The purpose of this thesis was to explore the consequences of father absence for the reproductive behavior and mating strategies of girls living in the Caribbean island of Curaçao. Three questionnaire studies and two observational studies were conducted among more than 800 girls.
The results demonstrated that most of the effects of father absence documented in several western societies can also be observed in Curaçao, including an earlier age of sexual intercourse and a lower desire to get married. However, Odette Girigori expanded previous research by demonstrating that father absence girls reported overall more intrasexual competitiveness and used more non-verbal seduction strategies to attract males, such as direct flirtation, peacock behavior, hairstyles with waves, facial make-up, conspicuous nail-care, and active and restless behavior in the presence of males.
Moreover, Girigori found evidence that early father absence girls (abandoned before the age of 5) reported significantly more anxious jealousy than father presence girls, while late father absence girls (abandoned between the age 6 and 13) reported more possessive jealousy than father presence girls.
Finally, late father absence girls considered a partner with characteristics signaling bad genes (e.g., unattractive, bad smell, and lack of sense of humor) as less acceptable than early father absence girls or father presence girls.
To conclude, these findings highlight the importance of the role of fathers for the reproductive behavior and mating strategies of their daughters.
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