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What makes a Superdad?

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2010-09-11 -

In July I mentioned that ABC1 science show Catalyst had aired its special on the fathering gene, based partly on an Australia-wide study on the effects of pregnancy on men’s health.

This week Catalyst aired a second fatherhood special, this time looking at what makes humans such superdads within the mammal family.

It was fascinating viewing. It’s been discovered that a man’s testosterone level drops permanently after he fathers a child. Don’t worry, this is a good thing. It’s evolution’s way of making sure human dads (and bird dads, for that matter) stick around and help raise their kids.

I was particularly interested in the studies that mapped how dads play with their kids. It’s no surprise to us mums that dads love to rile kids up, while we tend to keep our children’s emotions on an even keel during playtime. This can be frustrating for us around bedtime, but the roughhousing actually plays a key role in helping children learn to regulate their emotions.

To learn more – including how having separated parents accelerates menstruation in girls – you can access the program here for the next couple of weeks.





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