‘Every child needs a father’ is a phrase heard often enough, but is there any evidence to support it? In this enlightening documentary, child psychologist Laverne Antrobus goes on a quest to discover why a dad’s relationship with his offspring is so important. She uncovers fascinating new research which is shedding light onto the science of fatherhood.

Laverne meets a new dad who is experiencing Couvade Syndrome, a condition sometimes known as ‘sympathetic pregnancy’. She is keen to explore if the symptoms – which are similar to those felt by pregnant women, such as nausea and sickness – might be physiological as well as psychological. The dad takes a blood test shortly after the birth of his third child and Antrobus discovers that hormones could be the cause of his symptoms: possibly nature’s way of ‘priming’ him to become a more nurturing father.

Laverne then meets one of the UK’s leading experts in the father’s role within the family. While observing father and toddler play in his lab, she finds out how the rough-and-tumble play they witness is classic ‘dad behaviour’. It is believed that this type of fatherly play is essential in teaching toddlers the boundaries of aggression and discipline.

In the final investigation, Antrobus looks into recent research which claims that men who have a good relationship with their daughters can influence the kind of husband the daughters choose. The study also found that girls whose fathers were absent during their formative years tend to reach puberty sooner and age quicker. Laverne recruits a team of married women to take part in one final, fascinating experiment.

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  1. Wow I am walking out on the first mother I knock up.

  2. This made me think about child rearing, parenting, and feminism in a new light. I’ve watched this documentary more than three times and recommended it to friends. I’m happy to see it so high on the list of recommended documentaries.

  3. This was an amazing Doc. It makes so much sense & it fills me with such a warm feeling as to my choice in a partner. I think this was a lovely study that all mothers- & fathers-to-be should see. 😀

  4. Get off your @ss
    When my wife got pregnant, without realizing it, I started eating more too. And not just more at each meal, but we would eat more frequently as well. There was more food in the house, and there was less of a focus on getting exercise and watching our weight. We were also somewhat limited in what we could do – e.g no more kickboxing lessons for the wife. The end result was that I gained about 15 pounds during the pregnancy. Unfortunately, for us guys this is not that uncommon.

    You need exercise. Stop making excuses. Exercise is a great stress buster, for both of you, and it’s something you can do together.Try pregnancy yoga (yes, yoga) or take a daily walk together at minimum.

  5. Dude this is spot on… Now I know why my buddies alwZyed teased me about being married and having kids because I did f$&ken change man. As a new dad with a 3 yr old daughter this is right in my wheel house…daddy knows best!

  6. Big Sister has already declared fathers to be superfluous.

    They get in the way of women fucking up their sons.