The Ultimate Vertical Move?

Believe it or not, men want kids as much as women do. Hard to swallow, I know, but behind that open-shirt, gold-chained need-for-speed is a simple, buttoned-down desire to be a Dad.

Truth be Told

A recent Keele University study of about 100 British heterosexual men and women ages 20-66 who were not parents inquired about parenthood. The findings were shocking, simply shocking: roughly the same proportion of men as women (59% vs. 63%) want children. But there’s more:

  • Twice as many men as women feel “isolated” because they do not have children
  • More men than women are depressed, angry and sad because they do not have children
  • More men than women are jealous of those who had children.

I found these reactions fascinating because we typically attribute such emotional responses only to women.  The research also found that women and men express different reasons to have children. For women, biological urge is a big issue, but with men, cultural and familial pressures steal the show.

Reactions are Telling

The great thing about the Internet is that it is brutally honest and anonymous. Heed below some of the reactions to the study:

  • “After all is said and done, it really depends on meeting the right woman.”
  • “So glad my parents decided to have kids.”
  • “I have no money but who cares…I have 4 kids.”
  • “I want to be financially able to support kids.”
  • “Better friends (than kids) you cannot ask for.”
  • “Dogs>kids. Go adopt”
  • “At some point, material things get old.”
  • “Besides having a dog, where else can you get such unconditional love?”
  • “Literally, kids are the point of life.”
  • “That’s a strange question, like: ‘What’s it like not being an astronaut?’”
  • “My goal is to raise of couple of them before I take that dirt nap.”

If you are looking for answers from me, hey, I’m just the messenger who makes dreams come true. But, since I’d like the species to persist, I’ll quote a young, successful tech entrepreneur who recently told me, “At some point, kids are the only really vertical move in life.” Welcome to Men’s Health Month.