A recent long-term study measured testosterone levels in men when they were young and single and then again when they were older. Some of them had become fathers; some of them had not.
Here’s what it found, and, guys, you have to hear me out on why this is okay: the men with higher testosterone levels initially were more likely to have children, but the men who became fathers saw rapid declines in the hormone. The more active the fathers were in raising their children, the steeper their declines.
Thank God. If you ask me, men have been worshipping testosterone for far too long. High levels of the stuff are linked to more hair on your back, less on your head, and an increased risk of prostate cancer.
And as a new father myself, the testosterone drop couldn’t come fast enough. Let’s just say that fatherhood is a very different scenario, for which previous hormone levels would be inappropriate.
That a man’s hormone levels respond to changes in his behavior (and not just the other way around) is an empowering thought. If a man thinks of himself as not cut out for parenthood, he can take comfort in the fact that an earnest effort to be involved will pay off in biological changes that will adapt him to the job.
And, oh man, I cannot wait until the next time someone tries to tell me that men are not really suited to being parents. You bet I’m going to cite this study, and I will absolutely do it in a less belligerent way than I would have if I were single and childless.