The Ups and Downs of Fatherhood

Caring for a child can suppress testosterone levels in men.

Sep 13, 2011
Cristina Luiggi

STOCK.XCHING, SIMMBARB

While high levels of testosterone may give men a competitive edge when seeking a mate, low levels of the hormone can aid them in becoming caring and involved fathers. In a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers followed 600 young, single men in the Philippines over a period of 5 years and found that there was a significant drop in testosterone levels in the men that became first-time fathers.

“Fatherhood and the demands of having a newborn baby require many emotional, psychological and physical adjustments,” first author Lee T. Gettler told the Journal Sentinel. “Our study indicates that a man’s biology can change substantially to help meet those demands.”