Unmarried men more excited about potential unplanned pregnancies than their girlfriends

It seems that men are more excited by the idea of an unplanned pregnancy than their girlfriends:

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I would venture to guess that if it were men who were biologically predisposed to do the fetus-gestating for 9 months and worry about the pain of childbirth and the bodily changes that occur during and after pregnancy, the ones surveyed would feel a little less enthusiasm than they currently do. Perhaps, if this were the case, the women surveyed might find themselves a little more excited. But ultimately, given good ol’ biology and the fear of parenting inequities, this really isn’t terribly surprising.

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12 Responses to Unmarried men more excited about potential unplanned pregnancies than their girlfriends

  1. desipis says:

    I wonder how much of it is from men who feel socially obligated to support their partner in the pregnancy, while the women feel more free to see the pregnancy as a negative thing.

    • April says:

      I hadn’t thought of that. But would that really be prevalent? The circumstances of this survey are pretty specific. I don’t think I mentioned it, but it says (I believe in the linked post) that the people surveyed were people for whom avoiding pregnancy is a number one concern. So neither of them would have planned a pregnancy in the first place, and all people were actively avoiding or preventing it.

    • Danny says:

      I think it might. Despite what some say men have been and are socialized to “do right” by a woman they impregnate. I wonder if some of that excitement is actually “manning up”.

    • Ery says:

      Actually it looks like it only says the people included in that graph reported that it was important to avoid pregnancy right now, it never says their partners all agreed. It’s possible that some people included in this graph have a partner who wants a baby.

  2. Daran says:

    I speak as someone who has recently been in the position described. I was extremely conflicted, with part of me (the rational part) realizing that this was an absolute disaster, and part of me wanting that child more than anything. When she miscarried a few months into the pregnancy my feelings were similarly conflicted. I was simultaneously relieved and griefstricken. I also had to support her through her grief.

    I agree that “manning up” was a large part of the psychological process, and that wasn’t a bad thing. However being in that situation is very different from merely contemplating it, as these survey subjects were. I’m not convinced that anyone would man up to answer a survey question.

    • April says:

      My condolences on the miscarriage, Daran.

      I agree, as far as the survey is concerned. I can’t figure out how someone would feel pressured to answer an anonymous survey in a certain way.

  3. typhonblue says:

    Maybe they just want kids more then the women? It’s entirely possible that guys like kids more and we’ve been fed a line of bull by society about ‘natural motherhood.’

    What’s wrong with women not liking kids?

    • Tamen says:

      Not unlikely that they would like kids more than the women, that’s basically what the study says.

      April has a valid point with the not having to worry about the pregnancy’s effect on their own bodies. However, the point about parenting inequities I would suspect is countered by the weak legal standing when it comes to parental rights these unmarried men have.
      Also one might argue that men are not socially trained to verbalize that they want kids – the stereotype is that it’s the women who are supposed to be broody and feeling the biological clock and the men are supposed to postpone this process as long as possible. Basically, they want a child, but external (societal) pressure like the before mentioned stereotype, getting married first, earning enough money etc. all contributes to them saying that it’s important to not have kids now while they (53%) whish they could have children now.

      I also think that “manning up” or political correctness can internalised to such a degree that it would leak into answers to an anonymous survey, so Desipis point may also be valid.

      We could probably come up with even more plausible explanations, but as long as the survey doesn’t say anything about underlying reasons we can’t know for certain why this gap exist in this survey.

      There’s been studies referred in media which concludes that young men/boys are more interested in relationships than casual sex and that young men are experiencing break-ups as more painful than women. All which pretty much collides head-on with the stereotype of young men.

      What really would be useful was that everyone who found this result surprising would examine why they were surprised and adjust their notions accordingly.

  4. Danny says:

    April has a valid point with the not having to worry about the pregnancy’s effect on their own bodies. However, the point about parenting inequities I would suspect is countered by the weak legal standing when it comes to parental rights these unmarried men have.
    I agree. That nine months does not justify the severe imbalance that is so prevalent in parenting these days.

    Also one might argue that men are not socially trained to verbalize that they want kids – …
    I would say that its a matter that men are socially trained to not verbalize that they want kids (difference being that your wording says that men are not told its okay to want kids whereas I’m saying that men are actively told that they are not supposed to want kids). But to be more precise I think there is still that message that men are taught that despite not wanting to take care of their children they should run around and create as many babies with as many women as possible. And this dates back to the days of monarchies in which noble men were expected to have children to continue their line lest people think they are unfit to lead.

    • Tamen says:

      I would say that its a matter that men are socially trained to not verbalize that they want kids (difference being that your wording says that men are not told its okay to want kids whereas I’m saying that men are actively told that they are not supposed to want kids).

      Yes, I agree with you – my “not” was misplaced in that sentence and transformed what I intended to say.

  5. Paul says:

    It could just be that these men have subconsciously trained themselves to be happy about a situation they have little to no control over.

    It’s better than being miserable right?

  6. Daisy Gentry says:

    I would say that its a matter that men are socially trained to not verbalize that they want kids (difference being that your wording says that men are not told its okay to want kids whereas I’m saying that men are actively told that they are not supposed to want kids). Yes, I agree with you – my “not” was misplaced in that sentence and transformed what I intended to say.

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