I received a few comments castigating me for supporting pre-teen sex with my post about the 11-year-old girl giving birth.
There was nothing in that post, as I read it anyway, supporting pre-teen sex. I never said that. The gist of that post was the interesting dichotomy of something that Jesus would have considered quite normal, we consider abnormal and even criminal. And yes, I was also poking fun at our (and Fox News) apparent love of hysteria and finding things we can get all worked up over. We do love to get worked up over things…
Mother’s Age & Birth Defects
Also, just an hour after I posted, a study was made public discussing the higher incidences of autism in children born to older mothers. While the study listed data for a continuum of mother’s ages, it focused on those over 35 who have the greatest risk of a child with autism (about 1 in 300 at age 35, about 1 in 200 at age 40). Looking at the data though it is clear that the risks of autism begin to significantly increase with mother’s over about 24.
Further, the probability of a variety of chromosomal issues, such as Down’s Syndrome, increase with mother’s age over 20. Below 20 the risk is about 1 in 3,000. By 25 it’s about 1 in 500. By 40 it’s 1 in 60.
There have also been a number of studies regarding the danger of birth defects and other health problems for young mothers, under about 14. A very quick perusal of these reveals that the primary cause is not actually the age of the mother, but the poor healthcare that many of these young mothers receive.
I’m not recommending that we start encouraging teens to have babies (or sex). But this does seem to raise an interesting issue. Throughout Biblical Israel and the first 1500 years of Christianity girls married at about 13 and produced children from about 13 to perhaps 25 or 30. This also seems to coincide with the age their bodies were designed by God to normally and safely produce children. Let’s not forget that God can do miracles though – Sarah was 90 when she gave birth to Isaac.