Why a DNA Test Probably Matters

Nimeona @Baba Elle akifloss [B]yeye haezi chezw[/B]a. Just know the probability is against you.

[SIZE=7]30% of Men: Not the Father?[/SIZE]

Paternity test stats show a dramatic rise in the number of individuals seeking DNA paternity testing. This new trend, along with the increased attention on paternity provided by celebrity scandals, leads to the question: How many people really need a DNA paternity test

[SIZE=6]30% of Men: Not the Father?[/SIZE]

A quick online search gives frighteningly alarming figures; many articles claim that as many as 30% of men are unknowingly raising another man’s child. This would mean that out of a class of 60 students, 20 of them are growing up calling the wrong man dad.

[SIZE=5]Where did this 30% figure come from?[/SIZE]

This is an often misunderstood statistic provided by some paternity test labs regarding the percentage paternity tests with a ‘not the father’ result. Most paternity test labs report that about 1/3 of their paternity tests have a ‘negative’ result. Of all the possible fathers who take a paternity test, about 32% are not the biological father. But remember, this is 1/3 of men who have a reason to take a paternity test - not 1/3 of all men. That is a huge difference!

[SIZE=5]What is the Real Non-Paternity Rate?[/SIZE]

To determine a true non-paternity rate, scientists usually turn to various studies of children with genetic disorders. In these studies a large number of children are screened for genetic disorders, like Tay-Sachs disease or cystic fibrosis, in which the child must inherit a copy of the defective gene from both parents to show the disease. In a June 2010 article in the LA times, biology professor Marlene Zuck says:
[INDENT]“When large numbers of families are surveyed for such research, a certain proportion of fathers turn out not to have the gene that their purported child inherited, thus yielding the [non-paternity] figures of 1% to 3.7%. Higher numbers, particularly the often-cited 10%, seem to come from more biased samples, or, more likely, simply turn out to be an urban legend, akin to cell phones being able to pop popcorn.”[/INDENT]

With all the media attention on DNA paternity testing and celebrity paternity tests, non-paternity rates are easily sensationalized. However, it seems that we as a society are truly more monogamous than daytime talk shows might make it appear.

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