Kathleen Goodwin summarizes a recent paper that examined how paternal age affects children:
[R]esearchers found that in a sample size of over 2.6 million, advanced paternal age has a detrimental effect on the mental health of offspring, with a greater risk for autism and attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, as well as likelihood of suicide attempts and low educational attainment, even when controlling for multiple other factors.
She considers the implications:
Until now, the onus of choosing when to prioritize career and when to attempt pregnancy was ultimately a woman’s to bear. While men are undoubtedly affected by their partners’ decision to delay pregnancy and the ensuing fertility issues and health risks that accompany this decision, they were free of the worry that their aging sperm would have any negative consequences on their unborn child. Anecdotally, there are many examples of successful men have married younger women and thus been able to avoid the complications of advanced maternal age (Donald Trump comes immediately to mind—his current wife Melania Knauss-Trump is 23 years his junior and he was 59 when their son Barron was born). The publication of this study puts the age of a father into the list of factors that parents must balance when deciding to begin a family. If this study is able to be replicated with the same results and becomes part of the public health lexicon, men will be forced to consider their own age when it comes to planning their careers and choosing when to have children with their partners.
Previous Dish on the subject here.