Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Have kids when you're young: Lately, I've emphasized the reasons why folks should get married and start families at younger ages. One fact that few are aware of is how a father puts his kids' health at risk by having them when he's older.

According to the Wikipedia page, there are 34 disorders that have been linked to older paternal age. "Generally, older men have a greater probability of fathering children with a genetic defect than younger men do. This is seen as likely due to genetic copying errors which may increase in number after repeated spermatogenesis cycles over a man's lifetime."

Better known is the risk of Down Syndrome when the mother is 35 or older. Genetics testing is offered to any pregnant woman 35 or older, due to potential increased risk of this disorder as well as others.

Having kids when you're younger is exactly the kind of eugenics approach I can get behind.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The age related problems are still only significant for women. While the left has encouraged women to wait to have children and attempted to cover up the dangers of older women having children, they have begun to exaggerate the risks of “older” men, those over 40 years of age, fathering children. No studies have revealed any significant risks associated with middle aged men fathering children. The most recent study of 100,000 children fathered by men over 40 found fewer than 1,000 children who died before reaching 18 years of age, and half of those deaths were from accidents.

Vanishing American said...

It was reported about five years ago that older fatherhood was also a factor in Down's syndrome.

As far as I know this hasn't been disputed or disproven.
In general it is probably best for people to have children at a young age when possible; it's only our self-centered modern age that insists people put other things first, prolonging adolescence far beyond its natural span.

Jim Bowery said...

It would be interesting to see to what extent women's vs men's preferences/attitudes control the male's age of first child.

I know the politically correct answer: Men are irresponsible louts who drive women to the workplace and delay childbirth as long as possible for an extended indulgence in boyhood.

Outland said...

@Jim Bowery

I doubt the validity of the PC answer, because especially smarter and richer men tend to marry and start a family at an older age. Less smart seem to have kids at younger ages -- and more (see idiocracy).

High IQs correlate with low time-preference, i.e. makes the men more future oriented. They will prefer to have a small family later in life, so they can save a lot of money and have good careers. From an evolutionary standpoint that would make a lot of sense.

The problem, I think, is that the older men get, the more risks are involved.

Scott said...

I hope the studies evaluating how the rates of defects correspond to the age of the father also consider that older fathers are probably more likely to mate with older mothers.

concerned heart said...

Thank you for your wisdom on earlier paternal age being best for the health of children. Yesterday this article was published by a clinical geneticist who knows all the science behind the paternal age effect: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23849196-5000117,00.html

A reason for autism/schizophrenia is often older dads. Check out my blogs for more information.

http://how-old-is-too-old.blogspot.com/

Justthisguy said...

Yup, concerned, I waited until it was too late. (I'm past sixty) The last chance I had at marriage a few years back was with a woman who was coming up right fast on menopause.

Had we tied the knot and done the deed, what with her age and my quirks (I never score lower than a B- on those online aspie quizzes), I am afeared we might have gotten a twofer with any offspring, that is, a cute Downy who was also a non-speaking head banger.

P.s. The gal's kinda nerdy too. She's into model railroads.