Involved dads who practice co-sleeping experience a drop in testosterone, according to study

Posted on 10 September 2012

Few people would argue that there is anything cuter than a father with his baby. Why is it that our hearts seem to melt every time we see a man pushing a stroller or carrying his newborn while running his Saturday errands?

While we may think of moms as being the parent who is traditionally more nurturing, dads are playing a bigger role in their son and daughter's lives than ever before. The end result (in addition to forming a tighter father-child bond, of course)? Less testosterone!

A recent study from the University of Notre Dame reported that daddies who sleep near their lovebugs had a decrease in the male hormone. Previous studies demonstrated that fathers who spend more time through reading or playing with their bundles of joy also experienced a drop in testosterone.

"These new results complement the original research by taking it one step further, showing that nighttime closeness or proximity between fathers and their kids has effects on men’s biology, and it appears to be independent of what they are doing during the day,” says Notre Dame anthropologist Lee Gettler, according to the university's website.

Interestingly enough, there is a biological reason for this. Scientists, including those at the university, speculate that the decrease in the hormone could reduce the competitive instincts inherent in males in exchange for becoming more engaged in their childrens' needs.

Of course, more research does need to be conducted, but the preliminary findings do suggest that the traditional ideas of masculinity are evolving. After all, as this study indicates, long gone are the days when it was just mom's job to raise the kids.

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