A comparison of the levels of male sex hormone amongst single men and married men has revealed that fatherhood significantly reduces men's testosterone levels. This reduction in the hormonal level is believed to ensure that men behaved in a civilized and non-aggressive way around the newborn.
The study participants aged 21 to 38 were asked to fill up a questionnaire in addition to providing saliva samples for determination of hormonal levels in the morning and afternoon. The 66 unmarried men were found to have slightly higher levels of testosterone than the 30 married men who did not have children.
AdvertisementElevated levels of testosterone is believed to be associated with mating efforts associated with male to male competition regarding mate seeking while lower levels were linked with relationships, specifically with fatherhood.
The findings of the study have valuable implications regarding a male's social behavior. The lower levels of testosterone in fathers may reflect both their withdrawal from the competitive arena and their involvement in paternal care.
The study findings are also consistent with the well recognized pattern seen in people and animals, related to the bringing up of young. Though we have achieved a lot in terms of civilization and social activity, there are certain issues where we tend to react in a biological way. We are not that far removed from animals although we like to think we are, according to researchers.
Had the testosterone levels been higher, then it would make them more prone for anger. This would make men drain the same on the offspring. It is perhaps nature way of making males civilized at least on a temporary basis.
Testosterone levels are known to vary during different phases of growth, with young men having higher levels. This could also be one explanation for the observed hormonal fluctuation in the male.
On the whole, it would be interesting to study men who did not exhibit this paternal behavior as fathers; those who batter children or behave antisocially. Perhaps, it might be possible to determine who will make a good father by something as simple as a hormone test in the future.