It has been happening for centuries – an older man taking a younger bride. Popular with kings in earlier times, in this day it is not uncommon with Hollywood royalty.
A 20-something-year-old I met tried to sum up the thinking on the male biological clock, saying “We don't have to deal with the whole, you know, estrogen issues. So men keep on pumping it out but women – they can't.”
The truth is there may be a male biological clock – and it’s ticking.
The headline from a recent study: Older fathers may mean lower IQs in their children.
Researchers found children born to 50-year-old fathers scored slightly lower on intelligence tests than children of a 20-year-old father, regardless of the mother's age. The researchers analyzed data from more than 33-thousand American children. The study's outcome is a hot topic in the blogosphere.
“I would hope that somehow it equalizes relationships of sexes,” says Lisa Belkin of the New York Times.
Belkin blogged about the study and wrote an essay titled "Your Old Man," for the New York Times. The response, she says, has been overwhelming.
“The men are getting really angry and the women are a little too gleeful… There were just hundreds and hundreds of people and you could just divide them into two categories based on gender,” says Belkin.
Now there is a new sense of urgency with some men.
Dr. Harry Fisch is a professor of urology. He reviewed the study and cautioned more testing needs to be done because the study did not follow children's intellectual development beyond age seven.
“We can't say that men of a certain age – their children won't be as smart. But what we’re seeing are real indications, we're seeing real clues that as men get older there are problems.”
I spoke to one expecting couple in their late 30's who were taking a measured outlook.
“We're having our first. If he is a little less intelligent maybe the world doesn't need smarter people, doesn't need more gifted people just deeper people. So hopefully he will be a deep person,” says Peter Trautman.
While the study found a six point difference in intelligence test scores between the children of a 50-year-old father and a 20-year-old, the difference in those scores dropped to about two points when socio-economic factors were taken into account.