Biology of Dads

Biology of Dads

2010, Psychology  -   126 Comments
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Ratings: 7.91/10 from 116 users.

Biology of DadsEvery child needs a father is a phrase heard often enough, but is there any evidence to support it? In this enlightening documentary, child psychologist Laverne Antrobus goes on a quest to discover why a dad's relationship with his offspring is so important. She uncovers fascinating new research which is shedding light onto the science of fatherhood.

Laverne meets a new dad who is experiencing Couvade Syndrome, a condition sometimes known as sympathetic pregnancy. She is keen to explore if the symptoms - which are similar to those felt by pregnant women, such as nausea and sickness - might be physiological as well as psychological. The dad takes a blood test shortly after the birth of his third child and Antrobus discovers that hormones could be the cause of his symptoms: possibly nature's way of priming him to become a more nurturing father.

Laverne then meets one of the UK's leading experts in the father's role within the family. While observing father and toddler play in his lab, she finds out how the rough-and-tumble play they witness is classic dad behavior. It is believed that this type of fatherly play is essential in teaching toddlers the boundaries of aggression and discipline.

In the final investigation, Antrobus looks into recent research which claims that men who have a good relationship with their daughters can influence the kind of husband the daughters choose. The study also found that girls whose fathers were absent during their formative years tend to reach puberty sooner and age quicker. Laverne recruits a team of married women to take part in one final, fascinating experiment.

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Faizilla
Faizilla
3 years ago

What a ridiculous 'experiment' where the baby's heart rate increases more when the father spoke to the baby as opposed to the mom? It could have been anyone else speaking!

Lazar
Lazar
4 years ago

The documentary is well achieved. I appreciate these investigations.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

It's amazing, isn't it? I wonder how the psychology affect upon a child who never live with dad.

Jerry Michaud
Jerry Michaud
11 years ago

I am amazed not to have read more comment from Femi_Nazi on these post ! normally they would be all over it. SO here is (before watching this video) my opinion on the mater .This, being that i am an open Equal parenting right activist. not a hard line fathers right proponent .

Man Prior to the industrial revolution , have had one task , and it was to hunt for the goods and the women care for the nest and raise the children. As simple as that , you can see this exact model throughout the under develop civilization or , as i like to call them go get the lucky one who are not trap in our idea of society and the rat race . even today i saw an add on the tele about how much mother and women had to suffer to walk miles to get water for their home in Africa, making it as the man were lazy and waiting on their asses when in reality this is a normal , not abusive daily task, as they would like you to believe, so that you send them money (CARE and OXFAM ) they need to fill up their fat pockets} after all, {less t then 10% of money send ever reach the one who needs it} .Reality is that man have to fight tribal wars , they have to hunt wild beast all at the risk of their life, while women plant little garden and care for their offspring, you cannot really hunt with a child on your hips can you ? And forget about dishes and vacuuming in a dirt hut when you eat with your hands. So to our society of today . since the 60 and the 70's the emergence of the women in the work force and the new age of , "i want everything now and i can always get better ", we have become a society of divorces and single parent, 70% of family are in that case if they are even been married at all .And for the first time in human history women actually in America and Canada makes for 51% of the employed work force , I guess its still cheaper to employ women (ouch, sorry) So the financial reward from our government for women is huge (welfare and baby bonus) and the divorce industry is a billion dollars industry . SO the hell with it we have to be single parents divided by a court system that is based an the commerce admiralty law . Our kids are commodity.(please Look it up if you have reason to question my say). Anyways truth is this , the 80"s were all about the pink man , the new father and we totally got it , we learn to be a different image of father and we want to be part of our children's life. and we are more then capable , that is those who got the message. There are still those who do not believe in it , too bad. Long story short , look at all of the problems we have with the juvenile these days and the majority of school drop out, recidivist young offender by far the majority, are raised in single family dwelling,and at the helm , a single mother . screeeecchhhh!!!! , I know I may have pissed you off there! But its a fact, see the real statistics. And that by far over 85% of children brought to the emergency with bodily injury cause at the hand of a parent ARE at the hand of a mother due to loosing their mind on their children. yes another real statistic, or better just go to your local emergency and ask the staff that report the matter to children's aids societies ! And lets not forget that the gross majority of infanticide are also at the hand of mother( for that one,you have simply to watch CNN or the BBC) followed by close family member like step fathers or step mothers and at the bottom of that list is father ....that should tell you lots, you still don't believe me? Look it up!. Anyway , Society has still to adapt a whole lot to this reality and find real solution for equal parenting to give our children the best of both world . Hopefully sooner then later .Listen women are not the problem , just that like us male they are stuck in this new reality and are trying to cope with what they are offered as reference So therefore a new real distribution of responsibility adapted to our society must be created allowing both parents to raise these children, before you are the next old age person going down the street and attack by a gang of teenager in search for their next trill to compensate for the lack of guidance.
Hmmm that could have went better, not my best comment, but again, still reality ,maybe someone will make a docu on these statistic someday.without fearing the oppressive retribution of the femi-nazi heavy foot.

