June 28, 2011

"Men are also at the mercy of age when it comes to having kids."

The male body constantly makes new sperm that is capable of producing a child...
... but they can contain dangerous mutations. "As men get older, maybe there is some sperm available, but a lot of that DNA may be abnormal," says Harry Fisch, author of the pioneering 2004 book "The Male Biological Clock." "After you make so many copies, the print may not be so useful."

Data are scarce on trends in paternal age, which perhaps explains why the correlation between paternal age and birth defects went undetected for so long. And, of course, "nobody likes to think that they're aging," says Dr. Fisch. "Certainly men. They were on the throne, they were the kings: 'We don't age, we stay fertile longer than women, we can have babies into our 90s....' Men live in denial."
Don't be cocky.

47 comments:

ricpic said...

So what if the kid has two heads, it's still MY kid!

pauls lane said...

What men actually think or say this? All the guys I know age 45 or older who have had children react in absolute horror at the thought of having a baby. They grow pale, they sweat, they mouth words that no child should hear, and then they shrug and say 'won't happen' and drink another beer.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Nobody likes to think that they're aging," says Dr. Fisch. "Certainly men. They were on the throne, they were the kings: 'We don't age, we stay fertile longer than women, we can have babies into our 90s....' Men live in denial."

When I read statements like this, I can't help but wonder, "What MEN has this guy been hanging out with?" because it doesn't sound like the ones I know, and it definitely doesn't sound like me. Sure, growing old sucks - discovering aches you can't identify, or newly-imposed limits, but actually CARING about growing older, or living in denial?

I'm sorry, about how it sounds, but those are qualities I associate with women and girls.

Scott M said...

All the guys I know age 45 or older who have had children react in absolute horror at the thought of having a baby.

I'm 41 with 2, 4, and 7 year-olds. Adding another baby would, honestly and without any snark, make me break down and bawl. Hell, I have very little tolerance for cousins coming over and filling up the house.

I love my kids and cherish the fact that I have them, but FUCK! IS THIS HOUSE EVER CLEAN??? DO THAT IN THE BATHROOM! PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD...BE QUIET!!!

My oldest is 20 and in college. Had I stayed with his mother and had a couple more, my YOUNGEST would probably be around 13 right now. I hammered this into my oldest and plan on doing the same with my younger three...do NOT wait until you're in your 30's to start having kids. We weren't designed that way.

Fred4Pres said...

We make them tadpoles swim to weed out the weak!

Fred4Pres said...

I know a few divorced guys who decided in their sixties to pop out some kids. Well, they got a young cute wife who did the poppin, but you get the idea.

And you know something ladies, they really are happy.

Fred4Pres said...

I remember supporting a guy for President who was like that.

Meade said...

"Don't be cocky."

Said the little red hen.

EDH said...

I see a new twist on the old "more people have died in Ted Kennedy's car than from nuclear accidents":

More birth defects are caused by old people fucking than from oil companies fracking.

A. Shmendrik said...

How did Tony Randall's kids turn out, anyway?

Michael said...

I had my last child at age 51. He is 14 now and doing well. My contemporaries are retired and playing golf and putting on the pounds. I am running five or more miles a day, working like a thirty year old to keep the cash flowing, and attending parents stuff at school. I would not trade my life for anything. There is no greater gift than fatherhood. None.

bagoh20 said...

"Hurry screw me. We don't have much time."

I'll try that this weekend, and get back to ya.

edutcher said...

Yes, but we are cocky by definition.

Not to mention birth.

And, yes, we have a theme today.

pauls lane said...

What men actually think or say this? All the guys I know age 45 or older who have had children react in absolute horror at the thought of having a baby.

Actually, it's the woman that has the baby (I know this comes as a shock).

Meade said...

"Don't be cocky."

Said the little red hen.


Somebody got chased around the kitchen table this morning.

Scott M said...

There is no greater gift than fatherhood. None.

Agreed. But, mercy, it just keep giving and giving.

My kids were outside playing in the treehouse while my wife and I sat down for an unusual dinner for just to two of us last night. We had coincidentally just finished discussing various medical bills and such incurred by our very active kids. From outside, the 4-year-old yelled and started crying. My wife, closer to the door, got up and went to go get her.

When she came in carrying our crying daughter, I asked her if it looked like $50 or $100.

bagoh20 said...

Most women don't know it, but a man's penis continues to grow his whole life.

Surfed said...

At my age (58) it's not about gettin' it up. It's about fillin' it up.

bagoh20 said...

Most men over 45 would love to learn that they are infertile.

Carol said...

"do NOT wait until you're in your 30's to start having kids."

Then why'd you do it? didn't know where they came from?

Scott M said...

Then why'd you do it? didn't know where they came from?

Because I was stunted maturity-wise until then. A mistake I hope my kids don't make.

Scott M said...

i.e., selfish.

NYTNewYorker said...

bagoh20 said...

"Most women don't know it, but a man's penis continues to grow his whole life."


Mine didn't get the memo....

Michael K said...

I had my last child at age 51. He is 14 now and doing well. My contemporaries are retired and playing golf and putting on the pounds. I am running five or more miles a day, working like a thirty year old to keep the cash flowing, and attending parents stuff at school. I would not trade my life for anything. There is no greater gift than fatherhood. None.

I have to go with this guy. My youngest (of five) was born 21 years ago when I was 52. She flew back from Paris last night and has kept me working although I have warned her that she may well have me living in her back bedroom one of these years.

My oldest is 46 and just had his first.

I cannot think of a pleasure to equal parenthood, with the possible exception of sailing, both expensive hobbies.

BT said...

Right out of the gate, ricpic wins the thread. Priceless.

P.S. I'm in my middle 50s and never had kids. If I were 25 ya maybe but God no, not now. Christ I can't stay up past 10.

