Older dads produce more "geeky" sons, says study

The study authors found that sons of older fathers tend to be more intelligent also more focused on what interests them and less concerned with fitting in with other kids.

Jose Jefferies | Jun 24, 2017

Men who have children with their partners later in life stand a higher chance of having sons who are, for lack of a better word, "geeks," according to a new study. That is to say, they are more likely to excel in school, not worry about being "cool," and attain mentally challenging, high-paying careers.

The study authors found that sons of older fathers tend to be more intelligent also more focused on what interests them and less concerned with fitting in with other kids. In essence, they are more likely to be "geeks," albeit in ways that many parents would consider to be very positive.

This research goes against the grain of many other studies. Magdalena Janecka, study author and postdoctoral fellow at the Seaver Autism Center of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, notes that past research has linked fathers having kids while older with a higher likelihood of the kids suffering from autism or schizophrenia.

"We have known for a while about the negative consequences of advanced paternal age, but now we have shown that these children may also go on to have better educational and career prospects," Janecka told CBS News.

The study surveyed 15,000 pairs of twins and ranked them on a "Geek Index" that measured their non-verbal IQ, focus, and social aloofness. The results, which were published June 20 in the journal Translational Psychiatry, found higher scores among the sons of older fathers.

Men having children with their partners at later ages has been a growing trend in the United States and much of the developed world over the last few decades. According to U.S. government data, the number of U.S. men who have a child at age 35 or older grew 58% between 1980 and 2014.

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