Less Testosterone, Less Likely Cheat?

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The National Academy of Sciences released a study (http://bit.ly/pdEcIQ) recently assessing that men who spend time caring for their offspring will experience a drop in testosterone. This drop could also play a role in the claim that new fathers are less likely to cheat on their spouses. However that's not always the case says Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil.

The National Academy of Sciences released a study (http://bit.ly/pdEcIQ) recently assessing that men who spend time caring for their offspring will experience a drop in testosterone. This drop could also play a role in the claim that new fathers are less likely to cheat on their spouses. However that's not always the case says Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil.

“In my experience,” says Dr. Bonnie, “men who would be inclined to cheat are actually more likely to have an affair when a baby is born.” That's not to say that someone in a healthy, supportive relationship will suddenly turn into a cheater as soon as there's one on the way! Husbands that are very hands-on with their kids will be more attached to their children and more family-oriented and therefore, agrees Dr. Bonnie, less likely to cheat. But she points out that the converse is true as well: men who are less involved with their children, who exist in a relationship that is perhaps already rocky or stressful, will have a higher instance of affairs.

Men in this situation may start feeling left out once the baby is born, and may even start to feel more like a sibling than a parent and husband. Testosterone is higher in these situations as is the stress and separation from their spouse. These things combine to make a perfect storm and men may be more prone to “fix” the situation by seeking out another relationship that has the allure of being less work.

Of course, says Dr. Bonnie, that is far from the case as cheating never simplifies anything! A hands-on parent is good for all involved. Even if it's initially stressful, it creates a healthy environment for the child and – in spite of those late nights – even for the parents!

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Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil

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