“Doc, should I bank my sperm to protect my heirs from going mad?” Wow, now that’s a question. He was wondering how he should handle the now credible link between older dads and their kids having higher rates of autism, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Although small, the increase in these conditions in offspring of older dads is significant, and guys without rug rats are now, officially, worried about them.
Take musician and writer Dan Crane, for example: “I never thought I’d write publicly about masturbating into a cup — particularly in The New York Times — but never say never, I guess.” In his “Diary of a Sperm Banker,” he laid out the whole issue, bare bones and all, for public consumption. I was happy to partake in Dan’s sperm journey… in least in its more cerebral aspects.
Just as fascinating to me were the online comments posted in response to Crane’s piece. Here is a smattering of them for your perusal:
- Will you have the energy in your 60’s to raise a teenager?
- Good luck, but the conception is only the beginning.
- The truth is that at 42, your sperm is already too old, just as a woman’s eggs are already too old.
- Face it guys and gals, it’s too late. Get a pet.
- His kids will suffer by not having an active and involved father. It’s too late Bud!
- The child has a high likelihood of being fatherless at a young age.
- If this article speaks to you, adopt. No testing, no freezing, no craziness.
- It’s possible that failure to marry is one of nature’s ways of weeding out some genetic lines
- They [children] are not this year’s fashion accessory, to be returned if it does not suit…
- I respect those who feel the need to bear children physically, and I respect those who choose to do so in the moment when life hands them that viable possibility.
- Don’t put off having children unless that’s what life hands you,
- If you really want to be a father, move on it.
- Guys, freeze your sperm, then get a vasectomy. I’ll wager it will make you incredibly desirable and in demand on the dating scene
- Them youngsters keep you young and hopping.
Interestingly, no comment was unbiased, most were from women, and surprisingly few supported the concept of preemptive sperm banking. In fact, most completely ignored the sperm quality issue, but focused instead on whether a man should entertain being an older dad in the first place. Seems like paternity is still more about being a good dad than anything to do with sperm. Confirms for me that what Antoine Prévost said in the 18th century is still true today: “The heart of a father is [a] masterpiece of nature.”