Sunday, December 28, 2008

The "Ticking Clock" and the Mommy/Daddy Double Standard

Lisa WadePosted December 27, 2008 | 12:41 AM (EST) Bloggers' Index
The "Ticking Clock" and the Mommy/Daddy Double Standard
a 34 year-old woman with no discernible desire to have children, I've had it up to here with this ticking clock nonsense. Oh I may change my mind about having kids, but I may not. And if I do, I am not going to suddenly decide that my life is meaningless if I don't get a kid RIGHT NOW. Please.

Part of what bugs me about the ticking clock narrative is that it suggests that only women need to be concerned about the age at which they reproduce. It seems that it is always women's bodies and behaviors that are problematized, while men's go unexamined. For example, Laury Oaks writes about how pregnant women's smoking is stigmatized, but no one ever seems to be concerned about her partner's smoking, even if she passively ingests cigarette smoke day in and day out. It turns out, many pregnant women can't get their partners to quit smoking around them because their partners are assholes. But no one ever calls those guys out for endangering the health and viability of a growing child. In fact, if anything, she get blamed for not "getting away from him." (I grant that Oaks' conclusions are slightly more measured.)

Anyway, a report on a set of studies just came out linking older paternal age to bad outcomes for kids. These studies show that boys with older fathers have lower IQs and higher rates of autism and social awkwardness. They've found a link, also, with older paternal age and the incidence of schizophrenia.



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