Have you been following the recent spate of articles about a temporary testosterone dip in fathers, aka The Tragic Story of Lost Manhood? The research has been presented in such a foreboding way, but as the writer AJ Jacobs noted in one of the two New York Times pieces on the topic last week: Who needs a jolt of testosterone when you’ve got a newborn in the house? “That’s not appealing at all. What exactly would I do with that extra libido? I’m a new dad with an overtired wife. That doesn’t help anybody.” Seriously.
Plus, the dip makes room for an increase in the “love hormone,” oxytocin, which has it’s perks. (This part of new parental biochemistry was missing from the articles I read.) After seeing too many gloomy headlines, I was most delighted to hear what my favorite parenting expert, Louis CK, had to say about this sad evolutionary tale. If you didn’t read any of the stories, all you need to do is watch this clip from HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher:
(I transcribed it out since the clip is of the entire segment, not just the testosterone part.)
[Brings up the topic and the Times story and asks.. ] So… evolution wants you to be kind of a pussy?
Yeah, yes. Yeah, that’s right. It goes down, I felt it go down. You feel it go down. You actually do, you go, Oh Shit, like, you actually feel it go down.
But I don’t think that’s a bad thing!
I think that young testosterone-filled men –p eople think that’s manhood, because that’s what all advertising is targeted toward, but it’s not. That’s being a young chimp with a boner. That’s what that is. A real man raises kids. Or is a grown-up, is a grown-up.
Until you’re changing a diaper while you’re actually driving, which I’ve actually… You know… That’s a real man.
And by the way, the testosterone going down is not that, I mean it takes you down from [makes very fast jerking off motion] to [makes slightly less fast jerking off motion]. It’s a not a big, you’re still..
… You’re still masturbating.
You’re still jacking off ALL THE TIME. Instead of– a single man has a whole layout, with a computer and a big screen, and all this stuff and when you have kids, they’re watching the cartoon and you’ve got the phone with Sarah Palin on it… the picture where she has the tits…
You can watch it here-skip to 2.50 seconds for the parenting stuff.