Hollis
Hollis
11 years ago

if the mother wasn't the homemaker and child-tender, she could be as fathering as any father, and vice versa. "mummy cleaning" and "mummy washing up" could just as easily be "daddy (insert task)" -- so there's no reason that two men or two women couldn't raise equally well-balanced children. it's all a matter of role-playing, not gender identity.

Javier Alvarez
Javier Alvarez
11 years ago

" I had facebook on because I multitask", LOL.

tostrivetoseek
tostrivetoseek
11 years ago

I wish my dad was more caring and 'there' for me. Even as an adult, it's pretty hard to not have that connection.

David D Hart
David D Hart
11 years ago

My daughter inlaw has interesting intrests.(Claire)

Core Luminous
Core Luminous
11 years ago

We all, biologically speaking, need both Mother and Father, and they need a supportive, empathic community within which they too have grown and been nurtured.

Empathy is the best possible long term survival 'trait' of all and it stems from self empathy, which is then extended to others. Empathy enables a deep sensing of the world in which we live, and leads to appropriate nurturant behaviour and is a deeper basis for interaction with others than 'morals' imposed by Religion, Ideology or 'Society'.

The Industrial Hierarchical Society, just like other Hierarchical Societies disrupts the natural child-mother and child-father bonding processes that are mandated by our biology in order to preserve it's Power and to distract, undermine and alienate those born into it - check out the work of James W. Prescott... Google his name and 'violence' you will find much of use there.

Lee
Lee
11 years ago

I never had a dad, when I extend my mind to draw some sort of idea on what to do with my infant son, I have nothing to draw on. Mothers are most important I guess, but I'm not running off on my son, like my asswipe prick father did,though I just draw a blank. I already know babies can hear inside the womb, so I always used to talk to her stomach everyday, youre a good boy etc. Just things I wish I heard, but man did he kick when I talked to him in the womb. Still I draw a blank, I hope I can be for him what I wanted. I guess thats why I'm watching this.The stuff about my hormones changing, huh? I'm too much of a guy, in fact I've found I smoke more and snot wankers more often for tail gating me while my baby son's in the car. No one dare endangers my son. I never have become feminine, my son wants a blokey dad not a two mums, besides when you carry around a baby to shut the bugger up at three a.m. you tend to get a damn good work out, I'm just as tough.

Artemis Roberts
Artemis Roberts
11 years ago

I enjoyed some aspects of this documentry, for example, the noted hormonal differences. But little thought was put into why it might be like this aside from questionable evolutionary inference. While evolutionary inferences 'make sense', they often present a palatable confirmation bias OR imply that 'this is the way it has always been, the way it is now and this the way it is (and should) always be - which seems at ends with progress in general.

Some of the physical differences are related to our evolution (e.g the hormonal changes), likewise some of the different parenting styles stem from previous needs of the species - but I would argue that these are less about fundamental physical differences between men and women (who are relatively similar) and more about pervasive, perpetuated social roles - that the social roles date back to an earlier stage in our evolution where it was 'needed' . yet there is little physical difference in terms of brain-sex (5% differences in a few areas spatial/language yada yada :P). I see no reason why most aspects cannot be provided by either sex.

But if this is the case, perhaps we should focus less on trying to 'find value' in fathers or mothers as two separate entities - and instead learn the benefits of different parenting styles (from their evolutionary basis) to overcome the rigid social roles and to develop the naturally androginous characteristics of people, instead of inhibiting it and pigeon-holing them into ideal gendered-models. A child will still benefit from having multiple (positive) role models even if those role models are not polar opposites, but rather uniquely balanced individuals. Thus fathers are important, they are another positive influence who is invested in the growth of the child - I don't think we need to find a special 'father niche' (or 'mother-niche') to know that they are important, in so far as they want to be.

Just a note on a few comments - That a mother was able to claim her husband beat her and abandon her children isn't really caused by feminism - rather it is a result of a system which says women are or should be nurturing, passive, victims. Such that she must present a reason why she (a 'nurturing women') would abandon her children and being beaten is that reason, it is accepted as reasonable because of the view that she is passive/victim/weak. It is the same system in which a man whom is beaten may not admit it because he is expected to be 'macho'. It is precisely that system which feminism is against.

.... of course because these systems still exists it is difficult to tell when a women is actually beaten because others consider her weak, or she recognises that others see her as weak and uses that to escape the expectation that she is nurturing - and of course the same potential behaviour applies for all regardless of gender (i.e it's not crazy feminists abusing the system : / - its just human).

