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Medindia: Study Reports On Link Between Testicle Size And Parenting


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Study Reports on Link Between Testicle Size and Parenting

 

New research looking to fathering habits and testicle size suggested that bigger may not be better when it comes to the day-to-day raising of small children.

 

The research involved 70 US men of varying ethnicities -- most were Caucasian, five were Asian and 15 were African-American. All were the fathers of children aged one to two.

The larger the volume of their testes, the less the men were involved in daily parenting activities like changing diapers, said the study by researchers at Emory University in Georgia.

In comparison, men with smaller testes showed more nurturing activity in the brain when shown pictures of their children, and also were more involved in their children's upbringing, according to surveys answered separately by both the fathers and their female partners.

All the men in the study were aged 21-55 and lived with the biological mothers of their children. Most were married.

"I wouldn't want to say that men with large testes are always bad fathers but our data show a tendency for them to be less involved in things like changing diapers, bathing children, preparing meals, taking them to the doctor and things like that," said lead author James Rilling, an associate professor of anthropology.

 

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1) Usually when you read about studies like this, it's a study correlating a number of variables and a non-scientific publication ends up focusing on a tiny piece of that work -- (e.g. a scientist does a study to learn the long-term effect on the body of spending time at high altitudes -- legitimate area of interest. A newspaper picks up on one tiny finding and publishes a headline saying, "New Study shows that airline stewardesses have larger than average nostrils").

 

2) Studies with tiny sample sizes are typically used as a springboard to get initial data and develop hypotheses to test in more detailed studies.  The technical journals are usually very clear about this point when discussing their findings.  I'm not sure that fact carries over when mainstream publications pick up these stories.

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