In Thy Father's House: Self-Report Findings of Sexually Abused Daughters from Conservative Christian Homes

Volume
Volume 16
Issue
Summer 1988
Title
In Thy Father's House: Self-Report Findings of Sexually Abused Daughters from Conservative Christian Homes
Abstract

This study explores the childhood sexual abuses of 35 adult women who were raised in conservative Christian homes. These women, self-defined as victims of father-daughter incest, completed a structured questionnaire and were selectively interviewed about their abuse histories. Analyses of these data revealed that the sample shared many of the features of incestuous abuse found in the general population, but differed in the higher prevalence of sexual abuse by biological fathers (66%) rather than by stepfathers (34%). Natural fathers exhibited a broader range of sexual contacts with their daughters than did stepfathers, the nature and severity of these varying along with their denominational affiliation. Overall, stepfathers were less likely to seriously abuse their stepdaughters. This trend did not vary along with their religious affiliation. Collectively, fathers and stepfathers were viewed as emotionally problemed, legalistic, or coping with stresses external to the home. Such external factors correlated significantly to the styles of communication in the home, particularly between fathers and daughters as these perceived it; to the religious climate of the home; and to the general stress felt in the home itself. Implications drawn suggest that external stressors and internal communications combine with legalistic orientations to significantly influence the abuse dynamic. Suggestions for mediation and therapy are offered.

Author
Dr. V.E. Gil
Pages
144 - 152
Price
Add to Cart $5.00