The Myth Of The Male Biological Clock

A couple of weeks back I wrote about the female biological clock and the futility of attempts to undermine or diminish its significance. Like it or not, the clock is here to stay, pathways around it are limited at best, and the forseeable future doesn’t contain much hope for change.

In what I’m confident is a response to this immutable truth, several mainstream media outlets within the last year have worked to try and promote the existence of a male biological clock:

It turns out that BOTH men and women are best suited, biologically speaking, to reproduce in their 20’s and early 30’s. After 35, both men and women are more likely to produce children with various kinds of developmental difficulties. Men face the same questions as women: can they afford to wait until their careers are settled before starting a family?

Here is why the notion of a male biological clock is, at best, extraordinarily misleading.

1. Male Fertility Persists Almost Indefinitely


Female fertility hits a proverbial brick wall in the 39-43 range. As noted last week, women undergoing fertility treatment at ages beyond that range are almost always forced to use donor eggs to conceive.

A man hits no such brick wall, which is why the application of the term “biological clock” is misleading. Women have a legitimate countdown to pay attention to. For men in general (some individuals will obviously be less fortunate), the clock essentially keeps running until death. Women see a halt to their fertility altogether, while men merely witness a slight increase in the complications associated with their fertility without it ever usually ceasing to exist. This is an important distinction willfully obscured by reports on this topic that attempt to make the female biological clock a unisexual construct.

This is also important when addressing the latter portions of the quote above:

Men face the same questions as women: can they afford to wait until their careers are settled before starting a family?


The answer is yes. A man at 40 is not in a position comparable to a female at the same age. She is approaching a reproductive brick wall and may have to spend exorbitant amounts of money on fertility treatments to overcome this with no guarantee of success. He has no such brick wall to worry about. He can consider the fact that his sperm are more likely to produce a child with a condition like autism, but that risk (though close to twice as high as it was when he was a decade younger) is still VERY small:

They found that men who had a daughter when they were 50 or older were 1.79 times more likely to have a grandchild with autism than a man who had a child when he was 20 to 24 years old. Men who had a son at 50 or later were 1.67 times more likely to have a grandchild with autism.

“We know from previous studies that older paternal age is a risk factor for autism,” lead author Emma Frans, from Karolinska Institutet, said in a press release. “This study goes beyond that and suggests that older grandpaternal age is also a risk factor for autism, suggesting that risk factors for autism can build up through generations.”

The overall risk is small, and the study was only observational, meaning it did not prove that advanced age meant autistic grandchildren.

“Although there was a statistically significant increase in the incidence of autism in families with older grandparents, it must be remembered that autism was still extremely infrequent even in families with the oldest grandparents,” Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, in New Hyde Park, said to HealthDay. He was not involved in the study. “Thus, older parents and grandparents should not be unduly worried.

This particular study looked at men who reproduce at around 50, and concluded that the risk of autism in the resulting children, though statistically significant, was miniscule. Compare this to a woman at age 45 (1 in 30 risk of Down Syndrome) who takes a much more significant chance of having a child with a disorder, assuming she can get pregnant at all.


The simple reality is that a man who has waited until 35 or 40 to settle his career and start a family is in a much better position than a woman at that age. He has no brick wall equivalent coming at him, his risk of producing a mentally/genetically ill child (or grandchild) is increased but still very small, and his sexual market value (assuming he has made a decent career and kept himself in shape) is generally going to be much higher than his female counterpart (read: he’s going to have more numerous sexual options of higher average quality).

2. The consequences of advanced paternal age are not as severe as their maternal counterparts., the primary source for the study regarding male fertility cited by the rest of the mainstream media, includes a couple of very crucial caveats to their results that are (unsurprisingly) left out of most mainstream articles on this topic:

However, Mark Daly, a geneticist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston who studies autism, says that increasing paternal age is unlikely to account for all of the rise in autism prevalence. He notes that autism is highly heritable, but that most cases are not caused by a single new mutation — so there must be predisposing factors that are inherited from parents but are distinct from the new mutations occurring in sperm.

