Nigel Campbell's picture

Do Smaller Testicles Make You A Better Father?

A new study out of Emory University has found a correlation between men's testicle size and their involvement as fathers. Does being empathetic and caring automatically mean smaller cojones? 

Let's see what the study says.

New Scientist reports:

James Rilling and his colleagues at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, used MRI scans to measure the volume of the testicles of 55 fathers. The team asked these men – and the mothers of their children – a series of questions to determine how involved they are as fathers. The team also used fMRI brain scanners to look at the brain activity of the men as they viewed photos of their kids.

Men with smaller testicles got the best parenting scores in the questionnaires. When looking at pictures of their children, these men also showed more activity in regions of the brain associated with empathy and motivation to care for offspring than men with bigger testes, which suggests they are more nurturing fathers.

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Okay, so why, according to this study, are guys with (physically) bigger balls less likely to be attentive fathers?

New Scientist explains:

Men with bigger testicles tend to produce more and higher-quality sperm. There may be a trade-off between the amount of energy a man invests in making sperm, which can be thought of as a mating strategy, and parenting, Rilling says. "We all do really have a finite amount of energy that we can spend on things," he says.

Rilling does not know how smaller testicles might make men better fathers. "We're assuming that testis size drives how involved the fathers are, but it could be that when men become more involved as caregivers, their testes shrink."

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Wait! So until conclusive evidence is found--you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you've got big testicles you're basically too tired to care for your kids. Duh. 

And if you've got smaller testicles and you ARE caring for your kids--it may be that whole process that shrunk your balls to begin with. 

Is this just some elaborate form of male targeted birth control?!

New Scientist concludes that: The findings do not necessarily mean that men with bigger testicles will be worse fathers. Most fathers choose how involved they are in their child's upbringing, says Rilling. "It might be more challenging for some men to do these kinds of caregiving activities, but that by no means excuses them," he says.

What do you think of the study's findings, Instincters?

 

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