Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Big Balls

I regularly get irritated at the junk masquerading as science in the media. I guess I could say just that I regularly get irritated. Or testy (this word choice will pay off later, you'll see)."Burning Man"? It could be my nickname. I regularly blow my stack, let off steam, whatever you want to call it.

I am confrontational. I come by it naturally - in my family, when two members get into an argument it's like a chemical cue is released, alerting all members to congregate and get in on the fight. Something akin to how sharks can sense a drop of blood in the water from miles away. I am cocky. I may in fact be described as a "macho" guy. I have what are colloquially known as "Big Balls".

Thus my testiness with the release of a recent "study" that links being a good dad to having smaller testicles. What a load of bollocks. Of course a stir has been created in the chattering classes by this publication (not to mention a run on codpieces). It is silly science, there are a number of problems with the study and the conclusions drawn. First of all, what makes a good dad? The researchers focus on diaper changing and the like rather than on coaching sports teams for example - both of which can involve dads in important ways in a child's life.

Also, what is the cause and what is the effect? Previous studies have shown men's testosterone drops after becoming fathers (and apparently many of those desirable mates had higher than normal testosterone to begin with). Researchers aren't sure that a similar physical change hasn't occurred below the belt.

Lastly there is a great deal of variation in the study which seems to point at a certain amount of choice by the men involved. Some men with big balls are good dads and some men with small balls are not. A study like this makes me shake my head anyway. What is the POINT exactly? Other than to get people all riled up?

I read a fascinating book recently, "How The Brain Changes Itself" by Dr. Norman Doidge, which discusses, among numerous other instances of brain plasticity, how when people fall in love their actual physical brains change. I think most of us who have had kids know what I'm talking about when I say you fall harder in love with your children than you can imagine. It proves the old adage that you can't wait to be ready before you become a parent, you become ready by becoming a parent - literally.

There is no doubt that I radically changed in the way I saw and related to the world when my guys were born. Talk about baby brain. I was totally messed up each time - thought I was going crazy. I would cry singing Molly Malone to them (it was so tragic how she died so young!) Now I kinda wonder what the hell was going on there. It makes sense to me that men change radically and physically when they have children - the science supports it. And this is a good thing, right? You need to change to become a good Dad (or Mum) It's called growing up.

So, ladies, you can put your calipers/scales away - no need to measure the heft of the coconuts before choosing a mate because,
while men may have smaller balls after they become involved fathers, one thing is clear:
they have BIGGER HEARTS.