The results of research, led by Eyal Abraham of Bar-Ilan University, were recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The purpose of the study was to investigate parenting behavior in three groups of individuals: primary-caregiving mothers, secondary-caregiving fathers, and primary-caregiving homosexual fathers raising infants without maternal involvement. To do this, the researchers visited 89 first-time parents. They watched as the parents interacted with their babies, as they interacted with their babies, videotaped some of those interactions, and measured parental levels of oxytocin. (Oxytocin is a hormone that is involved with behaviors related to nurturing, trust, affection, and bonding.) Later on, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) researchers scanned the brains of the parents as they watched the video of themselves with their babies as well as videos of other parents interacting with their own children.
Part 3 tomorrow.