What’s the chance that a man’s kids are not really his, biologically?


Gad Saad looks at a fascinating study examining rates of nonpaternity:

The standard nonpaternity rate that is most commonly mentioned across cultural settings is 10%.  This is quite extraordinary in that it is difficult to imagine that 1 out of every 10 children is sired by someone other than the man who is recognized as the father.

Turns out this figure is far too low. And far too high as well. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

In the past many studies on nonpaternity were done by looking at the results of DNA tests. Makes sense on the surface, right? Only problem is nobody thought about What kind of men get DNA tests in the first place? Men who think they have something to worry about. And as Saad explains, they may be on to something:

The bottom line is as follows:  If you commission a DNA paternity test, you have roughly a one-third chance of the child not being yours.  On the other hand, if you are confident that your wife has not had any extramarital dalliances then the probability of your having been cuckolded is very low (but still far from negligible).

Here are the stats:

                                      US & Canada    Europe      Elsewhere           

High paternity confidence         1.9%               1.6%             2.9%

Low paternity confidence         29.4%              29.8%           30.5%

Saad’s book is here.

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