4 Ways Fatherhood Makes Better Men and a Better Society

I picked up the phone one day and on the other line was a friend from college who had never married or had any kids. We proceeded to catch up, and he asked me how my wife and kids were. “They’re great, man. When are you going to join the club?” I asked. “That’s never happening, my friend,” he said. “I’ll let you guys have all the kids.”

Today’s young men are choosing more and more not to have kids. A recent Pew Research study says this has accelerated even more after the COVID-19 pandemic and has severe societal implications. Whether biologically fathering or adopting children, fatherhood makes better men and a better society. Here are 4 ways fatherhood does that.

1. It makes men less risky and more focused.

When men have kids and spend time with them, their testosterone levels dip, making them less prone to risky behavior. Don’t get me wrong—testosterone is vital to our health as men, but kids bring us balance, and it’s a scientific fact. Spending time with our kids also produces higher levels of the hormone prolactin, which encourages closeness and intimacy. When men are focused on kids and their care, they partake less in risky behavior, like abusing substances or participating in illegal activity, making society better as a whole.

2. Men thrive more and live longer.

The joy in fatherhood is in caring for your kids and yourself in healthier ways so you’re around to enjoy them as long as possible. Men with children have better overall physical health. While parenting brings in new stress for men, research shows that men without children over 40 suffer from more health issues. Swedish studies also indicate it adds an extra two years of life expectancy. Because they are more present in their kids’ lives and live healthier and longer lives, society benefits, including financially and emotionally.

Fatherhood keeps us on the straight and narrow, helping make a better and safer society.

3. It contributes to higher income and more professional success.

According to researchers at the City University of New York, men with kids also earn six percent more than childless men. While the research is still underway to fully understand the implications for working men, these studies find that men with kids are more successful overall in their chosen careers. Men who feel fulfilled and content with providing well for their families strengthen the core of our society, meaning fewer children go hungry, more receive an education, and more have a home where they feel safe.

4. Younger men who have children commit less crime.

A recent University of Chicago study showed that men who have kids at a younger age are convicted of fewer crimes and tend to stay on the right side of the law as they age. The demands of parenting, and the above-referenced physical impact of fatherhood, tend to keep men from risky behavior that could lead to criminal activity. Fatherhood keeps us on the straight and narrow, helping make a better and safer society.

Sound off: What are some other ways fatherhood makes men better?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is one new thing you want to learn how to do?”