Fatherhood Lowers Men's Testosterone, But the Causes Remain Murky

80beatsBy Veronique GreenwoodSep 13, 2011 9:42 PM


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If having kids has made you feel like less of a party animal, men, you now have some science backing you up

. A new study following men from their single salad days through the early years of their children's lives found that fathers had a steeper decline in testosterone levels than men who remained single and childless. Though previous studies had indicated that fathers had lower testosterone, this is the first study to look at men before and after fatherhood, showing that it's not just that lower-testosterone males are more likely to become dads. (In fact, this study shows the opposite---it's the hormone-pumped guys who are more likely to settle down with a partner and have kids.) But testosterone declines naturally with age

, and stress is known to contribute to cellular aging

. Is the accelerated decline because zero sleep, frayed nerves, and other byproducts of procreating are making men old before their time? That's a question for next time---this study doesn't address the decline's cause.

Image courtesy of edenpictures / flickr

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