Thursday 14 December 2017

Older dads more likely to have 'geeky' sons

Several years after their scores were measured, geekier boys did better in school exams than their classmates, especially in science, technology, engineering and maths. Stock image
Several years after their scores were measured, geekier boys did better in school exams than their classmates, especially in science, technology, engineering and maths. Stock image

John von Radowitz

Sons of older fathers are more likely to display "geeky" traits such as high intelligence, obsessional interests and not caring if they fit in, new research has shown.

Scientists came to the conclusion after studying the behaviour of 15,000 twins in the UK.

When the boys were 12 they completed online tests that measured geek-like traits, including non-verbal IQ, a strong focus on personal interests and social aloofness.

Parents were also asked if their offspring cared about how they were perceived by their peers, and whether they had any hobbies that took up a lot of their time.

The researchers compiled a "geek index" and overall, sons of older fathers turned out to have a higher geek index score than those born when their dads were younger. And geekiness appeared to "jump" after a father's 45th birthday.

However, being geeky was not necessarily a handicap and in some ways proved advantageous.

Several years after their scores were measured, geekier boys did better in school exams than their classmates, especially in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The study was published in the journal 'Translational Psychiatry'.

The scientists believe children of older fathers with established careers and higher socio-economic status were more likely to find themselves in an enriched environment and have access to better schooling.

Irish Independent

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