If you married an older man, pat yourself on the back. Science now says that it's likely your kids will be smarter than if you married a guy the same age or younger. Aside from being more attractive because they're likely more distinguished and typically more mature than their younger counterparts (though there's plenty of evidence to the contrary), their influence on children—especially boys—is extraordinarily different and researchers have started figuring out how and why.
Despite previous findings that link autism and mental illness to children of older fathers, a new study suggests that boys with older fathers may have certain advantages over their peers in educational and career settings. Sons of older fathers were, on average, more intelligent, better focused on their interests and less concerned about fitting in.
Data showed that not only did they find sons of older fathers scored higher on the nerd scale, but they also tended to do better on school exams that related to science, technology, engineering and math.
So, does this mean that sons of older dads are guaranteed a spot at NASA?
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.
Well, not exactly. But from what Dr. Magdalena Janecka from King's College London and The Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai said, there may be a few perks involved.
"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.”
While the study didn't explore all the environmental aspects involved, it's safe to assume that older dads are more established in their careers and better financially equipped to provide the best schooling options for their kids.
However, researchers speculate that some of the genes for geekiness and autism may overlap and that those genes are more likely to be present in older fathers.
"When the child is born only with some of those genes, they may be more likely to succeed in school," Dr. Janecka said. "However, with a higher 'dose' of these genes, and when there are other contributing risk factors, they may end up with a higher predisposition for autism. This is supported by recent research showing that genes for autism are also linked with higher IQ."
Simply put, boys with older fathers have all the makings of a perfectly adorable geek that will one day become a distinguished older man who goes on to have geeky sons of his own.