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Are previous sex partners with my wife the father of my children?


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Old 25th December 2017, 1:52 PM   #1
rog
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Are previous sex partners with my wife the father of my children?

This article I posted below is disturbing. My wife had many sexual partners before we were married, she said too many to count. The research I read from this site as well as others indicates that an enzyme from the sperm affects all the developing and undeveloped eggs a woman carries. In effect, imbedding that enzyme in all her potential eggs and leaving the eggs with certain characteristics from all previous men she had unprotected sex with. I have always felt that my sons don’t look like any one in my family or me. They are thin and Nordic looking. They are my children, I impregnated her; testing proved it. But are they really? Any comments or additional info would be helpful!

“It’s a long-held belief among animal breeders that pure-bred progeny are best produced by females who have never mated before. Call it puritanical or ridiculous, but in breeding, it’s been a long-standing practice—even though there has never been much science to back it up.

Now, however, researchers at University of New South Wales in Australia believe they may finally have some evidence to give that notion some scientific support. Working with flies, Angela Crean, a research fellow at the evolution and ecology research center, picked up on her mentor’s work of looking at how male factors can influence offspring outside of the DNA.

“The genetic tests showed that even though the second male fertilized the eggs, the offsprings size was determine by the condition of the first male,” she says of her findings, published in the journal Ecology Letters. “The cool thing is that the non-genetic effects we are seeing are not necessarily tied to the fertilization itself.”

Cool, or really disturbing. The implications of the study are that any mates a female has had may leave some legacy—in the form of physical or other traits that are carried in the semen (but not the DNA- containing sperm) that could show up in her future offspring with another mate.”
(From TIME Health)

Men, are we rally the only biological father our children have?

Last edited by rog; 25th December 2017 at 1:59 PM..
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Old 25th December 2017, 2:27 PM   #2
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Sounds rather farfetched that a sperm enzyme from a previous sex partner can change a characteristic of a future offspring such as how tall they are.

As your post indicates there's no proven science behind it, just theories and speculation.
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Old 25th December 2017, 2:46 PM   #3
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There is an observed effect from prior mates in the flies used in the experiments, but there is NO evidence that this kind of telegony extends to humans. To imply that there is, is pure speculation at this point. Even if true, does it matter? The disturbing thing is that this could be used as yet another excuse for men to try to control female sexuality.
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Old 25th December 2017, 2:48 PM   #4
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The disturbing thing is that this could be used as yet another excuse for men to try to control female sexuality.

Exactly my thoughts.
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Old 25th December 2017, 3:29 PM   #5
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Huh.

Never heard this as common practice in animal breeding. Never. And I have been involved in the breeding and training of high priced horses, we Are talking $250,000 stud fees. If there was science to back this up, I believe the sport horse and thoroughbred industry would be all over it.

Plus those industries have real data that could be studied. For one, thoroughbreds are produced only by "live cover" (ie mating) and records of ever pairing are kept. While there are many sport horses that are produced via other means, including surrogates.

Cattle industry would also be all over this - yet they aren't, because I have a feeling that this does not replicate in mammals.

There is a lot of difference between a fly, and the complexity of a mammal.
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Old 25th December 2017, 3:56 PM   #6
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I have always felt that my sons don’t look like any one in my family or me. They are thin and Nordic looking.
Maybe they look like your wife's family or ancestors, no?
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Old 25th December 2017, 5:37 PM   #7
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My wife's family is from Morocco and mine are from Bulgaria; no Nordic types there.
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Old 25th December 2017, 5:40 PM   #8
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Human are not flies, you can't extrapolate research findings like that even if they are valid.
Looks like you've done DNA tests to confirm your paternity.
Your kids are yours, even if they don't look exactly like you.
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Old 25th December 2017, 6:39 PM   #9
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Did you do the DNA tests yourself, collect the samples yourself, send them in yourself, etc.? If so, then the results are what they are. If not, there is room for manipulation. Besides, the telegony effect - IF it exists - would not seem to apply to ethnic characteristic, only to things like body size/robustness - any other effects are pure speculation, even for flies.

Last edited by central; 25th December 2017 at 6:41 PM..
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Old 25th December 2017, 8:54 PM   #10
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Interesting concept, rog. This is the second article I've heard of (I read the other one. Haven't read this one yet.) that reported related findings.

