Monday, June 16, 2014

Recent book highlights the idea that fathers undergo "sacrificial" hormonal changes to support mothers


Okay, for Father’s Day (or “The Day After”), here’s a review of a Book Review by Bruce Feiler in the Washington Post Outlook Section Sunday June 15, 2014, of the book “Do Fathers Matter? What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We’ve Overlooked”, link here 

I will probably eventually order this book.  But what I think is interesting is the comment that fathers’ testosterone levels drop.  This has already been noted in relation to fathers actually tending to young children, but this article mentions that it happens as husband attend to wives (or maybe even unmarried female partners) during pregnancy, as the men prepare for “nesting” duties.   It sounds inconsistent, though, that men would lose weight or grow beards, as the article says, because those results would comport with more, not less, testosterone.  (Loss of muscle weight could mean less testosterone.)  The Family Research Council loves this point. 

There used to be a saying among single men back in the 1970s, “wait until he gets married” when “he” will start getting a pot belly.  Single men tended to view marriage and fatherhood as potentially emasculating while, at the same time, necessary to validate manliness (through lineage).
   
For athletes, testosterone levels don’t seem to drop.  I don’t know of any studies that say pro football players or baseball players’ performance drops when they marry and have children. 

How does this affect gay men who take on parenting, especially through surrogacy?  

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