“Oxytocin seems associated with parenting style, and experimental work showed positive effects of intranasally administered oxytocin on parenting style of fathers. Here, the first double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject experiment with intranasal oxytocin administration to fathers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is presented. Fathers with their typically developing toddler (n = 18), and fathers of toddlers diagnosed with ASD (n = 14), were observed in two play sessions of 15 min each with an intervening period of 1 week. In all fathers oxytocin elevated the quality of paternal sensitive play: fathers stimulated their child in a more optimal way, and they showed less hostility which suggests the positive effects of oxytocin on paternal sensitive play irrespective of clinical status of their child.”
Brief Report: Oxytocin Enhances Paternal Sensitivity to a Child with Autism: A Double-Blind Within-Subject Experiment with Intranasally Administered Oxytocin.
Not quite sure where the researchers are heading with this ? I can understand that parental sensitivity (aka I read empathy) to children, especially children who need that particular understanding, but it seems unnecessarily artificial.
But then perhaps that is the point.