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25th Aug 2016

Broody Dads: Having One Makes Men Want More (Babies, That Is)

Trine Jensen-Burke

You know that all-consuming yearning you get when you see an infant, ladies? That familiar twist of the ovaries and desire to go make one RIGHT NOW?

Well, it turns out we are not alone in this (apart from the ovaries bit!) according to science. Some recent research at Kansas State University in the US found that men also experience Baby Fever, and have their biological clocks in a bit of a frenzy over the mere sight and scent of a newborn.

Hah! And all their jokes about our sudden, irrepressible urge to procreate when we see babies! Turns out they are just as bad!

According to researchers, the feelings we have come to call Baby Fever , are a legitimate emotional and physical phenomenon, and men are as likely to feel it as women, although the intensity of the sensation varies greatly over time.

In attempt to explain baby fever, the researchers adopted three views. First, that people, mainly women, are programmed to feel they’re supposed to have children (a sociocultural view). Second, that people want to have children to fulfill a natural role as nurturer (a byproduct view). Neither of these explanations tested well among research participants.

But thirdly, that baby fever is a signal to the brain that the time may be right to procreate (adaptationist view) made the most sense, say researchers. In testing the view, they observed that positive exposure to babies (mainly those who are behaving, mind you) intensifies the urge to have children.

Meanwhile, negative contact — think screaming, kicking, stinky baby — suppressed the urge. (Meaning, keep your man away from these if you are broody!) Also worth mentioning: The study found that, for women, the urge to have a child dampens after the first baby. For men, however, one kid means a sudden desire to have even more.

Basically, if you are happy with one, beware the Broody Man, who might try and trick you into Baby #2. Where are those contraceptive pills again?!

What do YOU think? Who pushed for babies in YOUR house? And WHO wanted one more (and then some!)? Join the conversation with us on Twitter at @HerFamilydotie