Testosterone Drop With Marriage And Fatherhood

I’ve been sent this link by half a dozen people, so I’m raising the white flag and posting it lol. Fatherhood Leads to Drop in Testosterone
Some selected bits…
Testosterone that most male of hormones, takes a dive after a man becomes a parent. And the more he gets involved in caring for his children — changing diapers, jiggling the boy or girl on his knee, reading “Goodnight Moon” for the umpteenth time — the lower his testosterone drops.
Scientists say this suggests a biological trade-off, with high testosterone helping secure a mate, but reduced testosterone better for sustaining family life.
The lowering of their testosterone did not prevent the men in the study from having more children. “You don’t need a lot of testosterone to have libido,” Dr. Kuzawa said.
“If guys are worried about basically, ‘Am I going to remain a guy?’ ” Dr. Worthman said, “we’re not talking about changes that are going to take testosterone outside the range of having hairy chests, deep voices and big muscles and sperm counts. These are more subtle effects.”
Testosterone does a boat-load of different things for males, so a drop in testosterone doesn’t automatically mean your penis suddenly turns into a vagina. It can simply cut back on a few areas that testosterone was used for.
There’s also a step down in testosterone after getting married as well. So marriage and then fatherhood is two steps down in testosterone.
My hunch is that a lot of the risk-taking and aggression elements in men reduce on getting married and then becoming fathers. Essentially risky behavior is aimed at finding and winning a mate, and then once you have a mate, you body plays a more conservative strategy and calms you down and makes you more responsible. It’s one thing to do some exciting dangerous crap to make the girls squeal and pay attention to you. It’s another thing to do that when you have pussy waiting at home.
However I would tag testosterone as far more associated with the Alpha Traits than the Beta Traits. So a drop in testosterone can indeed lead to an unconscious drop in Alpha behavior. Then once you add kids into the mix, you tend to need to play more of a comfort role and thus you natural attend to the Beta Traits. Along the way that Alpha drop and Beta gain turns into full fledged Betaization.
The solution is to be conscious of what is happening. You don’t need to have an overload of testosterone to consciously pay attention to doing some Alpha stuff. If you find yourself hooked on watching the Knitting Channel, maybe it’s time to break it up a little and find a channel with monster trucks, naked tits and needlessly large explosions with minimal plot development.
By all means do the Beta Traits, you have to if she is going to be comfortable with being in a relationship with you. Just pay conscious attention to having some male interests and not folding up and bowing to her every whim.
However if you do have very low testosterone, read over Hypogonadism and see if that’s you. If so, off to the doctor, you can’t game a medical condition away.


  1. I recall an anecdotal story about a guy working at an isolated station (ship? rig?) in Alaska. Every once a month or so he would go into town, and one of the things he did there was to visit the local brothel.

    Now, what is interesting is that he noticed physiological changes leading up to his town visits, and afterwards. For example, he recorded that fingernail growth (measured using regular clippings) increased in the lead-up to the town visit, and then decreased markedly thereafter until the lead-up to the next town visit. Other physiological phenomena also showed this same pattern.

    It was hypothesized that the 'expectation/anticipation' of sex caused an increase in testosterone and other growth hormones, when then fell off again afterwards as he knew he would not be 'getting some' for at least a month or so thereafter. This, despite the fact that his lifestyle and physical work routine did not change.

    This might explain a drop-off in testosterone in men who become parents, because the stereotype is that after marriage, and especially after kids are born, sex frequency drops off a cliff.

    That is to say, it is somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy, or a vicious cycle, depending on how you want to look at it. The expectation of sex leads to increased testosterone production, which in turn increases 'male' (alpha) traits, which leads to more sex, which leads to the expectation of more sex, and so on. Of course the reverse is also true.

  2. petesgamethoughts says:

    Biggest thing you can do to keep your testosterone up is hit the gym. Studies show that long-term weightlifting raises your basal t-level.

  3. Agree about the self-fulfilling prophecy. The more Hubby and I have sex, the more we want it.

    Some of the lack of risk-taking behavior may have to do with a testosterone drop, but some of it is just the idea that we now have little lives depending on us.

    Before kids, Hubby used to race motorcycles and choose "riskier" jobs (firefighter, military, etc.). After kids, he's got a stable job in the medical field and he never rides a motorcycle any more.

