Characteristics of Voluntarily Childless Men

Warren Waren, Texas A&M University

In this paper I use new data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) to investigate the characteristics of voluntarily childless men. Little attention has been paid to the fertility patterns of voluntarily childless men as prior research has focused on women or couples. I compare voluntarily childless men to voluntarily childless women in an effort to highlight the distinctions between these two groups. Arguably, voluntarily childless men and women should be quite different due to the timing of the decision to remain childless. I argue that delayed fertility is a different process for men than it is for women. For many women, delayed fertility is a decision which must be addressed by middle age. Men are not biologically bound by this limitation and will arrive at the decision to remain childless without regard to age.

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Presented in Session 112: Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness: Gender Issues