Saturday, June 16, 2007

More Father's Day Science

So I've taken some lumps over my panning of Time for the way it decided to marry biology and fatherhood in its very odd Dad's Day story. But please contrast that to the incredibly interesting Slate Magazine take on fathers, hormones and way we should care, which concludes with a great plea for more attention to the science of fatherhood:

Ignoring the physiological changes fathers undergo tends to let men off the parenting hook. Recognizing those changes, on the other hand, could make fathers feel more vital to child-rearing. For years, studies have shown (not that we really needed them to) that many men feel marginalized and anxious during pregnancy and the early weeks of their children's lives. But the nascent science of physiological fatherhood has already turned up evidence that shows that men's bodies are busy with their own preparations, even if What To Expect doesn't explain them. Men who worry that they're being thrust into fatherhood without ever learning how to parent might be (at least slightly) reassured to know that their bodies have begun to adapt. Armed with the knowledge that their hormone levels have shifted precisely so they'll be more apt to cuddle their newborns, men may feel entitled to do more of the soothing. Which can only be good for kids—and for tired moms. This Father's Day, it's time to thank dads for all their bodies do.

If you'd rather avoid the hormone talk, the New York Times has now written the definitive newspaper piece on sperm.


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