Can Fatherhood Really Change a Man?

fatherhoodWe talk a lot about the many ways in which motherhood changes us. But how about guys? Does fatherhood change a man? Can becoming a father, in fact, make a bad boy mend his ways?

A new study suggests that – surprise, surprise -- the answer is yes. According to researchers at Oregon State University and University of Houston, men's tendency to commit crimes and smoke, drink, and partake of a certain illegal weed decreases when they become an adults – and most of those behaviors (crime, drinking, and smoking, though interestingly not marijuana use) decline even further once those men have kids.


That's certainly very nice, but it's worth noting that, though some of study's "bad boys" – whose behavior was tracked by researchers starting way back when they were students at a high-delinquency elementary school -- did mend their ways once they had kids, others did not. (And I don't even know what to make of that weird blip about the pot smoking. What do you think is going on there?)

While we women can hope for the best – that fatherhood will prompt our partners to behave better, just as motherhood often inspires us to become better versions of ourselves – it's probably not a great idea to rely on this happening. In other words, if you're involved with a wayward jerk, I'm gonna say it's not a safe bet to assume that he'll suddenly transform into a fine, upstanding, considerate person the moment he lays eyes on the infant he has fathered.

On the other hand, it's a good thing to remember that women aren't the only ones who can experience profound changes once they embrace their new roles as parents. Men can, too – in ways we may not even realize and they may not even express.

Do you think fatherhood has changed your partner?


Image via Jannie-Jan/Flickr


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