Friday, February 1, 2013

Baby it Real?!

I thought I would do a fun fact post for ya since it's Friday and all.  So what could be more fun that learning about the psychology behind baby fever?!  Not much, right?  Well I know I hear people talking about it all the time so you must too..."I'm getting baby fever"....or "My wife has baby fever".  Sometimes you will hear that it's like a switch that just gets flipped on all of a sudden.  So me and my scientific thinking mind started to wonder...what causes this?  Is it our biological time clock ticking?  Is it telling us on some unconscious level that it's go time?!  If I don't ever get that overwhelming urge am I not supposed to be a mother?  It actually turns out to be much more simple than that....and guess what?  Men get baby fever too!!! 

The researchers started by applying three different theoretical viewpoints about why baby fever might exist and where it came from:
  • The sociocultural view: People want to have a baby because they are taught gender roles. Women think they should have children because society says that is what they are supposed to do.
  • The byproduct view: Humans experience nurturance. When they see a cute baby they want to take care of it, and that makes them want to have a baby of their own. Baby fever is a by-product -- it is nurturance misplaced.
  • The adaptationist view: Baby fever is an emotional signal -- like a suggestion sent from one part of the mind to the other parts -- that this this could be a good time to have a child.
So what do you think the verdict was?  I personally was all about the biological clock theory.  My body will tell me when it's time to have a baby right?  Wrong!  The research showed that it was something much more fundamental than that.  So here it is...

The more you are around babies and find it to be a positive experience, the more you will want to have a baby.  The more you are around babies and find it to be a negative experience, the less you will want to have a baby.   


Men can catch the fever the same way.  But the research did look at how frequently a desire for a baby occurred varied according to gender. Women more frequently desired having a child than having sex. Men were the opposite and more frequently desired sex than having a child.  (Funny how those two things go together, right?!).  

For those of you who aren't ever around babies and you are starting to worry why you don't have the overwhelming urge to be a mother.  (I mean what is wrong with you?) You can relax, it's simply because you aren't getting the positive exposure that research shows leads to that "baby fever".  The research also shows that sometimes people just don't get the "fever" and will make the decision based on the trade-offs that come with having children -- education, career, money and social life.

Feel like you caught the fever too early and you aren't ready to actually become parents? Find someone with a very fussy baby...that should do the trick! The outcome of this research also made me think of parents that only have one child.  I mean once you have a are bound to get that baby fever again with all of the baby exposure that follows.  So I guess this means all of you only children out there were very difficult babies ;-) 

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