Thursday, March 25, 2010
Love, Sex, and the Male Brain
There's a great opinion piece on CNN.com about how male brains are wired, how they respond to testosterone, and how women often misinterpret men because their brains work differently.
For our Daddy-Baby bonding purposes, the most important part of the piece is in the middle. The author, Louann Brizendine, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco and founder and director of the Women's Mood and Hormone Clinic, writes:
The 'Doting Daddy Brain'
A man in hot pursuit of a mate doesn't even remotely resemble a devoted, doting daddy. But that's what his future holds. When his mate becomes pregnant, she'll emit pheromones that will waft into his nostrils, stimulating his brain to make more of a hormone called prolactin. Her pheromones will also cause his testosterone production to drop by 30 percent.
These hormonal changes make him more likely to help with the baby. They also change his perceptual circuitry, increasing his ability to hear a baby cry, something many men can't do very well before their wives are pregnant.
And a word to the wise for all the young mothers who are reluctant to let your husbands hold and care for your newborn. The more hands-on care a father gives his infant, the more his brain aligns with the role of fatherhood. So, hand over the baby. (Emphasis ours).