Thursday, June 19, 2014

Male Brain and Parenting, 4

When evaluating parenting and brain function activation in three groups of individuals, Eyal Abraham of Bar-Ilan University and colleagues found that primary care-giving mothers showed greater activation in emotion processing structures, correlated with oxytocin and parent-infant synchrony. In comparison, secondary care-giving fathers displayed greater activation in cortical mental circuits, associated with oxytocin and parenting. And when interacting with a baby, the gay male brain of a primary care-giving parent showed brain activation that resembled both those identified in the brains of primary care-giving mothers and in the brains of secondary care-giving fathers. Some believe that the “female brain may come prewired to nurture babies.” Perhaps this may be based on the observation that child-care in most cultures is primarily relegated to female brains. Bottom line? Quality parenting is a learned skill and male brains—straight or gay—can learn those skills if they want to and hone those skills with practice. Part 5 tomorrow.

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