    Before kids, I used to skydive and drive my car like a maniac. Now I don't skydive and I drive like a freakin' old lady.

    So it works the same way for both mommy and daddy, I think. Both stop engaging in risky behaviors because of the kids.

    Does it make men less Alpha? Oh yes, I think so for sure.

  4. The Married Man

    (Reservist of the Line)

    THE BACHELOR ’e fights for one
    As joyful as can be;
    But the married man don’t call it fun,
    Because ’e fights for three—
    For ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It
    (An’ Two an’ One make Three)
    ’E wants to finish ’is little bit,
    An’ ’e wants to go ’ome to ’is tea!

    The bachelor pokes up ’is ’ead
    To see if you are gone;
    But the married man lies down instead,
    An’ waits till the sights come on,
    For ’Im an’ ’Er an’ a hit
    (Direct or ricochee)
    ’E wants to finish ’is little bit,
    An’ ’e wants to go ’ome to ’is tea.

    The bachelor will miss you clear
    To fight another day;
    But the married man, ’e says “No fear!”
    ’E wants you out of the way
    Of ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It
    (An’ ’is road to ’is farm or the sea),
    ’E wants to finish ’is little bit,
    An’ ’e wants to go ’ome to ’is tea.

    The bachelor ’e fights ’is fight
    An’ stretches out an’ snores;
    But the married man sits up all night—
    For ’e don’t like out-o’-doors.
    ’E’ll strain an’ listen an’ peer
    An’ give the first alarm—
    For the sake o’ the breathin’ ’e’s used to ’ear
    An’ the ’ead on the thick of ’is arm.

    The bachelor may risk ’is ’ide
    To ’elp you when you’re downed;
    But the married man will wait beside
    Till the ambulance comes round.
    ’E’ll take your ’ome address
    An’ all you’ve time to say,
    Or if ’e sees there’s ’ope, ’e’ll press
    Your art’ry ’alf the day—

    For ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It
    (An’ One from Three leaves Two),
    For ’e knows you wanted to finish your bit,
    An’ ’e knows ’oo’s wantin’ you.
    Yes, ’Im an’ ’Er an’ It
    (Our ’oly One in Three),
    We’re all of us anxious, to finish our bit,
    An’ we want to get ’ome to our tea!

    Yes, It an’ ’Er an’ ’Im,
    Which often makes me think
    The married man must sink or swim
    An’—’e can’t afford to sink!
    Oh ’Im an’ It an’ ’Er
    Since Adam an’ Eve began!
    So I’d rather fight with the bacheler
    An’ be nursed by the married man!

    Rudyard Kipling


  5. I had spent the past 13 years of marriage (+3 kids) not much thinking about the testosterone thing. But it hit me this year that I had gradually been getting more and more passive about everything and finally I just exploded internally with a "no way will I accept this!!"

    So this 45-year-old ignored his creaking joints (mostly imagined), and his carb-fueled laziness and started working out almost every day. Simple stuff like dumbell curls, press and squats, pull-ups, clap pushups, alternating muscle groups, etc… in a take-no-prisoners fashion. I also cut way back on bread, chips, processed snacks, going into a somewhat paleo/primal diet.

    I lost about 25 lbs of gut that I didn't even realize I had (yes, we really do fool ourselves). My knee joints that had been bothering me actually felt better than they had felt in years. In fact I went from feeling 50 years old to feeling 30 years old. I gained back about another 10 lbs of muscle that I didn't know I had lost, and started walking with a real spring to my step and a whole lot more attitude. I felt a definite testosterone surge. In fact it was almost scary, like my blood was sizzling.

    And of course it was positively unsettling how many younger women at work started paying me a lot more attention. But I am quite happy to stay married to my sweetheart, so I just played it up with my wife who of course responded with a predictable arm slap and a sparkle in her eye. And gentlemen… sex when you're in shape an order of magnitude better. For both of you.

  6. Of course the level drops.
    After all, the balls are in her purse now.


  7. Anon 12:44,

    I'm not married, but when I got serious about upping my SMV and started working out more and eating more meat (I'm quasi-paleo), the same changes happened to me. I felt as good as I did almost ten years ago, I noticed women noticing me more and got a lot more decisive and effective at getting things done.

    Feels great.

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