I’ve found the smoking gun, the hard evidence that the world needs longterm paternity leave.
It’s all about generating smelling cells in the brains of mice.
Obvious, isn’t it?
Well, actually, it is. Here is the lead from an article in Science:
For a father to truly bond with his children, he needs to grow some new gray matter. At least that seems to be the case in mice. A new study shows that when a mouse father nuzzles his pups, he develops new neurons that help him remember—and protect—those offspring later in life. The results suggest that in mice, and perhaps in humans, young babies and dads bond biologically in ways that can last a lifetime.
Now fathers who work can still nuzzle their kids and grow the brain cells (which are really smelling cells, as the recognition is apparently based on smell). But with co-sleeping and paternity leave, I spend about 20 hours a day in close proximity to Baby B.
My mind must be huge by now.
A Swedish website made the human paternity leave connection outright (forgive the translation):
It confirms what we already knew, that men who take parental leave with their children and could spend a long time with them return to their jobs as wiser men.
Of course, I’ve also read that proximity to babies lowers testosterone levels. That was also about smell, though I can’t find a link right now.
So, to sum up, I am now super smart and not at all aggressive.
I am going to have to go think about that (at a very high level) as old people elbow me out of the way at the supermarket.