SCOTT SIMON, Host:
Testosterone is a hormone that promotes male characteristics, including musculature, libido, body hair - and eating food directly out of a pan over the sink when your family is away. Human beings have hormonal changes at different stages of life. Men preen, grow, scratch, and fan our feathers when we're young to attract a mate. Some of the doctors involved in the study suggest that fathers - or any male caring for a child - may undergo hormonal changes to help them become more considerate, patient parents.
A: Northwestern anthropologist Christopher Kuzawa noted you don't need a lot of testosterone to have libido. And a doctor at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center says she's found that daddy marmosets also have lower testosterone counts. They sire dozens of offspring. When you start comparing fathers to cute, little marmoset monkeys - not lions and stallions - you know something's changed. For most fathers, losing a few jots of testosterone is a trifling sacrifice for the huge joys of children. Besides, think how depleted Brad Pitt must be.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.