From a cultural perspective, we're led to believe that women are natural caregivers; particularly when it comes to children, but according to a recent study, this belief may change the minds of some.
A recent study by Northwestern University has revealed compelling evidence that men are in fact biologically wired to care for offspring. For the first time, the study shows conclusive evidence that fatherhood lowers a man's testosterone levels.
The effect is very similar to what is observed in other species in which males help take care of their offspring. Testosterone boost behaviors and other traits that help a male compete for a mate. After succeeding and becoming a father; mating-related activities might conflict with the responsibilities of being a father. As a result, the body will reduce the production of the hormone, allowing for more nurturing instincts to kick-in.
“Raising human offspring is such an effort that it is cooperative by necessity, and our study shows that human fathers are biologically wired to help with the job.” said, study co-author- Christopher W. Kuzawa. Kuzawa is the associate professor of anthropology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern.
In the past, similar studies were small and not conclusive. The new study takes a novel approach by following a large group of men who were not fathers and seeing if their hormones changed after becoming fathers.
The study followed a group of 624 males ages of 21.5 to 26 years old for 4.5 years in the Philippines. Titled, “Longitudinal Evidence That Fatherhood Decreases Testosterone in Human Males”, the study was published Sept. 12, 2011, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.