Women are known to have certain long-term changes in their bodies once they become mothers. They experience hormonal changes during their pregnancy and even afterward. Up till now the majority of the research in this regard existed on women alone, and little was known regarding biological fathers developing long-term changes in their bodies once they became fathers.
It was known that fathers experienced certain changes in their bodies as well as in their routines, that is, the way they work, sleep, exercise, etc.
To understand these changes, neurobiologists researched on biological fathers and men who were not fathers yet. It was seen that fathers had lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of oxytocin, as compared to non-fathers.
These observations clearly justify why certain changes are seen in men after they become fathers. testosterone is responsible for generating aggression in men as well as sexual drives. Oxytocin on the other hand is responsible for maternal bonding and relationships. In simpler words, it’s known as the love hormone. This makes the father capable of loving and fostering his child. This facilitates a dad to be more empathetic towards his child rather than acting out of frustration. All the energy that was initially supposed to be focused on mating then gets focused on parenting.
In another study when fathers were shown a few baby pictures, their expressions seemed to be more responsive than non-fathers. Fathers who were known to be spending more time with their children showed even stronger facial expressions.
In later studies when fathers were given additional dosage of Oxytocin, it seemed to have nurtured the parenting capabilities of a father, making him more loving and caring.
Humans were not the only species put under research. A research conducted on California mice showed similar results. California mice were chosen for the study because a male California mouse is usually responsible for taking care of the offspring. It was seen that their Oxytocin levels increased as well. it was even observed that male mice developed high estrogen levels in their bodies.
After interviewing a few fathers, it was known that even though they go through sleepless nights, financial constraints, and other family troubles, having a child had added meaning to their lives.
There is still a lot of research pending before the exact physical and psychological changes in men are known after they become fathers. However, these biological changes are nowhere near to what a woman experiences after she becomes a mother