A man walks down the street with his wife, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child. With no kids, he has existed until now in his own orbit and paid little attention to the offspring of others. He notices a woman with a baby and the moment causes him some consternation — he feels very little for the child and worries that perhaps he lacks the empathy to be a dad. Are certain men, he wonders, hardwired to respond better to infants than others?
Pregnancy and parenting research has disproportionally favoured mothers, for obvious reasons, but there is a growing scientific interest in what happens in the brains and bodies of men who become fathers.