is often absent with mother's sonsThis can be the case after a separation, but also due to work stress or fundamentally little interest in one's own son and a lack of emotional connection to him. This behavior of the father also promotes a particularly deep relationship with the mother, because for her the son becomes a kind of partner substitute. She initiates him into many things, makes him an ally, whereby rituals can result from such a bond that the son does not take off so easily even in adulthood, such as the daily phone call to the mother, her unannounced visits or that of course she goes with him goes on vacation. As adults, mother sons have a need for excess attention and the feedback from the mother, d. In other words, within such a relationship, partnership does not really take place on an equal footing. When mothersons enter into a relationship, they subconsciously look for you Replacement for your own motherwhat makes a relationship explosive. Sometimes the partner gradually feels like a mother for her husband, but problems are inevitable because of such a distribution of roles, because when he comes home in the evening, he quietly expects that she will take care of him and look after him, regardless of whether how the partner's day was. They see their own interests in the foreground and are usually not good at handling criticism because they quickly feel attacked and degraded.

In the context of couple counseling and couples therapy, one sometimes encounters couples that consist of mother's sons and father's daughters, i.e. a very contradicting constellation that is based on a very similar pattern of development and relationship. The adolescent man could not break out of the spell of the mother and that could not break out of the spell of the father. The mother's son was usually the mother's comforter, hope, confidante or substitute husband, while the daughter was usually so close to the father that he rather complained of his suffering to the daughter than to the wife and sometimes attracted by the innocent female charms the daughter to become a secret ally and substitute wife made so that in some families the vertical relationships outweigh the horizontal ones.

This turns the mother's son into a hero who takes one woman after the other, but always in search of the mother, whereby he has to be better than the father and exaggerates his masculinity. Many of the mother's sons know exactly how they don't want to be: in no way like their father, who wasn't actually there, only worked and then tired and exhausted just wanted his rest in the evening. And many of the father's daughters know exactly how they don't want to be: not like the mother who was only at home, raised the children and had nothing else to say.

As a reaction to such a system, many adolescents orientate themselves too strongly on the model of the opposite-sex parent, so that the man too strongly develops the feminine principle and the woman too strongly the masculine principle.

At the beginning of such a relationship, mother sons and father daughters often magically attract each other, because the man appreciates the assertiveness of the woman and believes that with this woman at his side, he will get the necessary support to be able to become a whole man. The woman, on the other hand, is fascinated by the mother's son's charming, empathetic manner and now believes that she has finally found space with this man for her own needs and needs and that she can satisfy the longing for security. It is like a secret promise to redeem one another and to let oneself become women and men. be able to deal with criticism because they quickly feel attacked and degraded.

In the Everyday reality however, these promises are usually not fulfilled. The woman increasingly loses respect for her husband and often develops a more or less hidden anger at him, sexuality is denied, all pleasure is absent or is fulfilled in external relationships. These women often find it very difficult to identify as mothers, are usually very performance-oriented and fully realize their strengths in professional life. The man is disappointed to find that the initially supportive and strong woman also has needs of her own and experiences this as being overwhelmed, because it reminds him of the mother's irritating, insatiable need. He wants to free himself from this apparent dependency and withdraws emotionally. There is a peculiar mutual relationship of competition: who gives more, who gets more? The balance in the couple relationship between give and take, autonomy and bond and between assertion and adaptation has gotten out of balance.


Breitenberger, M. (2011). Mother sons - father daughters.
WWW: (14.07-21)

Croft, A., Schmader, T., Block, K. & Baron, A. (2014). The Second Shift Reflected in the Second Generation: Do Parents ’Gender Roles at Home Predict Children’s Aspirations? Psychological Science. (19-05-07)

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