Does Your Man Have the Balls to Be a Good Parent?
Emory University researchers are reporting that men with smaller testicles are more nurturing dads. Small nads, great dads?
Is your man a good father? Well, how big are his balls?
As much as we all want to ignore the annoying adage, “size matters,” Emory University researchers are reporting that it actually does matter when it comes to parenting. And this time, smaller is better. A study published on September 9 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that men with smaller testicles tend to be more attentive and nurturing fathers than “big ballers” or, said in a more mature way, men with larger testicles.
James Rilling, an associate professor of anthropology at Emory said in a statement, “Our data suggest that the biology of human males reflects a trade-off between investments in mating versus parenting effort.”
According to the findings, the size of a man’s testes helps determine whether they will choose to direct their resources into nurturing their children or nurturing their desire to breed. The “Life History Theory” of evolution, which the Georgia researchers were testing, holds that males have a limited amount of energy to allocate towards reproduction. So the idea is that dads with smaller testicles tend to have suppressed mating efforts and therefore put more energy into parenting than than their rock-knockin’ pals who are ready to RUMBLE, or um, mate.
To perform this study, Emory researchers performed MRI scans on 70 fathers with children between the ages of 1 and 2 while they looked at pictures of their own children as well as unfamiliar children and adults. The dads and their wives were interviewed separately about dad’s hands-on parenting skills such as changing diapers, bathing, feeding, and caring for a sick child. Researchers also tested testicle size and testosterone levels.
The study found that men who were more involved in parenting their children had smaller testicles and lower testosterone levels.
But don’t start encouraging your single friends to look for “less lump in the front,” yet! The study did not find a cause-and-effect relationship. Meaning that men with smaller cojones aren’t necessarily destined to become better fathers. In fact, researchers aren’t entirely clear whether one thing causes the other, they just know there’s a correlation between size and parenting effort.
“We’re assuming that testes drives how involved fathers are, but it could also be that when men become more involved as caregivers, their testes shrink.” Rilling stated. “Environmental influences can change biology.”
So really, what is this study proving? Is it saying that men with small balls are like, “Quit talking about how small my balls are. I’ll show you, and I’ll be an outstanding dad”? or is it that all the time spent with screaming kids and poopy diapers and not enough time having sex simply shrinks a man’s balls? Has family life shrunk the man’s balls? I don’t know. But is it really important?
And don’t think you’re off the hook, big-balled men—this is no excuse to shirk your dad duties. There are a lot of variables that affect fatherhood. The study also noted that economic, cultural and social factors could also influence the level and quality of a father’s caregiving.
I say, “Cheers!” for tiny testes, and “Hooray!” for big balls. Evolution being on your side or not, ultimately, whether a man is a good father or not is about his desire and commitment to be such. For me, any guy who chooses to invest his time into being a good father is the total package.
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