While recent studies have shown that being born to older fathers increases a child's risk of various developmental diseases, a new study now claims that the effect is also physical as children born to older fathers are uglier compared to those born to younger fathers.
The study was conducted by researchers at Vienna University who found that older fathers pass on a number of genetic mutations to their offspring that not only increase the risk of autism and psychiatric disorders, but also increase the possibility that they grow up to be unattractive.
The researchers recruited a group of six men and six women and showed them over 8,000 pictures of 18-20 years old men and women and found that the participants consistently rated children of older fathers as less attractive.
"Every 16 years the mutation rate doubles. Other researchers found 25 mutations per sperm in a 20-year-old, but at age 40 it is 65 mutations. By 56, it doubles again. The effect is very visible - someone born to a father of 22 is already 5-10 per cent more attractive than those with a 40-year-old father and the difference grows with the age gap", lead researcher Martin Fielder said.