One or more of these characteristics typify the incestuous daughter:
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 men.
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 role.
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