Sunday, June 21, 2015

More research shows how father matter; what does this mean for non-parents?

Eleanor Barkhorn has an article on Vox on the importance of fathers to their kids, where she interviews Paul Raeburn.  The link is here.

Yes, it befits Father’s Day.  One interesting observation is that teenage girls, when living in a home without father present, actually menstruate sooner.  It’s not so clear why this would happen.  But earlier it’s been reported that men show a drop in testosterone when nurturing their own children. 

That may actually result from pheromones from the pregnant mother.  Other animals sometimes show similar effects.

The obvious question, then, comes, with teens raised by two moms, or two dads (particularly of the opposite sex from the kid).  Some interactions that seem effective at some biological level won’t happen.  One the one hand, including gay couples increases the number of possible adoptive families, maybe badly needed.  On the other hand, it seems less than optimal – but life is often less than optimal in many contexts, not just this.
It also raises questions about the place of adults who are not parents at all – myself included.  I’ve even heard Don Lemon say on CNN, “I am not a parent”.

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