Dad's Presence Helps Prevent Teen Girls from Having Sex
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Dad's Presence Helps Prevent Teen Girls from Having Sex

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Dad’s Presence Helps Prevent Teen Girls from Having Sex

by Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

Dads, do you have a teen daughter? Do you realize how important your presence is in her life? We know that one out of six girls—ages 12 to 18—take a vow not to have premarital sex. Ninety percent of those girls will break that vow. Your presence can help her keep it.

Dads who are involved with their daughters can offer a male’s perspective and become a role model when it comes to relationships. Dads are also usually responsible for playing physical activities with their daughters, such as catch, tag, and basketball. Playing these activities may allow your daughter to play sports in school and will keep her physically active and healthy. Girls who are more physically active feel more confident about their bodies and are less likely to get pregnant, drop out of school, or put up with abusive boyfriends.

Girls who have a dad at home don’t feel the need to be promiscuous in order to attract a boyfriend. They don’t need a boy because their dad is usually the first member of the opposite sex they will seek for knowledge or understanding about guy relationships.

Every dad who has a daughter realizes how dangerous the world can be for a woman. He also knows that he cannot protect his daughter or shelter her from all harm. Talking to your daughters about this and setting an example for them (in regards to how a man should treat a woman and what respect feels like) are lessons your daughter will use to judge every man she encounters. Limiting pornographic literature in the home as well as celebrity magazines that glorify women as sex objects is one of the single most helpful methods. This will allow your daughter to understand that her body is not to be used or touched by anyone else until she is mature enough to enter a relationship.

The number one way dads help prevent teen sex before the age of eighteen is to take her desire to wear a purity or promise ring seriously. Ask what a purity/promise ring means to her. Ask her how you can help. For more information go to my “Girls Corner Page” on my web site:

To your daughter you are the greatest man she has ever known. Every man she encounters after you will be compared to you for better or worse. Are you being the dad you want to be?

Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at and more about Rapini at


Start Talking features succinct yet lively answers, sample conversations, and real life stories to help open the door to better mother/daughter communication. Rapini and Sherman have compiled more than 113 questions girls (and their moms) routinely ask – or should be asking – about health, sex, body image, and dating.