Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

Why Fathers Are Important

September 17, 2012
Plain English Version

Experts say fathers play a much bigger role in childbearing than they thought.

Doc­tors have been telling men for years that smok­ing, drink­ing and rec­re­ational drugs can low­er the qual­i­ty of their sperm. And this affects the health of their unborn children.

Now, they have added other father qualities that can affect the composition of semen and may have an impact on a baby at the time it is conceived:

  • how old are they
  • what they eat
  • the quality of the air they breathe
  • their level of emotional stress
  • their income and job situation

These findings are part of a new field of study called epigenetics. It means looking at things that make genes work the way they do. It means that genes are turned on and off by the way we live.

The impact can go on for several generations. Some scientists are saying that the rise in autism and schizophrenia is partly caused by older parents. They do not know for sure how it happens.

The New York Times

Print Friendly

In Brief

Too Many Antibiotics Can Make Children Heavier

Children who use a lot of antibiotics gain more weight than others. The weight they gain may stay with them into adulthood.

A study of...

Enemy of the Day: Sugar

The U.S. government is saying how much sugar we should consume. They suggest that only 10 percent of the average person’s calories should come...

Reduce Carbs or Fat: Which is the Best Way to Lose Weight?

According to one expert, “It is a lousy question.” Fats, he said, go from bad to good. All diets should have the “good” monounsaturated...

Warnings About Over-the-Counter Drugs

It is not always safe to take over-the-counter drugs (OTCs). The longer you take them, the greater the risk you will incur. They may...


  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by DictionaryBox.com
Click to listen highlighted text!