Below is an example of an individual assignment that received full credit.
Discuss how paternal age can affect fetal development.
Throughout history the age of women in relation to pregnancy has been widely discussed as it has been
proven that women who are of advancing age, or even very young, can have an increase chance of passing a
congenital disorder to a fetus. Such congenital disorders have a great impact in the development of the fetus as
many of them cause severe abnormalities and even death.
Many people are aware of such risks associated with the young or advancing age of a female, but very
few are aware that the age of a male can also contribute and cause many serious fetal abnormalities and
developmental problems. Over 20 genetic disorders have been linked to paternal age and most cause
malformations of the head and skeleton (Morris & Reid, 2010). For example, advanced paternal age can cause
disorders such as Apert and Crouzon Syndrome which both cause malformations of the skull and face (Reid,
2012). In addition to contributing to many congenital disorders a male’s sperm, especially those over 35, can
greatly increase the risk of miscarriages in fetuses (Iwayama, 2011). Such miscarriages are due to the declining
quality of the sperm as the rate of apoptosis, which is responsible for getting rid of sperm cells with damaged
DNA, does not increase as a male gets older (Fisch, 2009).
Many congenital disorders are caused by genetic mutations. Men who are 20 years old pass to their
offsprings 15 to 25 genetic typos while men who are 45 pass on 65, but women at any age will only pass 15
(Kluger et al., 2013). Such typos will lead to mutations which in turn will interfere with the development of a fetus
and cause congenital disorders.
By just looking at these examples of risk associated with paternal age, there is no question that it is just
as an important aspect of pregnancy and fetal development as maternal age. I think that people should take this
matter more seriously as the risks can be detrimental to the life of a baby.
Fisch, H. (2009). The aging male and his biological clock. Geriatrics, 64(1), 14-17.
Iwayama, M. (2011). Parental age and child growth and development: Child health check-up data. Pediatrics
International 53(5), 709-714.
Kluger, J., Birmingham, L., Konigsberg, R., Thean, T., Cabrera, F., & Mahr, K. (2013). Too Old To Be A Dad?. Time,
Morris, H. H. & Reid, L. (2010). Paternal age effect and its association with congenital birth defects: Is there a role
for genetic testing? Weill Medical College of Cornell University. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 40.
Reid, M.L. (2012). Fathers Shaping Child Development, 2nd ed. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
Commented [MR1]: Note the use of an in text citation to
show the source of the information. Note that there are no
first names or initials and all authors are listed. Note that all
citations are listed in the reference and vice versa.
Commented [MR2]: If a source has 6 or more authors,
you can use et al. and first author
Commented [MR3]: This is the correct way to reference a
scholarly article in 6th ed APA style
Commented [MR4]: This is the correct way to reference a
book in 6th ed APA style. This is the way to list the second