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Popping off.

I suspect that none of the researchers whose work was described in "Where's Poppa? Absent dads linked to early sex by daughters" (SN: 7/19/03, p. 35) was ever a teenage girl with an absent (or distant) father. I think the simplest explanation is that the girl's is looking for male affection and protection, which they can't get any other way. Most of these girls just want to feel loved and valued as woman

ANITA LESS, EAST LANSING, MICH.

The authors of the study seem to miss an obvious reason for later sexual activity among teenager girls whose fathers are still in the house: The fathers are protecting their daughter from predatory sexual advances by young men.

ROBERT BAUMAN JR., AMARILLO COLLEGE,

AMARILLO, TEXAS

It seems to me, as a father of a daughter born some decades ago, that researcher Bruce J. Ellis is missing what are to me the most likely implications of his study: that daughters with fathers presents are fulfilling, in their suberotic loving relationship with the father, components of desire that encourage delay in sexual relationships. I recall studies showing that close relationships with fathers facilitate sexual relationships of later life, and another reporting that manarche is delayed in girl with genetic father present. It seems to me that there is probably are behavioral and physiological mechanisms, to some degree genetically (and thus evolutionarily) based, that encourage in early reproductions, in the emergency case of no present father and delayed reproduction in the relative stability of the home with the father present.

WILL RITTENHOUSE, ST. LOUIS, MO.

Ellis generally agrees with this evolutionary theory, although the data to back it up are controversial.--B. Bower
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Sep 20, 2003
Words:280
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