Historical evidence suggests that older fathers are unlikely to augur a genetic meltdown. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Icelandic men fathered children at much higher ages than they do today, averaging between 34 and 38. Moreover, genetic mutations are the basis for natural selection, Stefánsson points out. “You could argue what is bad for the next generation is good for the future of our species,” he says.

Though a correlation between paternal age and an increase in autism-spectrum disorders has been observed, the significance of it has not been fully determined. The evidence we do possess, however, indicates that this significance is not likely to be high. Maternal age still remains the more visible and prominent factor in child health, and will likely continue to be just that.


The mainstream media, of course, has told a different story, drawing many dramatic conclusions from a study that doesn’t seem to warrant them. Why have they done this? One such article on the topic was kind enough to make it obvious:

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s also a small gift to imagine all the fathers out there who divorced a wife who was the mother of their autistic child and then moved on to start a new family with a younger, “safer” woman. While I don’t wish for anyone to have a child with all the difficulties that come with autism, if even a few of those dads read Wednesday’s news and felt a little heartburn with their morning coffee, I won’t lose too much sleep.

Simply put, the findings of this study are being blown up and out of proportion in order to tell women what they want to hear. Reality is irrelevant—schadenfreude is the order of the day.

The motivations behind the promotion of this idea are pretty obvious: mainstream media outlets know that women will be eager to read and buy into the notion that they are not alone in their fertility concerns and that men actually have no real advantage over them. The idea that they must contend with a limitation that men do not (a true biological clock) is uncomfortable to them and they naturally welcome any evidence to the contrary.


The truth is that while men do indeed have reproductive limitations, these limitations are fewer in number and of decidedly inferior severity relative to their female counterparts. The male of the species is not ageless, but his reproductive capacity is better suited for advanced age.

This is just the reality of human biology. Men enjoy vastly inferior sexual market value during the early portions of their lives relative to their female peers, who peak in their teens and early twenties. This is balanced by greater male sexual value at older ages, whereby men see a general increase in their appeal to the opposite sex as they enter their late-twenties and early thirties and also get to enjoy a larger reproductive window (extending essentially into old age).


No amount of rationalization and wishing will change this truth—men and women were simply not created equal in this regard, and should not be treated as such. The sooner this reality is accepted, the better.

Don’t Miss: Why There Is No Escaping The Biological Clock

58 thoughts on “The Myth Of The Male Biological Clock”

  1. I’m in my mid-30’s, and I will admit to having some longings to be a father once in a while. It comes and goes fast, and I’m not all that emotional about it. But men having a natural and healthy desire to have children does not = men having biological clocks. I know I’m stating the obvious, but a fair amount of the missives directed at men are females projecting their bio imperative onto him. Another example: “You need to get married or you’ll be middle-aged / elderly and lonely.” No, middle-aged and elderly men generally have huge amounts of hand over their female counterparts, and can basically pick women out of a line assembling at his doorstep.

    1. and can basically pick women out of a line assembling at his doorstep.
      Provided that he’s in the right culture at the right time, meeting women who meet his criteria. There are still plenty of hypergamous fatties out there over 40 who will checklist and checklist until their dying day.

      1. yes and these fatties will be lonely until they realize they cant have it all. then they will settle and be unsatisfied til they are dead.
        we men have to put up with it, but with at least ONE BILLION decent looking, healthy, fuckable age females out there it shouldnt phase us.
        theres always another one waiting in line. when a man feels its time for family, which he can (as opposed to females) put off at his leisure, all he has to do is pick one of the many pretty mid-20s broads forming a circle around him selling themselves for some successful cock.

