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Katie van Schaijik

Scientific evidence for the importance of fathers

Oct. 27, 2009, at 11:03am

Interesting new study featured in today’s Wall Street Journal: Missing fathers cause brain and behavior changes in offspring.

German biologist Anna Katharina Braun and others are conducting research on animals that are typically raised by two parents, in the hopes of better understanding the impact on humans of being raised by a single parent. Dr. Braun’s work focuses on degus, small rodents related to guinea pigs and chinchillas, because mother and father degus naturally raise their babies together.

When deprived of their father, the degu pups exhibit both short- and long-term changes in nerve-cell growth in different regions of the brain. Dr. Braun, director of the Institute of Biology at Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg, and her colleagues are also looking at how these physical changes affect offspring behavior.

Their preliminary analysis indicates that fatherless degu pups exhibit more aggressive and impulsive behavior than pups raised by two parents.

More reason for distressing over the state of our culture. More reason for turning to God, our Father in heaven, for help and solace.


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