Kittenjsr
Kittenjsr
11 years ago

My father didn't do crap to help raise me, my brothers, or sister. He was always out drinking. I never had a fun parent, but I'd prefer mom over dad because her yelling was easier to tolerate than dad's explosive tantrums and beatings. I became a very solitary person because I hated being around both parents, even when I was in grade school I'd shut myself up in my room and read. I actually didn't develop normal social skills, I met my first friend in the 5th grade. Other than that I read.
As for my choice in men, most of them do not look like my dad, but I have noticed a tendency towards neglecting, verbally, and sexually abusive men. Although my dad never sexually abused anyone as far as I know, he seriously abuses my whole family on a daily basis.
Sometimes I look at these girls with good, healthy relationships with their parents- especially dads- and I can't quite figure out how they do it or how it feels. I guess it will always be a mystery to us girls with a father who was always in the house but never there for any of us.

AM
AM
11 years ago

I was just terrified of my father, as he had a very bad temper and was very controlling. He died when I was 15, but I wish my parents had gotten divorced before then.

Danny Jeez
Danny Jeez
11 years ago

Im gonna say this is partly based on the patriarchal system. But then again, they base it on the evolutionary theory.

What about male figures in a young girls life that arent her father, and vise verse?

What about the limited surveys and how random was the small amount of figures?

They look alike? What are the percentages, and what about the surroundings? e.g., multicultural areas (interracial couples), homosexuality, spinsters(sorry for the term) and vise versa??

also, implies that women CHOOSE their mates? I thought it went both ways, and i suppose if u disagree, your a man whos has bad social skills:)

regardless, you will extract about 20% decent information from this.

carkrueger
carkrueger
11 years ago

My father was the disciplinarian, he was not to be messed with. Definitely not a fun dad - he barley talked to me. I would have been better off if my Mom had divorced him.

kaosethema
kaosethema
12 years ago

awesome docu, feminazis (not feminists) won't like it though. makes them look secondary although i know that's not what the docu was about. it shows that BOTH parents are important in a child's life, that neither is more so than the other.

Aleksandra Mihailovic
Aleksandra Mihailovic
12 years ago

So, mothers cant talk to their babies in "adult language"? This study is based on deductive reasoning, a woman has also the capacity to teach "long words" to a child, and even talk to them in form of sarcasm or any other form. I would like to see a man feeding, working, educating and playing with their childreen. Childreen begin to see the father as the more popular fun parent? Is by any chance the mother cooking in the kitchen? Cleaning? The job of educating and playing should be equally divided, and even shared by both parents; also house work. This documentary only promotes a man's power in society, where women are left in the kitchen, and men are "the good ones". You are not teaching childreen equality in this dinamic. Both women and men tested on this documentary, probably grew up in a strong patriarcal society, and prolonging this system can also mean that inequality will be perpetuated in our "civilized world". I think that both women and men should be educated to be abble to educated childreen with both parents, or also to be able to educated being a single mother or dad. A mother can build independence and strong values, and so do men.

TruthsHurt
TruthsHurt
12 years ago

Playing with your kid is not "raising". If the fathers took more responsibility of the household (cooking, cleaning, washing) then the moms could have a chance to play with their kids instead the mom is left raising children and a grown man-baby. Pathetic.

Svetlana Vigliaturo
Svetlana Vigliaturo
12 years ago

Having raised my daughter alone as a single parent I was always wondering what exactly she was missing, and though through all her life I was trying to fulfill this lack and balance male and female approach in her upbringing, I was totally shocked, when she grew up, that I did not quite succeed in this. This is a very good educational movie for every parent who wants his or her kid to be prepared for life and be successful in it. Highly recommended.

???
???
12 years ago

My Father was killed by Chinese Communist Party in China when I was 7 years old. I am truely sorry that I did not have a father who could protect and guide me in my early life. It took me many years to realize that I have Heavenly Father looks through my whole life. Praise The Lord!

Courtney Fay
Courtney Fay
12 years ago

if you like this documentary, i highly recommend "The Other F Word" it's about rock stars turned fathers...interesting and sweet

jim dorey
jim dorey
12 years ago

a mother always knows it's her baby? nope, immediately take a baby away, and you'll have that lost connection. far as i've heard, it's pheromonal, and only takes a few seconds to make it.

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

Hey Bosses, due to the time zone thing and Pysmythe wishing to be discreet, is there anyway you can tell if he has received our messages and then delete this stuff for him? Is that allowed? Thanks :)

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

Let her read your comment below about being a father...it should tenderize her heart and hands.
az

SashaOT
SashaOT
12 years ago

I don't know how they came to these conclusions because they can't compare the results of 2 treatments on the same individual; with dad and without dad. Even the voice recognitions. There are other possible variables that could effect. This is not reliable nor valid.

