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Sons of older fathers are smarter and more ambitious

 
  • Researchers tested ‘geek-like’ traits in 12-year-old twins in the UK
  • The results were used to create a ‘geek index’ for each child
  • Children of older fathers had higher geek indexes than those of young fathers
  • ‘Geekiness’ appeared to jump more when fathers were over the age of 45
  • The reason for this remains unclear, but researchers suggest it could because older fathers provide better access to schooling for their children 

Shivali Best For Mailonline

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With an increase in the number of older fathers in both the US and the UK since 2003, we could soon see a surge of geeks in schools, according to a new study.

Researchers have found that sons of older fathers are more intelligent, more focused on their interests, highly ambitous and less concerned about fitting in – all characteristics typically seen in ‘geeks’.

While the reason for this remains unclear, scientists suggest that older fathers are likely to have more established careers and a higher social status, meaning their children may have access to better schooling.

There is also a possible link between older fathers being more likely to have autistic sons that are focused on certain hobbies, the researchers said.  

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Researchers have found that sons of older fathers are more intelligent, more focused on their interests and less concerned about fitting in – all characteristics typically seen in ‘geeks’ (stock image)

THE STUDY 

Researchers collected data from 15,000 UK-based twin pairs.

At age 12, the twins completed online tests that measured ‘geek-like’ traits, including non-verbal IQ, strong focus on the subjects of interest, and levels of social aloofness.

The twins’ parents were also asked whether their child cares about how they are perceived by their peers, and if they have any interests that take up the majority of their time.

The researchers used this information to come up with a ‘geek index’ for each child.

Results showed that the sons of older fathers had higher geek index scores overall.

And ‘geekiness’ appeared to jump more when fathers were over the age of 45, the researchers told MailOnline.

Researchers from King’s College London collected data from 15,000 UK-based twin pairs in the Twins Early Development Study.

At age 12, the twins completed online tests that measured ‘geek-like’ traits.

These included non-verbal IQ, strong focus on the subjects of interest, and levels of social aloofness.

The parents were also asked whether their child cares about how they are perceived by their peers, and if they have any interests that take up the majority of their time.

Using this information, the researchers came up with a ‘geek index’ for each child.

The results showed that the sons of older fathers had higher geek index scores overall.

And ‘geekiness’ appeared to jump more when fathers were over the age of 45, the researchers told MailOnline.

Dr Magdalena Janecka, who led the study, said: ‘Our study suggests that there may be some benefits associated with having an older father.

‘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 did not directly look at environmental factors, the researchers believe there could be a range of reasons for this correlation.

For example, older fathers are likely to have more established careers and a higher socioeconomic status than younger fathers, meaning that their children may be brought up in more enriched environments and have access to better schooling.

Results of the study showed that the sons of older fathers had higher geek index scores overall. And ‘geekiness’ appeared to jump more when fathers were over the age of 45, the researchers told MailOnline (stock image)

GEEKY SONS

While the study did not directly look at environmental factors, the researchers believe there could be a range of reasons for this correlation.

For example, older fathers are likely to have more established careers and a higher socioeconomic status than younger fathers, meaning that their children may be brought up in more enriched environments and have access to better schooling.

The findings could have implications for understanding links between higher paternal age, autism and characteristics typically seen in ‘geeks.’

The researchers suggest that some of the genes for geekiness and for autism may overlap.

Dr Janecka added: ‘When the child is born only with some of those genes, they may be more likely to succeed in school.

‘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.’

 

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Article source: http://healthmedicinet.com/i2/sons-of-older-fathers-are-smarter-and-more-ambitious/