Why Fathers Really Matter
Biology is making it clearer by the day that a manâ€™s health and well-being have a measurable impact on his future childrenâ€™s health and happiness. This is not because a strong, resilient man has a greater likelihood of being a fabulous dad â€” or not only for that reason â€” or because heâ€™s probably got good genes. Whether a manâ€™s genes are good or bad (and whatever â€œgoodâ€ and â€œbadâ€ mean in this context), his childrenâ€™s bodies and minds will reflect lifestyle choices he has made over the years, even if he made those choices long before he ever imagined himself strapping on a Baby Bjorn.
Doctors have been telling men for years that smoking, drinking and recreational drugs can lower the quality of their sperm. What doctors should probably add is that the health of unborn children can be affected by what and how much men eat; the toxins they absorb; the traumas they endure; their poverty or powerlessness; and their age at the time of conception. In other words, what a man needs to know is that his life experience leaves biological traces on his children. Even more astonishingly, those children may pass those traces along to their children.