Doggone those kids

From the New York Times

Now a team of researchers has found that severe emotional distress – like that caused by divorce, the loss of a job, or caring for an ill child or parent – may speed up the aging of the body’s cells at the genetic level. The findings, being reported today, are the first to link psychological stress so directly to biological age.

The researchers found that blood cells from women who had spent many years caring for a disabled child were, genetically, about a decade older than those from peers who had much less caretaking experience. The study, which appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also suggests that the perception of being stressed can add years to a person’s biological age.

Since I was a teenager, I’ve noticed that women who have children almost always look older than women the same age who don’t. To a lesser extent, this is also true of fathers as well. I’d always put it down to the mothers being tired and having less time to put themselves together and the men being overfed by their wives, but apparently the damage occurs at an even deeper level.

So, there would appear to be at least one benefit to feminist evolutionary dead-endism. On the other hand, walking around with that massive chip on your shoulder is probably a little stressful too.