Scott M said...

I have warned her that she may well have me living in her back bedroom one of these years

I see our culture going back to this as a norm for both the expense and the lessening of Boomer-selfishness that put all those old people in sanitized retirement centers to begin with. Yes, it's a hot-button. My mother, a Boomer, worked as an activity director in retirement homes for over 20 years and has many, many stories.

Scott M said...

I cannot think of a pleasure to equal parenthood, with the possible exception of sailing, both expensive hobbies.

You just have to remember...one hand for you and one for the kid.

Oligonicella said...

"but a lot of that DNA may be abnormal"

Which causes the bulk of that to not be able to swim properly. You're more likely less fertile than a monster machine. That's what stops the abnormal sperm when you're young too.

bagoh20 said...

Who wants a normal kid anyway?

Scott M said...

Who wants a normal kid anyway?

Guilty. I was counting toes and appendages as each one slid out.

Oligonicella said...

Scott M --

It ain't just the boomers. I had my grandmother living with me when her eldest son snuck power of attorney papers by her, stripped everything and took her from my home and put her in a facility. One with tile floors and cotton slippers. She slipped a month later.

traditionalguy said...

Nonsense. We old guys can do everything we did at 20, we just have to rest up several days afterwards. It does seem that God imparts a special focus and energy upon folks between ages 20 and 42 that desires to raise children and really enjoys the challenge. After 42 that grace lifts and the raising more children becomes a struggle.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

You know the Torah makes great emphasis on the fact that Abraham was an old man who had no offspring to inherit his property and it was a blessing that he was able to have children. Somehow a few of the offspring have survived though they are often seen by others to have various defects. You have to distinguish between defects like Down's which make the offspring infertile or at greatly reduced likelihood of further procreation and other issues. It seems like the assertion confounds these issues. Autism for instance may be a shyness accompanied by moodiness in practical terms of getting or claiming the diagnosis; so one of the main criteria for a diagnosis is your parents have money. This may be more likely if, like Abraham, you are married older.

Saint Croix said...

You can always spot a liberal, because their obsession with equality poisons their work, their art, and everything about them.

"Men are also at the mercy of age when it comes to having kids."

Yeah yeah, we're just alike. We're equal.

Saint Croix said...

I love all those "maybes" and "may nots" and "data is scarce."

But let's go ahead and spread the meme anyway.

You have a biological clock, you man.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred4Pres said...

As far as thread comments go, I liked the comment about a man's penis growing his whole life...it gives me hope for the future. Provided no one cuts it off I can always think, at least it will grow a bit longer.

Christy said...

Ben Franklin, born when his dad was 49, 15th of 17 kids. Of course he was apprenticed to brother James when he was 9, so I guess Dad's investment of time was less than half of today's.

Still, some mutation!

howzerdo said...

My grandfather was 59 when my mother was born. My grandmother told me that his siblings said she would be a young widow and that he would never live to see his kids grown (he had another daughter born when he was 52 and a son born when he was 60). My mother was 38 when he died. She loved having an older father because he was very easy-going.

Cedarford said...

I think as men get older, there is a slightly smaller risk of having birth defects from abnormal sperm gametes. But saying this is just like women's "difficulties" once they reach menopause is ludicrous. You are talking no reproductive capacity vs. a decline in male "optimum" quality sperm after 40.
My grandfather had his first wife die early (my grandmother), and remarried at 44 to his law firm's secretary. Who was 22 and very fetching. They had two kids, then when he was 63 and she was 40, another surprise! He died at 70 and his 2nd wife also died tragically of breast cancer at 49when young uncle Bob was 9. So we raised young Uncle Bob and sometimes I'd say he wasn't my younger brother but an uncle due to a randy old goat catholic grandpa.
(Uncle Bob got an MD and practices in Florida).

Ralph L said...

Going up my mother's male ancestors from my niece, it averages 40 years per generation for 7 generations. My great grandfather was a 7th son of a 7th son. Sick people would pay calls because that was supposed to give him healing powers.

I wouldn't say we're getting significantly dumber, but we're relatively poorer and more obscure with each generation since The Wahr.

William said...

There's this evolutionary advantage: if you reach a certain age without cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and baldness your genes have been field tested. The woman is not buying a pig in the poke. I have read somewhere that about 15% of all children are not legitimate. My suspicion is that that number is significantly higher among trophy wives and their issue.

Roman said...

Could be, isn't there something more important to study?

For me, it's a moot point, I've been shooting blanks since 1981.

ken in sc said...

My father once said that he would not take a million dollars for one of his kids, but he would not give a nickle for another one. BTW, all the older men in my family fathered daughters. That must have been the genetic defect.

PaulV said...

Someone should ask President John Tyler's 2 grandsons. They are doing very well.

Teri said...

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Autism for instance may be a shyness accompanied by moodiness in practical terms of getting or claiming the diagnosis; so one of the main criteria for a diagnosis is your parents have money.

I can't believe you're a real psychiatrist. Autism is a hell of a lot more than shyness and moodiness. On the severe end it can mean a vocabulary of 300 words, no capacity for abstract thought (like "fire" and "danger") and an inability to recognize mom and dad, let alone anyone else. An inability to shower or shave without significant assistance. It's not a joke when you have to live with it day in and day out, and wonder what will become of him when you're gone.

Ralph L said...

Teri, he wasn't saying all autism is shyness, he's saying, like ADHD, it can be over-diagnosted, esp. if the parents can afford treatment.

ZorroPrimo said...

Pseudo-science BS. My sperm, at 50, is a Grand Cru Reserve.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

I can't believe you're a real psychiatrist. Autism is ...

thinking things relate to YOU, not to a critique of the study. There is a difference between the words 'may' and 'is.'