    2. Same here. I felt that urge to father children in my mid-thirties. Now, it has subsized.

  2. If you’re male, its important to remember not to rush things; you may pay dearly for it later.
    I’ve never been burned seriously in a dating relationship with women, but its only by accident that I always made the right decisions and in retrospect, I can see that those decisions saved me from a lot of pain.
    Most Western women are pain. Though if you find the rare one who is worth it, hold on to her.
    I’ve seen others get burned by the breakdown of their relationships, to the point where they are financially devastated as well as having their family wrested from them.
    In addition, the social contract between men and women is broken. Do you really want someone who has had so much ‘action’ that they are incapable of forming a real bond with a man. Granted, there may be exceptions, but women are wonderful liars, even to themselves. They’ll tell themselves they can do something when they blatantly cannot. Actually, this is a failing of both sexes, but the social contract of women at least doing somewhat of what men want has worked for over 2000 years, if not more. Now that women can do whatever they want and get as repulsive as they want, men be damned, you’d also better not be naive to the fact that most women will [email protected] you over at a moment’s notice, even if you’re alpha. The character of the women is more important than you being the sh1t.
    Truth is, younger women lie less and are better at long-term relationships, if this is what you truly want. The last two older generations have been sold a lie, and it is a lie that we will not benefit from much longer. Wake up and take a look at the world around you. Women have deteriorated. Relationships, family and society have deteriorated. Jobs gone or are more stressful for less reward. If you’re in your twenties now, you take this as being the norm when it wasn’t only a decade or few before that.
    Unfortunately, women’s selfishness is the thing we have to copy. Society is for the most part finished. “In this life, everyone is for themself”.

    1. Rousing Cheers for this post!!! I especially commend you for noting that the character of the woman counts more than you being the great Alpha. You are correct to say that even Alpha men can get screwed if they hook up with the wrong woman.

    2. If you’re male, its important to remember not to rush things; you may pay dearly for it later.
      One advantage of being old is that if she does leave you, she won’t be able to mooch off of you for very long!

  3. There really is no male biological clock, that is true. The real question is, if it is advisable to have children just because you are able to…
    I agree that you never should rush things, especially if you are male. In elementary school i had a classmate whose father was 65 years of age at the time of his birth and he was envious of our fathers who were physically fit enough to play with us…Granted, there are exemptions, but i think that there is a such a thing as being too old to father a child even if you are capable…

    1. I second that emotion.
      Evolution favored men and women who could sexually mature at the ages they have for a long, long time, and favored men and women who had children in their 20s, when both sexes had an abundance of energy and years to be with the child as it matured to adulthood.
      Being an older fellow, I don’t have the same energy I did when I was 20 years younger, despite eating healthily and exercising regularly to increase my general quality of life. I’ve never been jazzed about the prospect of having kids, and won’t do so now. The way I see it, there are hordes of young men out there who were raised without fathers and/or solid male guidance. That’s where I could make a better contribution to this world.

      1. Exactly. Why does everyone HAVE to have their own spawn when there are plenty of youth that need help already?

      1. aha, i guess you meant, but what exactly to you want to tell me with this link to such an idiotic website?

    2. Considering how unfit are most men in their forties, if you seriously take responsibility for fathering children in your older years and bust your ass to stay fit, there is no reason for you to underperform compared to them.
      Kids being ashamed of their older fathers? Wow! What do kids know about life that we adults should base our decisions over their perceptions? For instance, kids of blue-collar fathers could be ashamed of their poorer fathers compared to their friends’ white-collar ones, so what? Should blue-collar parents give up fathering children, then?
      As a father, your task is to love your children unconditionally, to protect them and to tech them life. That’s it. Let’s not get sentimental, please, for that’s female reasoning.
      Stay strong.

  4. go to the philippines you will see many guys 70 plus that have healthy newborns with their still fertile 20 year old wives and girlfriends. There simply is no rush for men to have kids.

    1. What about dying before your kid gets through high school?
      To say nothing of grandchildren, etc.

      1. Life expectancy for a typical western male is in the high 70’s. You have a pretty solid chance of seeing 80 if you stay in shape.
        Obviously fathering a child at 70 makes it much less likely for you to see their high school graduation, but slightly less advanced ages are still very practical.
        If your children are fathered at 55, it is likely that they’ll be in their mid to late twenties before you pass away. If you’re fathering them at 60, then they’ll likely have just finished university or be coming close to it.
        Grandchildren are another story, unless your kid has a child at a young age (18-25). That being said, if your parental timeline/plan requires that you be assured a strong chance of seeing your children graduate from high school, then you have a VERY large reproductive window as a typical western male, larger still if you take good care of yourself. Your cutoff point would be in your early 60’s.

        1. I’m glad a read this article.
          I am definitely going to put off the idea of marriage and fatherhood until my 40s.

