Colin Robinson, director of the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation, warned there was a long way to go.“I don’t want to be alarmist, but I expect that this will take time for people to accept, and we hope the violence is minimal,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Trinidad and Tobago.The second phase of each study prompted the women to rate the sexual and romantic interest of men based on the following: described behaviour of a hypothetical dating partner (from holding hands to flirting), viewing male facial portraits, or interacting with a potential partner via a video screen.In each study, the researchers found evidence that women who were reminded of painful and disappointing experiences with their fathers subsequently perceived greater mating intent among the men.
They were able to show that being reminded of painful and disappointing experiences with one’s father caused daughters to increase their perceptions of men’s sexual interest, “a shift that is linked with greater engagement in sexual behaviour,” Del Priore said.
Significantly, reminding a woman of a time her father was absent for an event and actually growing up with a disengaged father produced similar results.
“The experiments test the effect of making salient feelings of pain, loss and disappointment related to the father on a daughter’s sexual perceptions,” Del Priore said, “and using this approach allowed us to capture psychological shifts that could help shape women’s mating behaviour.
The new research was co-authored by University of Utah psychology professor Bruce J. Hill and graduate student Randi Proffitt Leyva of the Department of Psychology at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.
Del Priore noted that research has long shown relationships between a dad’s behaviour and a daughter’s sexual development, from when she becomes sexually mature to when she first engages in sexual activity.