SashaOT
SashaOT
12 years ago

I don't know how they could come to this conclusion when they can't test 2 treatments on the same sample to see if the same individual would come out with different results. Not very reliable.

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

I was a lucky one for having a father that was truly inspiring, soft, funny, strong, hard working, multi tasker and a great lover and teacher of nature. Now that i am a grown woman what i recognize the most in him is that he was always a great man for my mom. At 75 and 77 they are still this almost perfect couple walking hand in hand, kissing all the time, giving each other attention and patience and loving their kids equally. I was truly lucky!
GOOD DOC!
az

His Forever
His Forever
12 years ago

10+ documentary!

Ok, funny true story time: While Watching the part about dads checking the newborn for his own physical characteristics, I thought about when my son was born (in Asia) and the first non-Korean born in that particular clinic, I made all the nurses mad at me following him around making sure they didn't "switch" him with another baby! Only later did I laugh at myself realizing I would have known pretty quick if they had given me a full-blooded Korean instead of my own little darling mix!

Question: Is voilence against step children (not your own) such as shaken baby syndrom, greater than among your own biological children?

Draw Vinette
Draw Vinette
12 years ago

This is a GREAT documentary and very true when it comes to the changes in dads after their first child is born. Before kids I worked 12 hour days, was easily irritated, aggressive and controlling. After three kids you would not have recognized me. Easy going stay at home dad home schooling the kids. Problems? What problems? Very patient. Very easy going. Very co-operative with the needs of my kids. Do kids change the biology of dads? Absolutely!

firefly88
firefly88
12 years ago

C_and_N
id ran out of space if i'll tell u the things my father did for us...
but i guess i can sum it up to two things..unconditional love and time..the former is a given while the latter is a bit hard specially in this time and age when everyone seems to be too busy with something..my father,tho bz with work and other stuff, always finds time to be with us..

firefly88
firefly88
12 years ago

this doc made me appreciate my father more,even though i only had 16 good yrs with him...i can relate to growing up faster without a father...

Mowgli33
Mowgli33
12 years ago

I will openly admit my bias. I am a single father, not part time but every day from runny noses to parent conferences to awards - full custody. I wouldn't change a thing. My father missed out on the joys of child rearing. He was/is a good man but those were womanly duties. I have a 7 yr old son who is rough and tumble but will still give me a hug or kiss and shout " I love you" in front of his friends. With that said, if anything,he is missing out on a good mother figure. I am blessed to be the one who helps him learn to skateboard and also how to bake, to build a rocket and to snuggle with for bedtime story. in my opinion being father helps make me a better man and person. Again this is only my experience .

Will Conley
Will Conley
12 years ago

There's some science and some pseudoscience in this documentary, but overall it's worth the one hour viewing time, especially for those who are interested in what it means to be a man in the 21st century.

knowledgeizpower
knowledgeizpower
12 years ago

Having a father figure in your life is important there are things that a child must learn that a mother cannot give that a father can and there are things that a father cannot give that a mother can...I did not grow up having my biological father around I knew him just was not connected to him...I did have a father figure that I learned from that helped guide me..thats so important great film...Peace

adilrye
adilrye
12 years ago

I've heard a theory that fatherhood is something that makes humanity wholly unique. There aren't any other complex species in existence (as far as we know) where the father takes a role in providing for the child...except for us. Thus, fatherhood has an immensely important biological and psychological function as well.

And of course, the powerful cultural and social notions of what a father is and does, are fascinating to analyze as well. Personally, I feel fatherhood is a beautiful thing.

Elenor ??
Elenor ??
12 years ago

in my country, we have this kind of belief that if you are pregnant and you dont want to undergo the symptoms of pregnancy (morning sickness, craving for lots of food, etc) you should step over your husband and he'll be the one to bear it all... now i know that the scientific explanation to that through this docu...

Yi Wen Qian
Yi Wen Qian
12 years ago

I think this documentary highlights how important fatherhood is, and that it's not just a sociological but a biological thing. I think fathers are almost stigmatised in society today, because people seem to view it as a trap rather then something to be celebrated. I hope that society catches up to fact that fatherhood is perfectly natural, with a biological basis.

Steven Parker
Steven Parker
12 years ago

It's blocked in the UK it seems.

Noah York
Noah York
12 years ago

Bullshit! I'm So glad I never had a Dad.

KooKookaChoo
KooKookaChoo
12 years ago

wow, makes me really appreciate my dad's point of view - especially the part about "not going out dressed like that" lol! but it was neat what the researcher said in response to that kind of logic. I feel really lucky that my dad was always an active participant in my life and this documentary reminded me of that.