Kilroy Was Here
May 21, 2002
The Fatherhood blog - Essential reading
Michael Lewis has been posting his insights on new fatherhood on Slate. These articles are great and insightful. The latest one, Infanticide to Infatuation - Why daddies don't kill their babies, looks into how father-love develops.
Maternal love seems to be genetic. But not necessarily so with paternal love.
While all humans seemed to genetically dispelled to protect things that look like infants (hence the preponderence of cats in as pets), Michael Lewis points out two things that might provoke parternal love.
The first has been discussed before (by people like Robert Wright in his book The Moral Animal). Women tend to select men who will be good fathers.
The second is something that Lewis himself brings up. Based on Lewis's observation, I think that women are genetically predisposed to market their babies to their husbands (and perhaps family and friends). This only makes sense in the nartural selection way. Women who have a predisposition and an ability to market their babies well will be more likely to have a husband that will love the baby. If fathers love their babies, babies are more likely to survive, passing on the mother's genes. Similarly, if friends and other family members love the baby, the baby has an even greater chance to survive.
Note that this strategy is not necessary for fathers. Since fathers can technically procreate at a much higher rate than mothers, fathers could abandon babies for a lot of other women and still have a good chance of having their babies survive to adulthood and passing their genes along.
I'd encourage everyone to go through and read other of Lewis's fatherhood chronicles. They are very insightful and honest. I really appreciate the courage Lewis shows in honestly and deeply questioning the fundamental notions of fathers and parents
Other Dad Again Articles
- Driving Miss Talulah - May 7th, 2002
- The Way We Live Now - April 29th, 2002
- Sister Trouble - April 22nd, 2002
- The Final Push - April 15th, 2002
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