  5. They found that men who had a daughter when they were 50 or older were
    1.79 times more likely to have a grandchild with autism than a man who
    had a child when he was 20 to 24 years old. Men who had a son at 50 or
    later were 1.67 times more likely to have a grandchild with autism.

    Was this corrected for the maternal age, or not? I imagine that men aged 50 or older are reproducing with somewhat older women than the young guys are. It’s a lot easier to find a 50 y.o. guy with a fertile 35 y.o. wife than a 20 y.o. wife.
    If this is the case, it would seem to suggest that higher autism rates is completely due to older maternal age, making paternal age irrelevant.

    1. Very good and vital distinction. Kudos for spotting it.
      Does the author of the article know the answer to that question?

      1. I do not believe that they accounted for that in the study, but it would seem to add to the many pitfalls associated with the theory of paternal age as a significant cause of disorders. The impact is minimal as is, and I assume it would only become more minimal if we began factoring female age in.

    2. I am going to take the devil’s advocate position and instill some Gravitas. I can do so because I have experience in this topic. I have two children, one born when I was 39.7, the other when I was 44.3. The first kid was fine, the second, a boy had a developmental disorder. He can’t think characters then write them. Other than that he is genius with a kick mind and super memory. But he can type them. So he uses a computer for tests at school.
      The killer was when he developed juvenile arthritis at 13. Pain, meds that eat up his guts over time, and who knows what else. The genes were identified as coming from the wife. But genes are not destiny and who knows what caused those alleles to kick in when no one else in her family had it.
      Yes, I’ll be first to admit, this is all about women jumping on the couch with glee. I’ll also agree with the bump in statistical prob. on a small number is still a small number.
      But when it happens to you, it is no longer an abstraction. And guilt is a motherfucker.
      Some shit you don’t bet the odds. And it will be YOUR kids you gamble with. Yes, this data is associative and not causal. But it should open your eyes to a real possibility that could happen to you and did happen to me.
      That’s my opinion.

      1. Very sorry to hear that it happened to you, but do recall that anecdotal evidence is highly unreliable at best.
        Bottom line is there could have been many reasons why this happened (along with a convergence of those reasons). Unfortunately we just don’t know for sure. Blaming your age at the time is probably jumping to conclusions.

      2. To echo Samseau, was it the same mother? If so then she would have been 4.6 years older too, aligning with corvinus’ thoughts in the comments here.

    3. I didn’t bother commenting because I assumed that would be obvious. It is entirely the female’s age that matters. A man going with a female 20-30 years his junior may still be an old woman from a reproductive standpoint if he’s in his 60’s and she’s pushing 40. Few 20 and 30 somethings are shagging 40yo females.

  6. Men and women are biologically different? And this affects our interactions?
    It can’t be! it’s so not fair!
    It must be a…a… social construct!

  7. “Dont matter, we will just keep cock carrouselling and get degrees in paperpushing jajjajaja “

  8. If its not a biological clock, then what do we call those dude who turn 40, buy motorcycles, and start putting up all sorts of fronts everywhere?

      1. LOL, too true. The guy who just turns 40 with the 25 year old wife doesn’t have a mid-life crisis. At least not until he turns 55.

    1. That’s a midlife crisis, not a biological clock. None of those behaviors have anything to do with making babies.

    2. I can’t cite it, but I distinctly recall seeing a study that conclusively linked male midlife crises not to their own age, but to their wives’ menopause.

      1. hat’s probably true because 40 is just not that old for a man. In my 40’s I wasn’t much different physically than my 20’s.
        Of course eventually you will start to go downhill but really not at 40
        and when I turned 40 it was just another birthday and meant nothing.I
        recall that when I was about 37 that I had a girl who was 18 and it never even occurred to me at the time that there was any age difference.Yes I had women in their 30’s too but when you’re a bachelor you sort of become frozen in time
        and don’t think like an older or married man.There’s no mid life crisis
        at 40, it’s just bored married guys who feel that they have missed out
        on things and start buying cars and clothes etc that they always wanted
        to do anyway but were restrained by the wife or couldn’t afford it
        because their money was going to support the family.

  9. The truth is you take care of yourself…don’t get fat, hit the gym, eat good, keep up with your health, and have a good disposition no matter what age you are you feel young.
    When I was in high school and college I felt like a 60 year old man…now I’m in my 30s and I feel like a kid again.

