Fathers Matter: More Evidence on their ImportanceMary Theroux • Tuesday June 28, 2016 9:55 AM PDT •
Girls who grew up without a biological father are twice as likely to get their period before age 12
This is important because, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, “the health consequences of earlier onset of puberty are myriad:” ranging from a higher risk of depression in early adolescence to risk-taking behaviors such as alcohol use, smoking, drug use, and early sexual activity.
Longer term, as adults they’re at a higher risk for obesity, Type 2 diabetes and breast cancer.
While research points to other contributing factors, including increasing rates of childhood obesity and mothers who are overweight during pregnancy, Dr. Louise Greenspan, co-author of an American Journal of Epidemiology study, says toxic stress, including growing up without a father, is an important factor in girls’ starting puberty early.
While other studies have concentrated on the negative effects of growing up without a father on boys, not surprisingly, girls need a father too. It’s tragic that the trend against two-parent homes is only growing larger.
Politicians habitually deny reality: that’s what gets them elected. But we don’t have to buy what they’re selling, and we need to universally reject policies that undermine the family. We are hurting children—our only future.