Objectives: Although a large literature has shown links between “father absence” during early childhood, and earlier puberty and sexual behavior in girls in Western populations, there are only a few studies which have looked at timing of reproduction, and only one of these fully incorporated childless respondents to investigate whether father absence is associated with increased hazard of becoming a parent at one time point (early) more than another. Here we sought to clarify exactly when, if at all, father absence increased the likelihood of first birth in a Western sample. Methods: An online sample of 954 women reported on their childhood living circumstances, their age of menarche, first coitus, first pregnancy, and first birth. Results: Cox regression and Kaplan–Meier plots showed an increased risk of becoming a parent for father absent women in their 20s, but no overall greater likelihood of parenthood. Conclusion: These data support the suggestion that father absence is associated with an acceleration of reproductive behavior in Western samples, rather than a simple increase in likelihood of reproduction.
Boothroyd, L., Craig, P., Crossman, R., & Perrett, D. (2013). Father absence and age at first birth in a western sample. American Journal of Human Biology, 25(3), 366-369. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.22378