Kids lower men's hormone

Kids lower men's hormone

However, after they succeed and become fathers, “mating- related” activities may conflict with the responsibilities of fatherhood, making it advantageous for the body to reduce production of the hormone.

“Humans are unusual among mammals in that our offspring are dependent upon older individuals for feeding and protection for more than a decade. 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 Christopher W Kuzawa, a team member.

Past studies showing that fathers tend to have lower testosterone levels were small and not conclusive regarding whether fatherhood diminished testosterone or whether men with low testosterone in the first place were likely to be fathers.

The study, published in the ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ journal, followed 624 males aged 21.5 to 26 years old for 4.5 years in the Philippines.  The subjects were not fathers and the researchers saw whether their hormones changed after becoming fathers.

“It’s not the case that men with lower testosterone are simply more likely to become fathers. On the contrary, the men who started with high testosterone were more likely to become fathers, but once they did, their testosterone went down substantially.

“Our findings suggest that this is especially true for fathers who become the most involved with child care,” Lee Gettler, another team member, said. The study’s findings also suggest that fathers may experience an especially large, but temporary, decline in testosterone when they first bring home a newborn baby.

“Fatherhood and the demands of having a newborn baby require many emotional, psychological and physical adjustments. Our study indicates that a man’s biology can change substantially to help meet those demands,” he said.

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