Document Detail

Hormonal correlates of paternal responsiveness in new and expectant fathers.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10785345     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Little is known about the physiological and behavioral changes that expectant fathers undergo prior to the birth of their babies. We measured hormone concentrations and responses to infant stimuli in expectant and new fathers living with their partners to determine whether men can experience changes that parallel the dramatic shifts seen in pregnant women. We obtained two blood samples from couples at one of four times before or after the birth of their babies. After the first sample, the couples were exposed to auditory, visual, and olfactory cues from newborn infants (test of situational reactivity). Men and women had similar stage-specific differences in hormone levels, including higher concentrations of prolactin and cortisol in the period just before the births and lower postnatal concentrations of sex steroids (testosterone or estradiol). Men with more pregnancy (couvade) symptoms and men who were most affected by the infant reactivity test had higher prolactin levels and greater post-test reduction in testosterone. Hormone concentrations were correlated between partners. This pattern of hormonal change in men and other paternal mammals, and its absence in nonpaternal species, suggests that hormones may play a role in priming males to provide care for young.
Storey; Walsh; Quinton; Wynne-Edwards
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Publication Detail:
Journal Detail:
Title:  Evolution and human behavior : official journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society     Volume:  21     ISSN:  1090-5138     ISO Abbreviation:  Evol. Hum. Behav.     Publication Date:  2000 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-04-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9709475     Medline TA:  Evol Hum Behav     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  79-95     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Psychology, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
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