“The Making of a Modern Dad
It takes a lot more than testosterone to make a father out of a man.
"Part of a new generation of men who are redefining fatherhood and masculinity, Hudnut, who is 33, is unwilling to accept the role of absentee provider that his father's generation assumed. With mothers often being the breadwinners of the family, many young fathers are deciding that a man's place can also be in the home—part-time or even full-time.
According to census figures, one in four dads takes care of his preschooler during the time the mother is working. The number of children who are raised by a primary-care father is now more than 2 million and counting. By all measures, fathers, even those who work full-time, are more involved in their children's lives than ever before. According to the Families and Work Institute in New York City, fathers now provide three-fourths of the child care mothers do, up from one-half 30 years ago.
Is father nurture natural?
Many men and women wonder if all of this father care is really natural. According to popular perceptions, men are supposedly driven by their hormones (primarily testosterone) to compete for status, to seek out sex and even to be violent—conditions hardly conducive to raising kids. A recent article in Reader's Digest, "Why Men Act As They Do," is subtitled "It's the Testosterone, Stupid." Calling the hormone "a metaphor for masculinity," the article concludes, "...testosterone correlates with risk: physical, criminal, and personal." Don't men's testosterone-induced chest-beating and risk-taking limit their ability to cradle and comfort their children?
Two studies, which was recently published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, suggests that fathers have higher levels of estrogen the well-known female sex hormone -- than other men. The research shows that men go through significant hormonal changes alongside their pregnant partners changes most likely initiated by their partner's pregnancy and ones that even cause some men to experience pregnancylike symptoms such as nausea and weight gain. It seems increasingly clear that just as nature prepares women to be committed moms, it prepares men to be devoted dads.
"I have always suspected that fatherhood has biological effects in some, perhaps all, men," says biologist Sue Carter, distinguished professor at the University of Maryland. "Now here is the first hard evidence that men are biologically prepared for fatherhood."
The studies have the potential to profoundly change our understanding of families, of fatherhood and of masculinity itself. Being a devoted parent is not only important but also natural for men. Indeed, there is evidence that men are biologically involved in their children's lives from the beginning.
Is biology destiny for dads?
It's well known that hormonal changes caused by pregnancy encourage a mother to love and nurture her child. But it has long been assumed that a father's attachment to his child is the result of a more uncertain process, a purely optional emotional bonding that develops over time, often years. Male animals in some species undergo hormonal changes that prime them for parenting. But do human dads? The two studies, conducted at Memorial University and Queens University in Canada, suggest that human dads do.
In the original study, published in Evolution and Human Behavior, psychologist Anne Storey and her colleagues took blood samples from 34 couples at different times during pregnancy and shortly after birth. The researchers chose to monitor three specific hormones because of their links to nurturing behavior in human mothers and in animal fathers.
Parke believes that the research suggests something even more radical: "Men are much more androgynous than we think. We have the capability to be aggressive and nurturing. The traditional view of men as predominantly aggressive really sells men short and denies their capability to experience the range of human emotions.
The research suggests that a man's hormones may play an important role in helping him experience this full range of emotions especially in becoming a loving and devoted dad. In fact, it offers the first evidence that to nurture is part of man's nature.
By Douglas Carlton Abrams
Last Reviewed: 24 May 2005
Psychology Today © Copyright 1991 – 2005”
People can read the article in its entirety following the link, as I just posted excerpts but it’s pretty clear where this is going.
One, it’s another of the continuing attempts to usurp women from the unique role that God, Evolution, nature etc., has designated as ours, which is as the mother of our children, the ONLY MOTHER. Allowing this re-definition of bonding to pass unchallenged can result in unrelated men or anybody really who is just hanging around a mother a lot during a pregnancy to suddenly claim they ‘bonded’ with a child and thus gain standing for a custody challenge as soon as child is born.
Even the clever wording in the article making no mention whatsoever of bonding vis-a-vis the mother carrying her child but only referring to 'hormonal changes' in the bloodstream has the potential to wreck havoc on the proper definition of bonding as a process that goes on inutero between mother and child ONLY. Like following the logic of this article, let's just give someone a shot and then just anybody can be your kid's mother.
Two, it has the potential to disenfranchise biological fathers as well who are not around during a child’s pregnancy, maybe don’t even know about it. So because they didn’t bond and maybe some other guy did, now’s he’s designated as the ‘bonded’ father. Actually biological fathers are at even more risk of losing legal rights through this nonsense, as they cannot even file for paternity UNTIL the child is is born. Meanwhile Mr. Bonding through Osmosis is there every day slowing absorbing a biological father’s legal rights.
It’s like something out of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine really with the Borg or some such assimilating your kid before you even know you have one, actually before you do have one.
Hey everybody, I'm 3 of 5 in the family tree now.
Frankly, I find it positively creepy.
Three, allowing unrelated persons to gain legal standing for a custody challenge through this sort of psychobabble nonsense puts many children at risk. I’m sorry to say it but children have become very valuable commodities today, used by many people to gain all sorts of advantage from child support payments, a shot at citizenship or even tax benefits of one kind or another. Barring abuse or neglect, biological parents should be the only guardians, custodians, caretakers, whatever of children that can legally exist. Not some self-proclaimed, quasi-bonded individual entering out of left field. Based upon some new gender-neutralized feminist definition of bonding through osmosis that has suddenly taken place, I can see a whole new category of parent emerging from this.
Again, creepy as all getout.
Last, but not least, this is just more of the campaign by these gender-neutralized feminists to continue building the androgynous society that is so dear to their hearts.
Men and women who go on to support this nonsense risk having new definitions of legal parenthood passed that could ultimately mean a room mate or boyfriend having standing to go to court and seek custody based upon this new creepy definition of bonding, if it’s accepted by the courts.
Frankly, why wouldn’t it be as our courts have accepted every other nutty idea that has come down the pike to them so far.
I can accept a unrelated person who invests time in raising a child being designated a psychological parent. But we already have this legal definition that Judges can use to designate a person as a parent because they have spent the requisite time with a child (usually around two years or so). But this is a totally different animal they’ve dredged up now. Trying to designate someone as a parent even BEFORE they put the time in based upon the fact that they hung around the mother during her pregnancy?
This is total creepy nonsense.
As Nancy Reagan often said, let’s just say no.