- Estimates of 10 per cent to 30 per cent non-paternity rates are massively inflated figures which contribute to the myth of high misattributed paternity.
The number of children whose biological father isn’t their social dad is probably far smaller than you’ve been led to believe, although the 30% figure seems to be a zombie-statistic that refuses to die. Source: What are the chances that your dad isn’t your father?
- The figure of 30 percent quoted by the media was based on findings of a nonpublished study by Dr Elliot Philipp from a small sample of parents.
The STUBBORN figure of 30 per cent comes from the published transcript of a symposium on the ethics of artificial insemination that was held nearly forty years ago, in 1972. “We blood-tested some patients in a town in south-east England,” Dr Elliot Philipp told the symposium, “and found that 30 per cent of the husbands could not have been the fathers of their children...” At this point Dr Philipp was interrupted by a judge, who observed that “surely the figure of 30 per cent must be a minimum?” The judge clearly understood that while blood tests could definitively exclude paternity, they could not definitively establish it. This is why experts in paternity testing generally speak of an “exclusion rate” rather than a “non-paternity rate” or “misattributed paternity rate.” Source: The fatherhood myth
- A meta-analysis done in 2008 also showed a recent decline in nonpaternity rates in the western industrialized nations.
Across studies, the mean (and median) nonpaternity rate was 3.1% (2.1%). This estimate is consistent with estimates of 2 to 3% from recent reviews on the topic that were based on fewer primary studies. This estimate also rebuts the beliefs and hearsay data widespread among both the public and researchers which contend nonpaternity rates in modern populations might be as high as about 10%. Source: Recent decline in nonpaternity rates: a cross-temporal meta-analysis
A 2015 research paper also showed that based on findings from a Afrikaner population in South Africa, cuckoldry rate is probably in the range of 1%.
The rate of cuckoldry in this Western population was 0.9% (95% confidence interval 0.4-1.5%), and we argue that given the current data on historical populations we have to conclude that, at least for Western human populations, cuckoldry rate is probably in the range of 1%.
Also referring to a 2016 survey, the actual rate of cuckolds in the general population based on genetic testing and ancestor research is 1-2 percent.
The surprising result of these new studies is that human EPP rates have stayed near constant at around 1% across several human societies over the past several
hundred years. Source: Cuckolded Fathers Rare in Human Populations
- TL;DR: Research backed up evidence such as one previously mentioned by user Oddthinking and others show a non-paternity rate between 1% and 3% for the general population and as of 2008, the non-paternity rate reported by United States paternity testing laboratories was 25.9 per cent found in a group of people who have doubts about the paternity of a child or children.
Even so, it is striking that since the advent of DNA analysis, not one medical study in a Western country indicates a non-paternity rate of more than three per
cent. Source: Rampant misattributed paternity: the creation of an urban myth
The best British study, published in 1991, suggests a non-paternity rate of about 1 per cent. A 1992 French study indicates a rate of 2.8 per cent. A 1994 Swiss study has a maximum rate of 0.78 per cent. A 1999 Mexican study comes in at 11.8 per cent. And the best North American study, published in 2009, proposes a rate between 1 and 3 per cent. There are no published Australian studies. Source: The fatherhood myth
These results marry comfortably with DNA estimates of misattributed paternity from samples that cross a broad range of societies which suggest the rate is between 1% and 3%, and with Prof Gilding’s estimate of between 0.7% and 2%. Source: What are the chances that your dad isn’t your father?
The lab tested nonpaternity rates also differ between regions.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the figures is that the non-paternity rate in Australian laboratories appears to be lower than the rate in American laboratories. Given that Americans are five times more likely to have a paternity test at all, this suggests that the extent of misattributed paternity is much lower in Australia than the United States. Source: The fatherhood myth