“A father holds his daughter’s hand for a short while, but he holds her heart forever,” is a quote many of us have heard on Father’s Day cards, and what may seem like just a warm-hearted quote holds much truth. The impact of father-daughter relationships far surpasses childhood.

Women with involved fathers have been shown to have higher expectations in relationships. They are typically more selective with who they date, leading to a lower risk of teen pregnancy.

Research has shown that women with positive father figures have more positive outcomes with romantic relationships, mental health, and academic achievement

Female CEOs often attribute their success to the encouragement and influence of their father. High-ranking female attorneys also emphasize that they received their confidence from their fathers.

A 2015 report said that 68% of teen girls interested in STEM say their father’s encouragement led them to pursue a career in STEM.

Some proponents of the new wave of feminism argue that women can thrive independently without relying on men. Though there are exceptional women who have done so, it is crucial to recognize that strong women benefit significantly from having healthy father-daughter relationships.

Research has also shown that daughters with involved fathers are more successful despite socioeconomic background and race. 

These statistics are not mere figments of imagination but a testament to my lived experiences. I graduated as a first-generation college graduate with a STEM degree in biochemistry and was accepted to a STEM-focused master’s program. That would not have been possible without the man who raised me.

My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him live it.

Clarence Budington Kelland, Author

Growing up in a minority-majority community, where neither of my parents attended college, I faced unique challenges. However, my father’s combination of strength, love, affirmation, and selflessness was pivotal in nurturing my strong-willed spirit, a trait shared by many young girls. My father lived the values he preached: selflessness, integrity, and kindness. 

In a world that seems to be increasingly confused, girls need a sense of security, strength, guidance, and love, a combination unique to good fathers.