Science of Dad

A Film by
Larissa Klinker

“The Science of Dad” shows how men change during pregnancy, birth and the first years of their children’s lives, and how important they are for the development of their children.


Anna Machin, an evolutionary anthropologist at Oxford University, studies the relationship between fathers and their children. The results of her studies show that towards the end of pregnancy and at birth, a father’s testosterone level decreases. This helps them to interact more affectionately with their children. Marian Bakeman’s research results from the University of Leiden indicate that fathers who communicate with their babies on a daily basis during pregnancy also have a stronger bond with their children later in life. And what happens to men at birth? Gynaecologist Kai Bühling did a study on that. Around 90% of fathers experience the birth as something positive – but there are also men who worry about negative impacts, especially regarding their sex life. Neurobiologist Ruth Feldman from Tel Aviv looked at brain scans of mothers and fathers over time. Her result: not only women’s brains but also men’s change after birth – provided they are “committed” fathers.


Most men experience birth and the weeks after as a kind of honeymoon period. But like some mothers, fathers can also suffer from postnatal depression, according to Paul Ramchandani, a psychiatrist at Cambridge University.  He also explains why fathers are so important for the development of their children: Fathers play differently than mothers and can thus have a great influence on the emotional and cognitive development of their children.


Exciting scientific findings interwoven with personal stories of fathers from three different countries result in a fascinating film about how dudes turn into dads and the importance of being a father.


France/Germany 2022


A film by

Larissa Klinker



Moritz Schwarz

Dennis Wienecke

Jupp Tautfest

Boris Mahlau



Christian Callsen

Juschka Weiß

Torsten Reimers



Ramon Urselmann



Nils Kacirek

Paul Timmich


Sounddesign and Mix

Roman Vehlken



Andreas Piecha





Commissioning Editor NDR/ARTE

Meike Neumann