Research: Psychopaths Become Parasitic Fathers Due To Their Tendency To Exploit And Abuse Children
Psychopaths are usually known for not wanting to be parents and instead just focusing on themselves, which makes sense based on what you know about them. A new study shows that while men with psychopathic traits want to be dads, it is entirely different from raising them.
By asking 255 young men direct questions as well as showing them images of what their priorities are in life, the study was published in Evolutionary Psychological Study, and examined how they feel about relationships, parenthood, and priorities in life. In addition, they examined the number of psychopathic traits each man displayed, such as the importance of single women and infants in life.
In their study, they found that psychopathic men (egotistical, dishonest, manipulative, cold, and unreliable) exhibited a number of predictable traits: they highly prioritized and invested in “mating”, without caring much about improving themselves, understanding others, or forming relationships with others.
The researchers found one surprising result: psychopaths love children but have no desire to invest in them.
Despite spending less time and energy with their children, men with higher psychopathic traits were more likely to be fathers, according to study author Kristopher Brazil. Psychopathic fathers may thus be parasitic fathers who have a lot of children, but are exporting the responsibility of caring for them onto mothers or others.
More scientifically, the authors explain that men with psychopathic traits love having babies, but don’t care for diaper changing at all.
This study confirms previously conducted research and extends it by finding that men with higher somatic [self-care] traits do not seem aversive to infant stimuli and are more likely to become parents themselves, despite engaging in lower somatic [self-caring] behavior. This pattern is consistent with a parasitic parenting strategy, where parents rely on others to invest in their children while focusing on mating.
How Does A Parasitic Father Behave?
A parasitic parent is someone who is interested in benefiting from his child’s life – not the other way around. These fathers don’t invest much time, effort, or energy into their children, instead offloading them to others – much like parasitic parents in nature.
Psychopathic men often shirk responsibility when they become parents, in part because they wish to be parents, yet we don’t know why.
According to Brazil, psychopathic men are aware that they might not be able to attract more mates if they dislike children. “It may be that they are self-deceived: they think they like children and would like to have them, and so are equally attracted to them as other men, but when they become fathers, they are unable to provide parental care.”
There is one more interesting fact: men with psychopathic traits tend to have more children than other men, not fewer.
The results of our study, as well as those of many other studies, showing that men with psychopathic traits are able to find partners and have children, Brazil said in the same interview. Their support for neither has been lacking despite attracting partners and having children, but they seem eager to move on to the next romantic thrill, only to repeat the pattern again and again.