June 14, 2007

Male Physiological Changes: What You Didn't Expect When You're Expecting

pregnancy_v_beer.jpg via mikeenikee on flickrIn Slate, Emily Anthes has a very interesting round-up of research into the physiological, chemical, hormonal, and neuronal changes men undergo during pregnancy and fatherhood. It's interesting, but also short; one of Anthes' main points is how little interest scientists have shown toward father-related research that doesn't involve abuse or abandonment. [You stay clueless, scientists!]

Few parenting books, even those directed at dads, take note of the findings about their hormones and brains—instead they either go for laughs or stick to counseling men about how to support their pregnant mates. In some ways, that's surprising, given that the gender boundaries of parenting have been eroding for some time now. You'd think that if we're ready for diaper-changing tables in men's restrooms, we'd also be ready to hear about men's hormonal barometers. And yet we don't seem to be. Maybe it seems too unsettling to treat the changes in expectant dads and moms as remotely equivalent.
It's a good perspective, and if you've been stressing about your expanding gut recently, now you may have an explanation.

Dumb headline, though: Stretch Marks for Dads [slate via dt reader matt]
image: mikeenikee's flickr stream

1 Comment

I totally agree that men have hormonal changes during pregnancy. I'm constantly altered by my wife's hormone shifts, and she by mine.

I'm guessing any gut someone puts on is purely food related, though. Nice thought.

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