Testosterone is responsible for everything from facial hair and Adam’s apples to a deepened voice, muscle development and a strong libido in men. Apparently men don’t need the hormone so much after becoming parents, though! Researchers at Northwestern University have found that levels of testosterone drop significantly after men become fathers.
As reported in the UK’s Daily Mail, those with newborns and those who spend more time doing child care had the biggest drops in testosterone levels:
For those with a child under one month old, the decline was around 50 per cent, but it remained consistently lower than their childless counterparts until their offspring is at least a year or two old’.
The men who reported caring for their child for between one and three hours per day saw the greatest decline, which the authors said was not accounted for by stress or sleep deprivation.
While this might sound like bad news, the researchers think it’s a good sign. In an interview with Time, the study’s lead author, biological anthropologist Lee Gettler said, “… it means that men are apparently hard-wired to respond biologically to fatherhood. It’s a fresh perspective, given that the conventional wisdom describes traditional societies as those in which men are hunter-gatherers, while women on the home front forage for berries and care for kids … Humans wouldn’t have been as successful if fathers weren’t helping.”
Way to go, dads!
Photo credit: Stockxchng/agastecheg
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