by Patrick Rogers
CN Digital Studio The glow. It's as much a part of pregnancy as the bump. And it looks as good as it sounds: Women in some stages of gestation give off an aura of well being so persuasive you can warm your hands by it. But what about their mates--does having a baby make guys look better? "You definitely notice more interest from women when you're pushing a stroller. It's like, yeah, he's husband material, he's father material--he's a player," said my colleague Jeffrey, the closest father I could find. "Bully for you," retorted the young mother in the office next door. "I looked like crap after I had my twins." News flash: Scientists can now confirm that it's true--men do look better in the company of a newborn, at least in their own minds.
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According to a study in the Journal of Gender Studies, young fathers in Washington State reported feeling significantly more attractive in the first year after having a kid. And, no surprise, their wives reported just the opposite, perhaps because of their recent physical transformation ("I want my old body back!") and the exhausting demands of motherhood, said Alica Cast, an associate professor of sociology from the University of California Santa Barbara and lead author of the study. "While men may be getting up some in the night to take care of a baby, my guess would be that they are not experiencing near the kind of postpartum tiredness and responsibility that women are going through," she said.
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We don't need a researcher to tell us that life is unfair, but Cast and her team did make one observation that will console new mothers with hair loss, big bellies, and stretch marks. Men's feelings of enhanced handsomeness, it seems, are short-lived. "As the babies age, maybe fathers don't get the sustained positive feedback from others, or maybe the reality of day to day life with a small child kicks in," she says. Whatever the reason, the male baby bump wears off with time.
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by Patrick Rogers