Match.com recently funded a study of what TIME magazine says might “be the biggest study of single people ever.” They may have paid for it, but Helen Fisher at Rutgers University, Stephanie Coontz at Binghamton University and an independent company actually did the study of 5,200 singles ages 21-65 who were not in a serious relationship.
Along with better understanding of the “partnerless”, the study has interesting finding about singles’ feelings about whether they want to become parents…
It found that they guys overall, have a “greater inclination toward parenthood” across every age group. More than half the single men ages 21 to 35 say they want kids, and only 46% of women in the same age range say they want them. It would be interesting to track those that answered this away, to see if they felt the same way when they hit the 35 -44 age group.
In 35-44 age range in the study, just over a quarter (27%) of the men say they want kids, and only 16% of women in the same age range say they do. The percentage for women here is about the same as recent Pew and U.S. Census research which indicates that 18% ages 40-44 do not have children. The match.com study also indicates that overall more women than men said they were skipping parenthood altogether.
Why? “Women are much more interested in their independence than men are,” says Helen Fisher. These days women are more likely to want their own “bank accounts, their own interests, their own personal space and solo vacations, even if they’re in a committed relationship. They also care more about nights out with buddies.” I was not surprised to learn this; valuing one’s independence has been something that has factored into not wanting children for some time.
Now at least according to this study, independence also seems to factor into wanting to get married. The study dovetails with other recent research, and indicates more people are opting to stay solo or cohabitate, and not marry. But in the end, more Americans eventually get married than not. The study dispels the myth that guys want to remain single more than women–it finds that “just as many men want to get married as women do.”
What do you see out there? About what age do people decide for sure they are not or are having kids? Do you see more people wanting to stay single and forgo committed relationships?
If they do marry, is it around what research says is the latest median age, 27, or…? Tell me what you observe….