Fatherhood is an important life goal for men

It is typically assumed that most adult women want to become mothers and are much more motivated than men to have children. However, the results of a recent TV poll by the Associated Press-WE examining women’s and men’s parenthood intentions, appear to challenge that assumption.

The poll involved online interviews of 640 women and 637 men between the ages of 18 and 49. According to the results, 80% of the men in this survey always wanted to become fathers– compared with 70% of women. In addition, 69% of men who were already fathers said their long-standing desire to have children significantly influenced their decision to have a family. The men and women also differed in terms of their reasons for having children. Men were more likely to report that they wanted to have children in order to carry on family traditions and history. Women were more likely to emphasize the desire to mother and care for a child as their primary motivation for having children. Among the childless men who hoped to become a father in the future, 88% said they hope to get married some day, but if that doesn’t happen, approximately 25% said that they would consider having or adopting a child on their own. In another interesting gender difference, men were more likely than women to report that fatherhood had positive effects on their love lives and careers.

In terms of similarities, fathers were as likely as mothers to report that fatherhood increased their sense of purpose and accomplishment, and overall happiness. Also, when making the important decision of whether or not to have children, fathers and mothers equally considered where they stood in terms of their careers, how much their social lives would be affected by children, and whether they were in a relationship with a suitable partner.

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