Some scientific studies are groundbreaking. Then there’s this one.
Emory University anthropologists, seeking to learn why some dads are better nurturers than others, investigated whether anatomy played a role in differences in parenting style. They’re finding: Men with smaller testicles are often more involved fathers.
A HealthDay article quoted lead study author James Rilling as saying “men with smaller testes and lower testosterone levels were more involved in caregiving.” Also, “men with smaller testes volume also had a stronger neural response ... when the men viewed images of their children,” Rilling said.
The study findings were published in the Sept. 9 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The participants included 70 men who were the biological fathers of children from one- to two-year-olds.
The HealthDay article states that researchers used a structural MRI to measure the size of each man’s testicles and blood tests to measure testosterone levels. Researchers interviewed the fathers and the children’s mothers to find out how active of a role the men played in activities such as diaper changing and doctor visits.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone is buying the results of the Emory study. The study is a little heavy on assumptions, Dr. Joseph Alukal, an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and urology at NYU Langone Medical Center, told HealthDay.
"They've assumed a few things and I'm not sure they have the science to back it up," Alukal told HealthDay, adding that "you can't correlate testes size to hormones.”
The HealthDay article can be viewed here: healthday.com.