Fatherhood by the Numbers

Fatherhood lags behind motherhood, but is also rising. That's fatherhood by the numbers. Scholars also call for increased research on fatherhood interventions, including more rigorous research designs to discern what the effects of those interventions on children will be.

Immaculate Conception

Mom with newborn baby--photo icons. But where's dad in the mix? He's often taking the photo rather than caught on film. Ian Beesley is spurred to action--taking photos of fathers holding their babies.

How Did Nature Create Involved Human Fathers?

By what processes are human fathers fashioned? Chance mutations? Sophisticated "evo-devo" processes modeled by Andreas Wagner in his new book, "Arrival of the Fittest"? By developmental plasticity and the "Baldwin effect"? Let's think about this.

Sharing the Joys and Responsibilities of Fatherhood

Partible paternity refers to shared fatherhood, and is found among many South American Amerindian societies. A new study explores adaptive aspects of partible paternity among Ache women and men in Paraguay. Shared fatherhood can serve as a form of social insurance against risk. The findings illustrate the rich social context to partnering and paternal care.

The Childhood Dramas of Halloween

Boys and girls show sex differences in their choice of Halloween costumes. Boys lean toward superheroes, and girls' top choices feature princesses. Here, we draw upon Joyce Benenson's recent book on sex differences in children's social behavior ("Warriors and Worriers") to make sense of these costume choices, couched within an evolutionary perspective.

Paleo Dads?

There has been lots of interest in the Paleo Diet or in other ways to live like our ancestors. But what if we tried to father as "Paleo Dads"? What would our lives be like, and would that make any sense?

Fathering for the Beltway

Stemming from a fall 2013 NIH panel discussion on fathers, Nan Astone and Elizabeth Peters provide a sketch of U.S. fatherhood. How has American fatherhood been changing in recent decades, and what might be some policy implications?

Hormones and Fatherhood

A new review paper by Lee Gettler pulls together data, methods, and concepts in a discussion of hormones and fatherhood.

Evolution of Human Fatherhood

How did human fathers evolve? Here, we consider 7 take-home points highlighted in a new review paper that focuses on the evolution of human fatherhood.

Fathers in Visiting Relationships

Many children in Caribbean societies are born into visiting relationships, or relationships in which the parents live apart. How do history and contemporary challenges account for visiting relationships?

Fathering a Passion for Sports

It's World Cup time. How many fans (and players) have their fathers to thank for helping encourage a passion for sports? Let's explore how dads may help stoke their kids' soccer, baseball, football (you name it) fires.

Behold a Baby, and Consider Heightened Sexual Conflict

Recent international Internet search findings suggest that one of the main concerns linked with pregnancy is having sex. Here, we ask how does the peripartum (pregnancy and postpartum) impact a couple's sex life? While pregnancy and postpartum phases have sex-specific effects, they can also amplify any sex differences in sexual desire.

Do Fathers Matter? They do in Paul Raeburn's new book.

A new book explores the science of fatherhood. Paul Raeburn's "Do Fathers' Matter?" draws on classic and recent studies to provide compelling stories putting fathers in another light.

Exploring What Matters

A study finds that adolescents’ mattering to stepfathers and nonresidential biological fathers predicts reduced internalizing and externalizing behavior. We need to know more about children's perceptions being raised within variable family configurations.

An Inside View of Father’s Face

Most parent/child neurophysiology studies have focused on the effects of parents of young children viewing or listening to infants. A few recent studies turn that around and ask about the effects of adults viewing photos of their parents. What do these studies find?

Digging in the Kinsey Archives for New Family Insights

How does family structure during one's childhood impact one's later life history (age of puberty, patterns of sexual behavior, reproduction, risk-taking)? A new study digs up the old data from the Kinsey studies to shed further light on this question.

A Father’s Fidelity

A new study on wild owl monkeys finds that social monogamy maps on to genetic monogamy. Across 15 species of socially monogamous mammals, intense paternal care also accords with lower rates of extrapair paternity. These findings contribute to a richer comparative perspective on a father's fidelity, including in humans.

Male Reproductive Senescence

Humans are not designed to live forever. Nor are males designed to reproduce indefinitely. By multiple measures, human males exhibit signs of reproductive senescence, or age-related decline in function. Our declines are delayed relative to those of great apes, but they are still central to our life history.

All Joy and No Fun?

How do kids impact American dads' and moms' lives? In a new book, Jennifer Senior explores this terrain. Kids can bring moment-to-moment hassles, but also sublime joy. We focus here on those and other effects on dads.

Fathers Leave Their Marks

Fathers can enjoy genetic and social legacies. Fathers may also leave their marks in another way—with the possibility of epigenetic inheritance. Let's explore this mode of potential paternal influence.

Some Father-Friendly Data

A large and new report presents data on American men's paternal involvement. How often are fathers helping their kids with homework, eating together, playing together, and more? While differences are most stark depending on whether dads live with their children or not, the findings can be viewed in a variety of ways, including increases in direct paternal involvement.

Adoptive Fathers

Adoptive fathers have been found in various species, from wolves to chimpanzees to humans. Why might males care for unrelated offspring? While an apparent puzzle from the standpoint of evolutionary theory, a variety of factors may be at play.

Sex Without Babies

Results of a new, large British sex survey have just been published. In an accompanying "Comment" piece, researchers suggest that sex "is not primarily, or even necessarily, about reproduction." Let's unpack that perspective.

On Non-Dads (Or Childless Men)

A fraction of men live and die childless. How can these non-dads be viewed from an evolutionary perspective? What are some of the reasons why men do not father children?

The Human Zoo

Imagine you were designing a zoo exhibit featuring humans. How would you put together a group of humans? What roles, if any, would the dads have?

What Are the Effects of Children on Fathers?

A recent NIH panel focused on the "Effects of Children on Fathers." What are some of the most central effects of children on dads, and why does this matter?

Focus on the Fundamentalist Mormon Polygynous Family

The Brown family, from TLC's "Sister Wives" represents one family's experience of fundamentalist Mormon polygyny. At a debate taking place at UNLV, we learn of others' quite different and negative experiences in polygynous families. Let's explore the role of fathers--and more--in the context of Mormon polygyny.

Fathers in Fragile Families

Family dynamics are changing, with more unmarried couples having children and fathers' roles playing out across various relationship contexts. How are states of these changing unions (e.g., marriage or visiting relationships) related to father involvement? A large, longitudinal data set from the Fragile Families Study sheds new light on these issues.

Modern Dads

A new show on "Modern Dads" premieres on TV. These guys have variable paternal roles (stay-at-home dads, single dad, stepfather), but are united in telling jokes and going to the park.

The Case of the Lost Boy?

Actor Jason Patric's court case raises fascinating questions about genetic and social fatherhood.

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