  10. The Main Stream Media’s attempt to promote a male biological clock is a ruse to get them to settle down and marry. Like any other paper pushing job, it’s been mostly staffed by women writing puff pieces. Now we know women obviously have their agenda. They have no problem using the grey lady (New York Times) to sell it.

  11. My grandfather was a divorced man in his 60s when he hooked up with a 30 smtg fairly good looking woman and they had a kid who is now a doctor. He is 80 now and has successfully produced two families with grand grand children.

    1. So he was a divorced man in his 60’s, hooked up with a woman, had a child who became a doctor, and is now 80 years old?
      Faulty math or bullshit? Newborn to doctor in less than 20yrs is not possible.
      Or is this the famous Doogie Houser family?

      1. My faulty Math, he had to start at least 10 yrs earlier because last thing I heard is his son just became traumatologist so that is at least 8 years education (6 med + 2 specialty), I think

  12. just do what i did. have a kid at 20, preferably a boy, yeah sure you gotta pay (when you ARENT making that much btw it saves money) then when im 40 and doing well and banging young broads i will have a grown son.
    and teach him all the things nobody taught me that i was lucky enough to figure out at a young age.
    shit its either that or GET MARRIED (are you stupid?) at 35, then get fucked out of everything you have worked for your whole life AND lose your kids AND pay child support AND work til you are old and decrepit.
    i used to beat myself up for having a kid young, not having him married, etc. but i realize now it was a blessing in disguise. i get the best of both worlds. i have a son and i am a single bachelor with a full life ahead of me. no bitch at home. nobody is taking my house from me. all i do is pay a hundred a week cs. big fucking deal. i make fifteen times that so whatever.

  13. “Men face the same questions as women: can they afford to wait until their careers are settled before starting a family?”
    The other questions posed may be legitimate concerns for those that are ignorant, but this one is just STUPID. Men almost never nor do they ever (in practice) shoulder the burden of choosing a career or a child. Why? Because it is the woman who bears the brunt of the physical sacrifice when having a baby. SHE carries it for 9 months, will feed and care for it a minimum of 30 days before going back to work, and with the exception of some rich/celebrity “mommy wanna be”, will naturally have her hands full for at least 10-12 years with the day to day oversight of the child.
    The man on the other hand will have to RAMP UP his career if anything. Not delay or wait for it to settle. He has another mouth to feed and a lil body to clothe and medically pay for. Never mind the actual fathering of the child.
    A mans productivity and dedication to his career or job actually goes UP with each child he produces (deadbeats excluded).
    In short having kids actually enhances his desire for a good career and his productivity, not hinder it.

  14. No mention of vaccines and other chemicals in the food/water supply as the cause of autism. And who knows, it may not even be a real “disease” at all, just as the guy who created the ADD “disease” recently admitted, it’s a fake disease.
    Sounds to me like a bunch of spoiled brat kids who never had their dumbass parents discipline them or train them how to grow up to be a normal person. Once again, feminism and single motherhood plays a big role.

    1. Autism as a distinct disease entity is as bogus as attention deficit.Autism was always considered a Sign of mental retardation, which is just a generic term for conditions that affect intelligence and vary from mild to severe. Most of these parents just can’t admit to themselves that their kid is retarded so Autism was invented to explain the kid’s backward intellectual and emotional behaviour.Of course there are higher functioning people with autistic signs but they are still retarded. Rainman may be able to remember a million numbers, mostly because he has nothing much on his mind and that one area of the brain is functioning,but he wouldn’t even be able to find his way home on his own.

  15. Sure men may be able to father kids well into their 50s,60s and maybe 70s even, but that doesn’t mean it is good for him nor his kids at a practical level. My father had my half sister with his much younger second wife while in his mid 50s. He could not really keep up with a bubbling young child and my sister has always said she never felt as if she had a father – only a grandfather because my father sure acted like a grandfather with her.

