Exploring U.S. Men’s Birth Intentions

Laura Lindberg, Guttmacher Institute
Kathryn Kost, Guttmacher Institute

While recently there have been renewed interest in women’s childbearing intentions, men’s childbearing intentions have received limited attention. We address this research gap with analysis of nationally representative data from 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth to examine pregnancy intentions and happiness for all births reported by men in the five years preceding the interview. First, we estimate bivariate and multivariate models of intention status by men’s socio-demographics, focusing on variation by race/ethnicity and union status. Second, we explore the relationship between pregnancy intentions and fathers’ reports of happiness when learning of the pregnancy. Next, we examine gender differences, by comparing men’s and women’s reports of the intention status of births as well as happiness. Finally, we examine the sensitivity of our results to potential underreporting of births by men. This study brings needed focus to men’s childbearing intentions and improves our understanding of their role as fathers.

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Presented in Session 97: Measurement of Unintended Fertility