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Link Between Testicular Size and Fatherhood

Could Dad's Testicular Size Be an Indicator of His Fathering Skills?

Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this one on testicular size and fatherhood.

Is it possible that some men might be better "equipped" for fatherhood than others?

According to a HealthDay report, researchers are hoping to discover if the difference between fathers who are highly involved with child rearing and fathers who aren't is a matter of brain function or anatomy.

More specifically, they've been exploring a link between the size of a man's testicles and the level of testosterone, and parenting style.

Related: I'm afraid to have sex with my husband

The study, which included 70 fathers of children aged 1 to 2, used blood tests to measure testosterone, and interviews with fathers and mothers separately asking how often the man fed, bathed, prepared food for children or took them to appointments. Researchers also used an MRI brain scan to monitor the fathers' brain activity while looking at pictures of children. MRI technology was also used to measure the size of the men's testicles.

What they found suggested that the men with lower testosterone and smaller testes were more engaged caregivers. Testes volume was also correlated with the the men's increased neural response, specifically in the reward center of the brain, to viewing photos of their own offspring.

These results don't take into account that the very act of being involved caregivers may have an effect on testosterone levels and testicle size.

Read on for more about the correlation between size and fatherhood.

I have always been curious about how parenting, a person's response to being a parent, correlates to biology vs. environment. When I compare myself to some mothers who I deem better suited — far more natural, relaxed, and open — to motherhood and all it entails, I find myself using the expression "cut from a different cloth" a lot.

But if scientists started making connections between, say, breast size and mothering aptitude, I'm not sure I would want to hear about it. Yet we can't deny that humans are animals driven to perpetuate the species, and it only follows that biology and anatomy might affect our success, or failure, at this:

The Guardian's report on this study boils the study down to simple facts about animal behavior:

"The findings are the strongest evidence yet that variations in male anatomy reflect competing evolutionary strategies that can be distilled down to mating as much as possible versus investing more in parenting. Both are effective ways to maximize an animal's chances of having offspring that continue their lineage."

I can easily imagine how my husband, a Brit who just so happens to be a remarkably engaged father, would react to this study. "Sounds like a load of bollocks!" he would say. And he would be right. See definition of bollocks here.

More great reads from BabyCenter:
Is this the way to teach kids about stranger-danger?
Can you nurse a toddler while pregnant?
Is spicy food OK for breastfeeding moms?
Crazy for Rainbow Loom

