From a New York Times piece on recent testosterone research:
This is probably not the news most fathers want to hear.
Testosterone, that most male of hormones, takes a dive after a man becomes a parent. And the more he gets involved in caring for his children — changing diapers, jiggling the boy or girl on his knee, reading “Goodnight Moon” for the umpteenth time — the lower his testosterone drops.
So says the first large study measuring testosterone in men when they were single and childless and several years after they had children.
While the research is interesting, I thought the first line of the piece was shortsighted, misinformed and silly.
Most fathers wouldn’t give research like this a second thought because most fathers are men, and men are imbued with three unique, protective traits:
- The innate ability to assume that research like this may apply to most men but never to them.
- The absolutely certainty in the depth and breadth of one’s manliness and corresponding levels of testosterone.
- The unflinching self-assurance that even if one’s testosterone levels were exceedingly low, he could still overcome any hormonal limitation through sheer force of will.
Dr. Peter Ellison is quoted in the piece as saying, “Unfortunately, I think American males have been brainwashed to believe lower testosterone means that maybe you’re a wimp, that it’s because you’re not really a man.”
Dr. Peter Ellison is an idiot.
American males have been brainwashed into navigating life with blinders on. We hone in on good news, compartmentalize the bad and think of ourselves as a self-actualized super beings whose flaws and foibles are merely the result of the misunderstanding of others.
My testosterone has been reduced since becoming a father?
But if true, irrelevant.
And if relevant, ultimately meaningless.