Each week, we will focus on another segment of child abuse.
3 Signs of Father-daughter Incest During Covid-19
During this stressful season, there are plenty of stay at home orders, or shelters in place which brings members of families closer together than before. When intrafamilial sex or incest takes place, it would not necessarily be brought on by Covid-19 at all. There are just more opportunities with the changed schedules of fathers who now work from home and girls who are not away in school all day. Intrafamilial sex is the act of a member of the nuclear family engaging in sexual relationship with someone else in that family. If it is an adult member, like a father or step father having sex with a child, this can be hidden for years. Sometimes, the female caregiver refuses to believe something so horrific could take place, as father-daughter incest is one very disturbing act of intrafamilial sex, and families with dysfunctional dynamics can be a trait where the majority of these cases are found. Characteristics of a father susceptible to father-daughter incest is poor impulse control, low frustration tolerance, and the need for immediate gratification. Other characteristics exist based on the type of family dynamics involved. For example, three types of dysfunctional families notorious for father-daughter incest are the controlling-submissive, dependent-browbeating, and clinging-clinging.
The controlling-submissive dynamic is where the father views his spouse and the children as his property. He has controlling characteristics, even to the point of controlling his daughter(s) sexually. This is not to say only girls are sexually abused in these dysfunctional families. This man doesn’t believe he is doing anything wrong — in fact, he think he has rights over his daughter’s body based on his position as father. He would want to be the first to consummate his daughter’s entry into womanhood before allowing her to marry. Family and friends can notice characteristics of this type of father. We will discuss that next week!
The dependent-browbeating family style where the man is visualized to be under the thumb of a coarse female spouse who leads her husband by the nose, causing the male to experience embarrassing inadequacies whereby he may question his own authority and role. This is because in patriarchial societies, men have traditionally been known as the head of the household. On a subconscious level, the male would see his authority over his daughter as a way to achieve his lost manhood. This male would not think he was hurting her, nor would he use his authority to rape her. Instead, they would naturally become close right under the mother’s nose, and to the chagrin of other children in the home.
The third dynamic, the clinging-clinging relationship where both spouses are dysfunctional and seeking gratification from each other, but unable to receive what they expected. Perhaps they were exposed to abusive relationships in some fashion earlier in life. Typically, the oldest daughter is the one placed in the role of the nurturer and rival to the mother, and her parentification role can be the gateway to a sexual relationship with her father.
Even though there are certain characteristics of families, minor girls and fathers who may seem to fit snuggly into the profile of dysfunction or abuse, this is not always the case. Nonetheless, when others aware of the characteristics, it can stir a higher level of safety. Power, control, and compensation are types characteristics in a father that can serve as red flags but not as the opportunity for a witch hunt. In other words, despite the high prevalence of sexual abuse, there are more fathers who are not abusers.