According to research a night out with the lads isn't just fun, it's good for you! Studies by scientists at the University of Gottingen showed that regular male bonding reduces stress and improves health. The research of Barbary Macaques, apes that share incredibly similar social behaviour to humans, concludes that males are much more relaxed when with a group of fellow males than they are when with their partners or family. Levels of anxiety plummet when the boys are together and the probability of illness is vastly reduced among those that have regular male social interaction. This confirms an important issue for many Stay At Home Dads. Many of us look around at the mums and nannies that have become our regular daily surrounding and long for the interaction we once had with male colleagues and friends whose lives now seem a million miles from our own. Our lack of regular interaction can cause us to withdraw further, shunning opportunities to socialise, especially with those we don't know well. It can all to easily become a vicious circle. It's certainly a regular experience for me. In a way this research is telling us what many Stay At Home Dads already know. We need regular male interaction to stay mentally and physically fit. If we're not getting it we should make more effort. Talk to any of the other dads you see around you. Hold a reunion will ex colleagues. Get back in touch with mates you haven't seen for ages. Force yourself if necessary. Unfortunately the research didn't study additional benefits of males bonding over a pint and/or curry. But I guess that's just common sense.