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For all the girls who tell me i’m not too old to have a kid: Thanks but i’m not a rat.

Of course i know you think you didn’t call me a rat, it’s even worse this way. Even though no one asked for it, i’ll explain why, because the whole thing pisses me so much i have to get it out here.

In biology there are these two basic reproductive strategies, r (for rate) and K (for quality). Rats are r-strategists, they reproduce as much as they can, and whatever happens to their cubs is not their problem. Elephants are K-strategists, they’ll raise and nurture and care for the cubs to the best of their hability.

The stereotypes about men all revolve around them being more r-bound than women. It just so happens that the r strategy is connected to everything we see as “lesser” and more base forms of life. Just like an Elephant is a simbol of good luck and a Rat is a symbol of filth.

A baby from an older dad has way more chances of disease and complications. To claim someone could care not about this is to claim they only care about the amount, not about quality.

Obviously if you actually go to the litterature, in its right context, neither strategy is better or worse, it all depends on the habitat and competition and multitude other factors, and by the way neither strategy exists in pure form, they are just abstract tendencies or models.

But, on the same light, humans are absolutely K-strategists. Probably way more than Elephants. There is nothing about us that is not correlated with high level of parental care. We would only tend to stress the r side of the equation on desperate circumstances. Having a kid that you can raise and teach and nurture will be better than having two you will never see again. Almost always. The only way you would chose 2 instead of 1 is if you were sure that even the single 1 you would also never see again. You would only be an r-strategist if you were desperate — or maybe if you were used to being as choiceless as if you were desperate.

If you think i don’t care about my son’s life, you’re either insane, or a fool, or you see all men as beasts without a brain.

I don’t remember the numbers, or exactly were i saw this research (even more so because this is deemed an unimportant research topic, reproductive rights for men is verboten issue in our society), but say right now being 35 i have a very slim chance of genetic deffects on my children, like 0.01%. And say it doubles every year. Next year it will be 0.02%. But next decade it will be 10.24%.

Actual numbers are less dramatic, but the overall dynamic is exponential and exponentials are things you don’t want to deal with.

As for me, 1% is not acceptable. It is acceptable if you’re talking about money, or breaking a leg, or almost anything else, i am not risk-averse at all. But not about my son!

So, bitch: I’m too old, it’s not only you who can worry about this, you’re not that special.

As for men: If you are in your forties or beyond, please do some research about older men having kids. It is not an easy topic to find quality information about, ut go after it. After you do, if you decide i am too paranoid, fine. I’ll even conced that you will probably think so. But please inform yourself before taking this decision.

2 Comments

  1. Vc. Querendo. Ter. Filhos.
    God, why?


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