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Older Fathers Less Likely to Have Smart Kids

Mar 10, 2009
Men, who became fathers at older age, produce less intelligent children than their younger counterparts, scientists claim.

The recent study conducted by Australian and US researchers involved data of 33,000 children born in US between 1959 and 1965. Their fathers' age ranged between 15 to 65. John McGrath,a leading author of the study at the Queensland Brain Institute and his colleagues analyzed the results of intelligence tests performed by children at age 8 months, 4 years and 7 years. The findings showed that children fathered by older men did less well on intelligence tests. Other factors like mental health and socio-economic status were taken into account.

Previous studies linked father's age to the risk of developing such health conditions as autism, schizophrenia, dyslexia, epilepsy and dwarfism. Now, there is supporting evidence that father's age is connected to intelligence of the child.

"The results were quite startling as it was thought that the age of the father was less of a concern compared to the age of the mother," John McGrath said. Earlier, several studies showed that older mothers have more intelligent children. However, this seems to be not true for older fathers.

Scientists try to explain this fact by peculiarities of male reproductive system. It is known that male sperm undergoes around 150 divisions at 20s and almost 840 divisions at age 50. The risk of mutations increases with greater number of cell divisions, which may lead to health problems. Thus, older men have more chances of having genetic mutations.
The study was published in the journal Public Library of Science Medicine

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Nov 03, 2010 05:32 PM » posted by: Julie
Susan,
I'm not sure how intelligent you, your husband or your child are, judging by your comment because the study clearly states that this is merely on average. A concept that either eludes you or something that you cannot neuro-processed. Do the world a favor and remove yourself from the gene pool. Jerk.

Mar 25, 2009 10:15 PM » posted by: Susan
I'm not too sure about this study. My husband was in his mid to upper 40s and I was 34 when we had our daughter. At the age of 7 she was a John Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth recipient. She is 9 years old now and reads at a 12th grade level and is in a math class for High school students. Her 4 year old brother is equally smart and seems to be following suit. Neither were pushed by their parents who are leery of advanced academic programs (especially Mom) and believe that kids should be kids first. They are just very bright. Whether this predicts future success for them, we don't know. We only hope and pray that they will succeed socially and be happy and healthy as well. Take these studies with a grain of salt.


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