One or more of these characteristics typify the incestuous
1. She has a poor relationship with her mother, or none at
all. The mother may be gone, she may be in the hospital, she
may be home but does not like or want the daughter. The mother
may be jealous of her and reject her.
2. The daughter has low self esteem. She considers herself
unattractive, unloved, inadequate.She may be trying to
compensate for her poor self-image by acting prematurely grown
up, adult and self-sufficient.
3. She is looking for attention and affection. She often
isolates herself from peers out of fear she will be rejected.
She wants their friendship but is afraid to reach out for it.
She appreciates any sign of recognition and tenderness. She
easily falls in love with a father who bestows gifts and
attention on her. She may engage in incest for the gifts and
privileges it gets her.
4. She may develop a seductive manner, look or behavior to
attract attention. Little girls learn early in the American
Culture how to get favors by adopting the cute or sexy smile
and style of Marilyn Monroe or Lolita. She may decide that
acting seductive is the only way to get anyone to pay
attention to her. She may be the one who initiates sexual
activity with the father and gives the come-on to other
5. She may be stuck on her father, making her particularly
vulnerable to any advances on his part and increasing the
possibility that she will act out on her own sexual impulses
and initiate sexual contact with him. This points to the
"Oedipal (or Electra) complex," to a fixation on the parent of
the opposite sex. For instance, a girl does not identify with
her mother and wants to be possess the father for herself. If
she identified with her mother, she would give up her wish for
the father and devote her energies to other concerns....
6. She may try to act as a "rescuer" of her father, sensing
that he is unhappy or needs somebody to look after him, to
care for him. She may try to "rescue" the whole family,
believing she is the only one who can hold things together.
Becoming the "lady of the house" may be motivated out of this
need to "rescue" as well as to meet her own needs for
affection and attention. The rescuing may extend to offering
sex to the father to calm him down, to keep him from fighting
with the mother or other kids in the family. Daughters of the
tyrant type of father often adapt this type of