  16. This is good stuff, and overlooked way too often by the fem-focused media-at-large.

  17. The hilariously stupid part is that you gentlemen are making these decisions now, in 2013, that will last a lifetime based on limited data. That is, you’re willing to bet on the decidedly limited medical community and the notion that the few current studies will always hold true and if the risks seem only marginal at this point, it’s okay to continue to delay fatherhood. What’s going to be interesting is when more studies come out in the next decade or so revealing that both advanced maternal and paternal age create genetic abnormalities. It’s common sense: your testicles are a photocopy machine. They’ve been printing out duplicates since you were 13. Now, after twenty years of continuous printing, the ink and toner are running low and those genes aren’t copying so well. It’s merely a socially imposed construct that encourages us to wait to procreate. And lest you argue, yea, but men of advanced paternal age have sired offspring for thousands of years and they seem to have come out okay, I’ll remind you that infanticide was commonly practiced throughout history and there was not an expectation that we would medically intervene. That is, if the kid was a dud, we didn’t prop him up and inject him with all kinds of chemicals and give him treatments. He just didn’t thrive and likely didn’t procreate and we were okay with that because nature was telling us something was wrong. But now, failure to intervene and provide medical treatments is seen as parental neglect so we are creating a so-called “genetic debt” in the species. Soon all these 25-year-old women you think you have access to are going to be preferring 25-year-old men instead of your old asses because, face it, few things are worse than having a permanently sick kid.

    1. “What’s going to be interesting is when more studies come out in the next
      decade or so revealing that both advanced maternal and paternal age
      create genetic abnormalities”
      The studies we have already reveal this. Advanced maternal and paternal age both lead to risks in the creation of children.
      The key, however, (and you’ll have seen this if you read the article closely) is that advanced maternal age is a much greater hindrance than advanced paternal age. In short, the risks of waiting for a male are significantly lower than those of a female.
      In short, guys have more leeway when it comes to having children later in life than women do. They lack a true wall (no menopause, can sire children indefinitely) and the increased risk of abnormality due to degraded sperm at 50+ is statistically significant, but barely so (not enough to match the risks women face birthing children in their 40’s).
      “Soon all these 25-year-old women you think you have access to are going
      to be preferring 25-year-old men instead of your old asses because, face
      it, few things are worse than having a permanently sick kid.”
      1. The bulk of us here are not “old asses”. Most of the writers aren’t much older than 35. I’m 22.
      2. Women generally prefer older men, so I would expect the 25 year old woman to probably be looking at 27-30 year old men in most cases.
      3. In most parts of the world outside of the lands dominated by Northwestern Europeans, large age gaps are not a big deal and are fairly widely tolerated. Men are not socialized to feel “creepy” for dating women more than 3-4 years their junior. That is mostly a western European thing, and even then its most prevalent in the Anglosphere. Even if it becomes the norm in the USA for 25 year old women to want to avoid men more than 2-3 years older than them (I’d say that this is already in line with social conventions here anyhow), most of the world will still be home to women very open to men a decade or more their senior.
      Different folks, different strokes.
      4. The risk posed by increased paternal age really isn’t large enough to warrant avoiding older men on account of it. We’ve got more than enough evidence to make that conclusion.

  18. Since autism has never been proven to be genetic and has been linked to mostly environmental causes, with thimersol-containing vaccines topping the list, the risk of autism is nil is you reduce those risk factors.
    Naturopathic alternatives to allopathic medicine (most drugs and vaccines) can reduce if not eliminate the risks of autism, cancer, diabetes and other diseases associated with the Western diet and lifestyle.
    There are studies linking higher paternal age with the risk of conceiving children with Down’s Syndrome, but that’s only if there’s a concurrent higher maternal age, too. Otherwise, your chances are the same as everybody else’s.

  19. Why don’t more people just adopt? We have plenty of kids to go around in the foster system(even babies) that are young enough to not have had much of a chance to develop psychological disorders, and don’t have autism. Why not just do that instead of risking having a child that will have to deal with a learning disability for the rest of their life?

  20. Well written and as always, the truth is the truth no matter if the media likes it or not.
    But I’d still like to add something. The average male in developed countries may live to somewhere between his late 70s and early 80s but individually, we should never count on that being the case.
    Some will become a hundred years old, others will have a freak accident or a heart attack at 30. Don’t assume that long life is your birth right. It may not be. So whatever is most important, don’t put it off.

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