Young men more likely than women to say they want to be parents someday, study finds

iStock/Andrii Lysenko
iStock/Andrii Lysenko

As young adults are getting married and entering parenthood later in life than their parents' generation did before them, a new Pew Research study finds that among young adults without children, men are more likely than women to say they want to be parents someday. 

The study, released on Feb. 15, finds that over half (57%) of young men without children say they want children one day, while a smaller share of young women without kids (45%) said the same.

The results are based on a survey of over 1,495 U.S. adults ages 18 to 34 conducted from Oct. 24 to Nov. 5, 2023, as part of a broader research project examining the relationship between young adults and their parents. 

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All respondents of the survey are members of the Center's American Trends Panel, an online survey panel recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories.

Nearly seven in 10 Americans ages 18 to 34 who have never tied the knot say they'd like to marry in the future (69%). Almost a quarter (23%) say they're not sure and 8% say they don't want to get married. 

According to the study, men and women are roughly equal in their likelihood of saying they desire to become married.

Additionally, nearly half of young adults in that age group who have never had children say they would like to be parents at some point in their lives (51%). Thirty percent are unsure, and 18% say they don't want to have children.

With many young adults getting married later, according to statistics, the study also suggests their parents' attitudes might play a role in their desire to marry or have children. 

"Among those who've never been married, 73% say they don't feel much or any pressure from their parents to do so. Another 15% say they feel some pressure, and 12% say they feel a great deal or a fair amount of pressure," the study reads. 

"Similarly, a majority of young adults who don't have children (67%) say they don't feel much or any pressure from their parents to do so. About one-in-five (19%) say they feel some pressure to have kids, and 14% say they feel a great deal or a fair amount of pressure."

The study finds that "feeling pressure from parents to do either of these things doesn't differ by gender."

A 2023 Pew Research Center survey found that American adults of all ages are likelier to say job satisfaction and having close friends are more important to a fulfilling life than being married or having children. The survey found that 44% of respondents said being married was "not too" or "not at all" important to them, while 42% said the same about having children. 

Nicole VanDyke is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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