I don't have an opinion about it at this point other than to find it interesting that this is the second article within the past six months that leans in the direction of long term effect of sperm left in females from multiple males. The other article was more about the sperm affecting the females who received it rather than affecting her progeny. Will be interesting to see if more is written about it.
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Old 25th December 2017, 9:14 PM   #11
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There is an observed effect from prior mates in the flies used in the experiments, but there is NO evidence that this kind of telegony extends to humans. To imply that there is, is pure speculation at this point. Even if true, does it matter? The disturbing thing is that this could be used as yet another excuse for men to try to control female sexuality.
Exactly my thoughts.
Mine, too. I can see a layer of pseudo science added to "The Handmaid's Tale" mandate: Males must control human gestation by enslaving fertile females from puberty to menopause.
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Old 26th December 2017, 2:48 AM   #12
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Epigentics is still not well understood and largely theoretical. But could a semen cocktail influence her unfertilized eggs? Theoretically, yes. Everything that has entered her body since birth (a woman is born with all her eggs), including but not limited to bacteria, cigarette smoke, artificial hormones and pesticides found in the food she's eaten, etc. can theoretically change the expression of her genes and directly affect the overall phenotype of the offspring.

Are you the father? Of course. The previous mates did not provide half the chromosomes, and they are not any more responsible than Joe Camel for the expression of her donation. Also, possibly (and I stress "possibly" since insects and mammals have biologically significant differences in reproduction) influencing something very general as size, in the case of the fly, isn't exactly the same as inheriting the first mate's nose and chin.

I'm not a biologist, but I'll give you my fifth-grade knowledge on predicting inheritance based on dominant and recessive genes. Remember Punnett squares? If two parents carry a recessive gene it can become dominant in the offspring. Blonde hair and blue eyes (I'm guessing that's what you mean by your offspring appearing Nordic) are recessive genes. So it is very likely you and your wife both carried the gene despite having dark haired/eyed relatives. That gene was never expressed because neither of your ancestors ever mated with someone who carried it, but it was passed down to you. Once your chromosomes combined, the recessive genes became dominant.

So your children having Nordic features are likely not the result of a third-party semen cocktail, but from your genes that were not expressed in previous generations but carried by each of you. This very basic understanding of genetic selection basically debunked the theory of telegony. However, there is a case to be made for epigentics. Although, we still do not fully understand to what extent and how specific environmental factors play a role.
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Last edited by OneLov; 26th December 2017 at 2:52 AM..
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Old 26th December 2017, 3:07 AM   #13
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I am aware that this is still in the research stage. But as genetic and DNA research advances this may prove to be true. Years ago paternity testing was science fiction along with other medical theories which today are accepted practice.

I must plead ignorance when I read posts about controlling women fertility related to my question. The research I have read is a few years old and I am only interested in further information. My situation may only relate to me. I am the father of my children, but these science articles I have read sort of imply that other males may have had some impact on my off spring.

This is a quote from another source: "There is no evidence of such effects in humans (today), but there has not been any research on this possibility in humans. There is a potential for such effects in mammals,” explained Crean. “For example, there is a lot of foetal DNA in maternal blood during pregnancy, and this could potentially play a role in such effects. There is also evidence in mammals that seminal fluid affects offspring development, so semen from one male could potentially influence the development of eggs fertilized by another male (which is what we think is happening in flies).”
Crean added that due to ethical restraints it would be difficult to conduct a similar experiment on humans."

Source: Crean AJ, Kopps AM, Bonduriansky R. Revisiting telegony: offspring inherit an acquired characteristic of mother’s previous mate. Ecology. 2014.

Any additional insight would be helpful for me.
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Old 26th December 2017, 4:02 AM   #14
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Sure, they may have. But I don't think in the way you are postulating.

Everything that has entered her body can theoretically affect how her genes are expressed. If we have links to things in our environment that mutate our DNA and cause cancer, it is very likely things in our environment can change the way our DNA is expressed. Can we say for certain and to what degree--no. But it's likely the DDT she injested back in the day had a much greater effect on genetic expression than any semen.

Forget ethics; let's talk practicalities. Unless you grow a woman in a test tube, keep her in a bubble until she reaches sexual maturity, feed her a strict nutrient based diet via tubes, and repeat the basic steps of the fruit fly experiment, how can you ever quantify or even conclude any effect a prior mate's semen had on YOUR offspring?

I don't mean to sound ignorant, but I don't understand why you want to view this through a telegony lens? There's nothing about a researcher's conjecture from one experiment on insects that should imply your wife's previous lovers had any more influence on your children than a T-bone steak she ate that was full of artificial hormones.

So did her previous partners sire or otherwise, in whole or in part, father your children? No! That's a misleading question derived from an inaccurate statement in your first post even in the context of the fruit fly experiment. In the broadest sense, the foreign semen is likely no more or less responsible for your offspring's phenotype than the aforementioned cut of beef.

Last edited by OneLov; 26th December 2017 at 4:34 AM..
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Old 26th December 2017, 5:02 AM   #15
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rog, why is this so important to you?
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