[Paleopsych] World Science: One in 25 dads could unknowingly be raising another man's child, researchers find
checker at panix.com
Tue Aug 23 22:48:01 UTC 2005
One in 25 dads could unknowingly be raising another man's child, researchers
Aug. 12, 2005
Courtesy BMJ Specialty Journals
and World Science staff
Around one in 25 dads could unknowingly be raising another manâs child, new
research suggests. The study is published in the September issue of the Journal
of Epidemiology and Community Health.
The implications are huge, said the researchers, because of the growing
reliance of judicial and health systems on DNA profiling and genetic testing,
such as organ donation and criminal identification.
More frequent testing means more parents are likely to learn about their
childrenâs true status, with devastating consequences for some families, they
More instances of the phenomenon, which scientists politely term âpaternal
discrepancy,â may come to light through the ever-more common paternity tests
being conducted in Western countries, the researchers said. In the United
States, rates of such tests more than doubled to 310,490 between 1991 and 2001.
The authors based their conclusions on an array of international, published
scientific research and conference findings, covering the period between 1950
In the U.K., around a third of pregnancies are unplanned, the researchers said,
around one in five women in long term relationships has had an affair. Other
developed countries have reported similar figures.
There are few support services to help those affected, added the researchers,
Mark Bellis of Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, U.K., and
colleagues. And there is little guidance on what roles healthcare or criminal
justice system workers should play in disclosing paternal discrepancy.
âIn a society where services and life decisions are increasingly influenced
by genetics, our approach to [paternal discrepancy] cannot be simply to ignore
this difficult issue,â wrote the researchers.
More information about the paleopsych