Sunday, March 29, 2009

Have Married Couples Got It Wrong?

Yesterday at 02:16 PM

Have Married Couples Got It Wrong?
by Dale Harcombe

For married couples the age of having children has gone up dramatically. These days many couples are leaving it later, till their thirties before even considering having children. In the push to have it all and make sure they buy a house and get the house all set up, before having children, as many are doing, are they doing their offspring a disservice?

Recent reports conducted in the USA and in Australia claim that children of older fathers have a lower IQ. And it seems that the older the father is, the lower his child will score in intelligence tests, at least up until the age of 7. Whether the results are the same in later years is a debatable point.

Previously, most concern has focused on the age of the mother when having children, with older women being more at risk of having children with Downs Syndrome. But now it appears that the father's age can also be a risk factor for their offspring. One theory seems to be that the sperm produced by older fathers is likely to contain more DNA errors. These are then passed on to their offspring.

Is the research conclusive? Not exactly. Like many studies there are those who will counter the argument and suggest it has more, or at least as much, to do with the couple's socio-economic state, diet, opportunities for good education and stability of family life among other things. From our own circle of acquaintances we can see those who might possible support such the research findings and those who definitely wouldn't. However it does give pause for though doesn't it?

This is especially concerning when we find out this research comes on the heels of other reports which claim that show links between older fathers and birth defects such as autism and schizophrenia.

It's something for couples to think seriously about when planning marriage and having children.



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