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To set things straight and get you in the know about this almost always misused, misunderstood, and overly gendered concept, we reached out to Amy Rollo, triple d psychotherapist and owner of Heights Family Counseling in Houston, Texas. This is a term he coined to describe a person who has unconscious impulses and associations as a result of a poor relationship with their father. From that theory came the Oedipus complexthe theory that children have a subconscious attraction to their opposite sex parent.
Oedipus complex refers specifically to boys. Electra complex is used to describe the same theory as applied to girls and their fathers. The attachment patterns formed during childhood can affect your attachment styles in your adult relationships. Attachment styles are categorized as being either secure or insecure, with several subtypes of insecure attachment styles, including:. Secure attachment styles result from having a caregiver who was responsive to your needs and emotionally available. Insecure attachment styles, on the other hand, result from having a caregiver who was unresponsive to your needs and emotionally unavailable.
Secure attachment styles typically develop if your childhood needs were readily met by your caregiver. As you can probably guess, people who have a loving and secure relationship with their caregivers are likely to grow into confident and self-assured adults. These are the folks who likely have their life together in various aspects, including their close relationships. Their relationships tend to be long lasting and built on real trust and intimacy. Your relationship with your caregivers and your attachment style also affect other close relationships, including your friendships.
Find out more about attachment styles and their subtypes here. Who knows? For example, if a woman desires sexual intimacy with men, it must be because she has daddy issues. In other words, something must be wrong with her for her to desire sex. Again, Rollo emphasizes that anyone can have attachment wounds from not having strong relationships with their parents — even if the term is usually reserved for females.
If your relationship with your caregiver was a traumatic or disappointing one, you may be more likely to choose a partner who will disappoint you the same way. Several of those studies have linked less involved or absentee fathers to everything from earlier puberty to increased sexual activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDCpoor parent-child relationships, particularly with fathers, is one of the risk factors linked to a greater likelihood of perpetrating sexual violence.
Of course, not everyone with a shitty relationship with their dad is going to become a sexual predator. Everyone should be allowed to create the sex life they desire, Rollo says. The role of father is traditionally seen as a role of authority. And for some, authority is like catnip. Rollo wants people to understand that healthy sex can look like a lot of things. Role-playing, for example, is more common than many may realize.
Think about your current or past relationships: Can you spot a pattern in the type of partners you choose? Are your relationships usually plagued by insecurity, anxiety, or drama? Reflecting on your experiences and learning about the different attachment styles can help you figure out yours so you know if a change is in order.
Taking some cues from different — healthier — relationships and family dynamics around you may help you see how things can be. Try to take what you learn and apply it in your own relationships. You may also consider taking to a counselor or therapist. They can help you work through unresolved issues and help you identify and change your attachment patterns.
We all have our own version of daddy issues, whether they stem from a poor relationship with a caregiver, a parent who was absent by death or divorce, or having parents who fought a lot. Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade.
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Health Conditions Discover Plan Connect. Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph. What does it even mean?
Where did this concept originate? Are there different kinds? What might this look like? How might it affect your choice in partners? How might it affect your sexual identity and behavior? How do you differentiate between healthy sex play and an underlying father complex?
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