There is a systematic rise in the age of fatherhood, Prof Allan Pacey from the University of Sheffield told Westminster World.
“There has been a social trend in the last 30 years where men are waiting till much later in life until they start to have children,” Prof of Andrology at Sheffield University Allan Pacey said.
Despite the fact that men over the age of 40 are half as infertile as those that are 25, legendary rocker Ronnie Wood announced that at the age of 68 he and his 37 year old wife were expecting their first child.
Backlash soon followed with glamour girl Katie Price labelling it as ‘disgusting and selfish’.
Wood joins a long list of celebrity fathers who are having children over the age of 50, and often with their much younger fertile wife.
“Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Clint Eastwood and Michael Douglas these men attract a much younger fertile woman,” Prof Pacey said.
Spacey was keen to point out that it “differs for older men of means and status”.
A 2011 report from the ONS indicated that nearly two-thirds of babies have been born to fathers aged 30 and over. The statistics further showed that nearly 29% of fathers were aged 30-34, 21% were 35-39 and 10% aged 40-44. Only 4.6% were aged 45 and over.
Despite the smaller percentage of men aged over 45, Prof Pacey noted the there was a “significant rise in older fathers”.
In 2004 more than 75,000 babies were born to fathers aged 40 and over- more than one in ten of all children born according to figures released from the ONS. Furthermore, around 6,489 children a year are born to fathers aged fifty plus
However despite these recent trends, there are “detectable health risks to children” conceived by older fathers, Spacey said.
“We witness an increase in rates of autism, Down syndrome and other medical complications to children borne by fathers over the age of 50,” he told Westminster World.
Interestingly, Prof Pacey noted that the evidence of any social implications of having children later in life is in contradiction with biology.
“There are the obvious issues that really old dads will most likely be dead before their child graduates,” he noted, “however, is it proven that older fathers do in fact make better dads”.
There are a variety of reasons for this according to Prof Pacey. Firstly, older fathers are often more financially reliable and usually have more time than fathers in their early 30s.
“Older men have more money and more time, which means that they are able to financially support their child as well as being physically around more,” Prof Pacey said.
It is a proven fact that men often continue to have children at much older ages than women.
Despite the fact that Rolling Stones rocker Ronnie Wood is a grandfather of nine, a spokesperson said that “thrilled and overjoyed by the wonderful news”.
Sally and Ronnie Wood are expecting twins in June 2016.
Photo credit, wikipedia