There are a number of good reasons for men not to have children, and I’m talking about besides how guilty they make you feel laying around with their little stupid helpless bodies while you’re trying to enjoy yourself in the middle of a coke-bender. There’s also the whole thing where they completely transform your life from, say, writer, photographer, club-promoter, (assorted “creative job”), into full time person who has a baby and literally nothing else going on. That job pays shit, I might add.
We knew all of that before of course, but a new study by Notre Dame anthropologist Lee Gettler suggests an even more pressing reason to avoid punching the clock at the baby factory: it robs you of your manhood.
That’s not a metaphor. That’s literally speaking, at least according to the results of this one study that probably doesn’t even mean anything anyway, but we have to talk about something, and this is how blog reports on studies like this work.
The problem arises, Gettler’s findings suggest, from when fathers co-sleep with their new children, as the babies, and this isn’t exactly a direct quote, but you get the idea: “transform into voracious mutant vampires that suck the vitality right out of your bones while you sleep.” Just like all those tiny spiders crawling all over you at night that you’ve always worried about. In other words, men who sleep with their babies experience a decrease in testosterone.
Gettler told The Huffington Post that he and his colleagues do not yet know why testosterone levels seem to take a dive after dads sleep in close proximity to their children, but he offered several hypotheses. There could be tactile cues or certain smells that affect testosterone, a hormone produced by both men and women (although men’s levels are much higher). Though testosterone is usually thought of in relation to men’s sex drive — and indeed, it does affect libido — the hormone has other functions. Some studies have linked higher testosterone levels to aggression, extroversion and risk-taking. HP
New dads wondering why they don’t feel up to “going out with the boys” for a “couple of cold ones” anymore and could never understand why, it’s possible that it’s not just because you’ve turned into a giant pussy (although you have), but it’s because of science. Horrible, evil, nightmarish baby science. It’s not all bad news though: sleeping with the little brat may actually help you bond emotionally.
“In an experimental study, men with greater testosterone reported lower sympathy or need to respond to infant cries relative to men with lower testosterone,” they wrote. “And, in a separate, similar study, men’s testosterone decreased in conjunction with providing a nurturing response to infant cries.”
That may be because it’s a lot easier to get a good night’s rest without a screaming ball of fury laying on top of your face, but we’ll have to wait for the rest of the data to come in before we can say for sure.