Daddy Is The Tough Guy Of The Animal KingdomJune 16, 2010 No Comments
Daddy. The word is more often associated with teddy bear tea parties than it is with raw masculinity.
But what better evidence is there of a man’s virility than his ability to create and provide for his children?
The assumption among certain less evolved members of the population is that a guy pushing a baby carriage is hen-pecked, pussy-whipped and ought to be doing something more masculine — like chopping down trees or killing small animals.
However, recent research shows that with certain primates, caring for a baby is a sign of machismo.
Among male Barbary macaques “no display carries higher status, or is more likely to impress the other guys, than to strut around the neighborhood with an infant monkey in tow.”
And it doesn’t have to be their own baby. Males will borrow children from mothers to use them as their networking tools.
“If they don’t have an infant, they can’t interact,” Dr Julia Fischer, one of the authors of the study said.
“Want to befriend the local potentate? Bring a baby. Need to reinforce an existing male-male alliance, or repair a frayed one? Don’t forget the baby.”
The researchers assumed that the babies had a neutering effect on the males, and that they would make them less likely to fight.
Turns out the babies caused the male’s hormones to spike. The little ones were evidence that they were tough enough to handle caring for a child and “to show other males that they can bear the stress.”
Caring for a baby is so difficult that it is the ultimate evidence of masculinity.