When my son was born three and a half years ago, he looked like he had just gone 15 rounds with Joe Frazier. He was beat up. He had red welts on his face. But I couldn’t see it. Every time I took a picture of him, I was amazed at how the picture had all these imperfections that I hadn’t seen when looking through the lens. I hated the pictures but it made me realize that my perception was being powerfully altered by some kind of hormones that had been released when he arrived. I could look at him in real life and literally not see what the digital record had just recorded. It was weird.
So, this research doesn’t surprise me at all. Fathers become more attached to their offspring the more they are around them. Only five percent of mammalian fathers have any role in the upbringing of their children. In most cases, hormones are insufficient to make us care. But not so for humans. Human dads are wired to love and take care of their offspring.
On Father’s Day, thank god for that.