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Study proves men can be effective primary caregivers

The fathers’ rights movement has been picking up a lot of steam in recent years. Possibly because women are taking a more active role in the workforce, more men are taking on bigger parental responsibilities. Additionally, as the divorce rate in our country remains high, there continue to be child custody disputes between divorcing couples. These disputes have been the biggest fuel for the proverbial fathers’ rights fire, as many men feel that the courts show an unfair gender bias toward women.

Many studies have indicated that while women have perennially been awarded sole custody more than men, the trend is shifting. A large reason that women are considered more likely to be granted custody is because they are assumed to be more inclined toward the caregiving role. However, a recent study indicates that this might not be the case. According to the study, the brain of a male can alter hormonal outputs and change neural activity to better suit the male’s parental role.

The study had parents watch recordings of themselves and their children interacting and scanned the parents’ brains to see how they were being stimulated. Two systems were highly active while watching the videos: an emotional network and a mental processing network. The results found that when the mother was the primary caregiver, the emotional network showed greater activity, but the fathers who were secondary caregivers showed more activity in their mental processing. Incredibly, the study indicated that fathers who were raising children without female partnership showed the same levels of activity in both categories as the male and female parents.

This study proves what many fathers have been saying for years: they can be loving, emotionally invested caregivers as well. If you are involved in a custody dispute, or could be soon, you shouldn’t have to worry that you will lose custody of your child based on your gender. Texas courts will take all of the factors and circumstances into account to make the decision that is best for the child. Strong legal counsel can help you make your case and give you the best chance at the custody arrangement you deserve.

Source: New Republic, “Men Can Be Just as ‘Maternal’ As Women, According to Neuroscience,” Michael Brooks, July 25, 2014

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