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Smaller Balls, Better Dads

A new study shows that if your balls are small, you might be a more caregiving parent.

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Are your marshmallows mini? Well, if that's the case, there’s no reason to feel bad about your ball size—new research from Emory University shows that the smaller your testes, the more likely you are to be a good father.

The study, published in Making Men Feel Better About Their Balls (OK, so it was actually the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), noted that smaller nut size and lower testosterone levels correlated with more nurturing-related brain activity in dads. Higher T-levels correlated with divorce, polygamy, and apparently general douche-baggery, whereas lower levels correlated with higher parental involvement, although study author Jennifer Mascaro notes, "Testes volume is more highly correlated with sperm count and quality than with testosterone levels.”

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The research included 70 biological fathers with small children. Mothers and fathers were interviewed separately about dads' involvement in direct caregiving, then guys’ testosterone levels were measured. Next, men's brain activity was measured using functional MRI scans as fathers viewed photos of their own child with happy, sad, and neutral faces, and then similar photos of an unknown child and an unknown adult. Lastly, structural MRI was used to measure testicular volume.

Although testosterone levels and testes size were inversely related to caregiving reported by the parents in the study, big balls don't excuse you from being a bad parent. “Even though some men may be built differently, perhaps they are willing themselves to be more hands-on fathers,” said James Rilling, an anthropologist at Emory. “It might be more challenging for some men to do these kinds of caregiving activities, but that by no means excuses them.”

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And hopefully being a good dad doesn’t make your balls shrink. “We're assuming that testes size drives how involved the fathers are," Rilling said. “But it could also be that when men become more involved as caregivers, their testes shrink. Environmental influences can change biology.”

More research on nut size is needed, so our personal advice is this: Keep this study handy. When a lady’s over and she points out the disappointing size of your equipment, pull up this page and note that you’d make an excellent parent. Win-win.

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