Taking on the Biological Clock II: The Guys

Lilli Blackmore

It does not seem fair to just do a post on the biological urge and the ticking clock for women without also including guys…Do men experience any kind of “urge” that is similar to what many women talk about?

I went looking for research on this. There is lots of research about the biological clock in relation to what happens to men’s sperm as they age and how that affects fertility. Dr. Ethylin Jabs, director of the Center for Craniofacial Development and Disorders at Johns Hopkins, sums up research out there by saying the “bottom line is: as men age, the percentage of damaged sperm they carry in their testes tends to increase.”

Recent studies from Israel, California and Sweden  have connected “late paternal age” (statistically, “late paternal age” starts at 30) with some serious medical conditions. The longer a man waits to have child, the more likely it is that his kid will be affected by things like schizophrenia, dwarfism, bipolar disorder, or autism. In some cases, the risk factors skyrocket. A 2005 study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, found a fourfold rise in Down syndrome among babies born to men 50 and older.

Then there is a whole book–The Male Biological Clock, by Harry Fisch, that also speaks what happens to men as they get older as it relates to their ability to have children (and their capacity to have good sex).

So the longer guys let the biological clock tick, the more risks there are due to the quality of the sperm…But do guys get any kind of intense feeling that they have got to have a kid, say at the cusp of “late paternal” age?  Do they go through any kind of phase where they feel a deep inner need to have a child..and now?

In talking to men who are childfree by choice, I have not heard them talk about experiencing anything like this—or at least they haven’t yet. Fathers I have talked with say they knew they wanted to have kids, but don’t talk about the kind of deep longing women often speak of.

Do men have their own version of the biological urge?

If so, like with women, why do some have it and not others?

Let’s hear from you!

3 thoughts on “Taking on the Biological Clock II: The Guys

  1. I knew since I was 20 years old that I never wanted to have children. I never had the urge then, nor now, at age 46. I wake up each day very glad I do not have children.

    I have the same non-urge to have children as I do to go skiing, eat sushi, or to walk into the ladies room (I am male).

  2. At the age of 48 I’ve not felt any twinges of a bio clock. Quite frankly at this age, would having a child be in the best interest of the child? I think not. It’s not fair to my wife and I, it’s not fair to the child (who is on the receiving end of that dice roll) and it’s not fair to whoever would have to pick up the pieces if something happens to my wife and I. I have never wanted fatherhood as a young man. Now that I’m embracing my geezerhood – I sure do not now.

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