Old Fathers Are More Likely To Pass Autism-Linked Genetic Mutations [STUDY]

Hey guys, here’s a scientific kick to the nuts. Turns out our premium man seed loses octane over time and we now have a biological expiration date, sort of. Researchers at deCODE, the Icelandic global leader in analyzing and understanding the human genome, reported today that a father’s age, not a mother’s, at the time a child is conceived is the single largest contributor to the passing of new hereditary mutations to offspring.

To better understand the cause of new hereditary mutations, the deCODE team sequenced the genomes of 78 Icelandic families with offspring who had a diagnosis of autism or schizophrenia. The team also sequenced the genomes of an additional 1,859 Icelanders, providing a larger comparative population.

Iceland, huh.

“Our results all point to the possibility that as a man ages, the number of hereditary mutations in his sperm increases, and the chance that a child would carry a deleterious mutation that could lead to diseases such as autism and schizophrenia increases proportionally,” said Dr. Stefansson. “It is of interest here that conventional wisdom has been to blame developmental disorders of children on the age of mothers, whereas the only problems that come with advancing age of mothers is a risk of Down syndrome and other rare chromosomal abnormalities. It is the age of fathers that appears to be the real culprit.”

I don’t know about the real culprit remark, like our white man-ropes are a bunch of assh*les just looking to f*ck sh*t up, but it’s not a bad hypotheses given life’s predictable Bell Curve.

And before you say, “But this study was only performed in one country!”, the authors noted that demographic change of this kind and magnitude is not unique to Iceland, and it raises the question of whether the reported increase in autism spectrum disorder diagnosis is at least partially due to an increase in the average age of fathers at conception.

It’s important for men to understand potential risks when planning a family and now it’s come to our attention that we might not produce Grade A snake eyes while rolling the old dice. Women have owned fertile viability for a long time now, so why can’t dudes?

It’s important to note that this isn’t a rule on how to live your life. If you want something, go for it. I never wanted to be an old father. I have always thought of age 40 as my cut-off for a family or kids. But I’m curious to see how dating will evolve if this discovery matures, say, when my daughter is ready to start a family… a long, long time from now. It will be interesting to see if women who are planning to get married and start a family will begin to discriminate a little more based on a man’s age.

Men: could this news influence the age you plan to have (more) children?

Ladies: if you’re ready to start a family, would you discriminate against older men?

New Dads Get 'Mommy' Hormones
Connecticut Storefront for Paternity Tests Opens Tomorrow
Study: Men Ditch Bad (and Illegal) Habits When Becoming Dads
Boys Who Hang Out With Their Fathers Report Fewer High Quality Relationships With Peers

Author: Bryan Ferguson View all posts by
Bryan is a musician and filmmaker. He has one daughter and one son who was born May 4th, 2013. He spends his days surrounded by scientists in Malibu when he's not creating music or fighting for the First Order.
  • It makes sense. I mean everything in life has its peak. So with age I would guess the probability of being a father of a healthy baby reduces.

    • Totally agree. I think since the reproductive system is essentially a part of a larger system it’s functionality is dependent on many factors. Like I told @JeanneSager, I’m curious to see if there are enchancements like diet or medication that can prevent or reduce the probability.

  • commenter

    I am a woman; to answer your question, yes, I would discriminate against older men, not just for this reason but because I want a partner for life, and someone who is older is likely to die before me. Also, one of the most important things in the world to me is get my child a good dad (I had a bad one and want a better one for my child, just as I want to be a better mother than mine was), and I just think there is something immature and childlike about a man who dates a woman who is more than 5 years younger than he is. So, yes, I look for men my age.