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DawnBoomsma DawnBoomsma 2 years
And from this woman's perspective, Jeff you are spot on! Men need to have more backbone and start thinking with their heads and women need to get back to what we were supposed to be doing. (Not wearing the pants in the family!)
DawnBoomsma DawnBoomsma 2 years
I have been wondering whether this website is really worth me getting another e-mail for a while. How stupid and insulting is this! I am removing my subscription from this site. If they wanted to make an impression, they did not!
ShainaNieto ShainaNieto 2 years
This is so funny to me! Now all women with well endowed men are going to be questioning their husbands parenting skills. Being a "good father" means different things to different people. If they love their children & care for them physically, emotionally & spiritually & teach their children to work & love the way a man should, then great! Leave his testicles out of it! I have to admit that when I see a really doting father now Im probably going to assume he has small balls!! Lol!!
jeff1376266399 jeff1376266399 2 years
@DixieGabalis....It would seem my post makes a bit TOO MUCH sense in order for you to be so inflamed over it. Either the truth stings a bit, and i hit a nerve, or there's something abhorrently off with your reading comprehension, Einstein. Not once in my post did i "question the legitimacy of any study". My entire post was in response to another post, not the article. So i'd "brush up" on your comprehension before making erroneous statements about posts. Secondly, I'll give any and all opinions i want at any given time. This post wasn't even meant for you to begin with so keep your ass in your own business. And if you want to talk about "nonsensical rant and poor sentence structure" i'd read YOUR post one more time and compare all the "seemingly endless diatribe" to mine. I dare you to try and make sense out of the second to last sentence in your version of War and Peace. Lastly, I appreciate you proving the point i made in my last post about the word woman being a synonym for the word hypocrite. Thanks a heap for that one.
DixieGabalis DixieGabalis 2 years
@ Jeff. Wow, what an angry little man you are. Obviously someone pees in your cornflakes daily. The writer of the article actually did question the legitimacy of the study, eluding to the fact that the results may be misleading. As far as the seemingly endless diatribe (that means bitter and angry discourse) of your writing, you fail to connect your insults to the topic at hand. Additionally, everything about your writing screams "lacking education", from your nonsensical rant to your poor sentence formation and structure. For future reference, an individuals opinion is regarded with higher esteem if they remain respectful (and actually make sense). Finally, anyone who has absolutely no knowledge regarding a specific topic area (feminism,equal rights, oppression), should remain silent. Obviously you do not hang with the right women because if you did you could not so rudely overgeneralize an entire sector of the population. Brush up on theory, human behavior, biology, and history your posting clearly demonstrates grandiose opinion not fact. As far as DeborahRidgelyPaegelow's post, while it may a bit too abrasive in nature and not entirely correct technically, she is closer to being on mark than you.
StephFilby StephFilby 2 years
So Jeff, all women are hypocrites? I wouldn't be so brazen as to generalise all men as you do women, but you sound like a true misogynist.
jeff1376266399 jeff1376266399 2 years
@DeborahRidgelyPaegelow...."Hunting and farming" are the last jobs that "real men" should be teaching their children. And they most assuredly don't make them more "masculine". More ignorant perhaps, but not more maculine. I "theorize" that the higher a man's testosterone level is, the closer his iq will be to his sleeve size. Now if i was bringing up my child to be a caveman i'd certainly be bringing them to "Hunting and farming classes" weekly. Men in this country , in general, HAVE been getting wimpier and more pussified as each minute ticks away. Our justice system is second only to Canada's in relation to how many men think with the head they have down south, instead of the one they should, up north. The male judges, jury members, and prosecutors in America are all still under the impression that women are incapable of committing crimes. They literally let them get away with murder. And that's due to nothing BUT high testosterone levels. Thinking of, or witnessing the court system here is when i'm the most embarrassed to have a Y in my chromosome makeup. Lastly, for every male in this country who takes on "femmy" roles i'll show you a female who wants to be, and acts like, a man. Women just love "equality", when it suits their agenda. As soon as "equality" , however, means doing something she'd rather not, the woman turns into Little Bo Peep all of the sudden, and needs her big masculine man. I've got news for every single female....equality means taking the positive AND the negative aspects of the word. I also "theorize" that the word woman is a synonym for the word hypocrite. I don't mean to be didactic or facetious in any way, seriously, but them is just the facts ladies. Have a wonderful day or night.
StephFilby StephFilby 2 years
Interesting, I suppose it depends what you define as feminine roles. I don't particularly think caregiving is a mums role any more than a dads. We are both our childrens parents. My husband has always been a very involved dad, for the last 20 years and still is now with our young kids. He is as comfortable teaching the kids how to wring a chickens neck as he is discussing periods and painting nails. I am just as happy teaching the kids DIY as I am teaching them how to bake cakes. I suppose I am more interested in the testicle size and testosterone link. Hubby is quite a large man and yet has very low testosterone levels and has to use HRT.
DeborahRidgelyPaegelow DeborahRidgelyPaegelow 2 years
The real question begs to be asked here: Are the smaller size of a guy's nuts indicative of the more femmy role he takes? Seriously, the criteria you are looking for in this study is ridiculous. Those jobs all belong to the mother. The more masculine men (more testosterone) would be the type to hold more physical, tough guy jobs, teach their children to hunt and farm, and to be real men. I theorize that in a society where men have become more technology oriented and vegetarian, too many of them have become too "feminized" and have smaller testicles. Study that!
FarrahMeadows FarrahMeadows 2 years
my husband works full time and still takes our daughter to the park everyday after work. he takes her to most of her apointments and lets her paint his nails. I don't think having a full time job means you don't take your kid to the doctors what do you think single parents do?
Jessica14882430 Jessica14882430 2 years
I mean. I dont think it matters either about how often the dads carry the child to Dr. or feed them, because many dads, like my husband, work really hard to provide for their family and may not have many opportunities to do those things. What matters is how the father interacts and cares for his children.
Jessica14882430 Jessica14882430 2 years
I thiink this is ridiculous. My husband is now and always has been an excellent father to our three children...and he is not "applicable to this study" if you know wha
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