The Surprising Reasons Your Man Wants to Be a Dad


pregnant photo with dadWe often blame "baby fever" on our biological clocks. We're designed to want children, right? After all, if we didn't want them on some internal, subconscious level, how many people would actually PLAN to have no sleep, get puked and pooped on, spend their life fortune on college for a kid? Okay, I'm kidding. There are so many great reasons to have kids, but really, the biological drive for a baby can be strong -- strong enough to even override some real logic.

While normally only contributed to women, a recent study and personal experiences confirm it: Men totally get baby fever.

Researchers decided to look at three possible causes for baby fever:

The sociocultural view: People want to have a baby because they are taught gender roles. Women think they should have children because society says that is what they are supposed to do.

The byproduct view: Humans experience nurturance. When they see a cute baby they want to take care of it, and that makes them want to have a baby of their own. Baby fever is a by-product -- it is nurturance misplaced.

The adaptationist view: Baby fever is an emotional signal -- like a suggestion sent from one part of the mind to the other parts -- that this this could be a good time to have a child.

Obviously, feminists are going GRR at that first one, breastfeeding dolls are often blamed for the second (but bottle-fed babies aren't ... huh?), and the third is the biological clock, like I said. But for men, how much of these are really applicable? Well, it turns out what affected people's want/need to have a baby, regardless of gender, was mostly how their experience had been with kids. People who held sweet, cuddly babies wanted them, people dealing with vomiting and screaming ones didn't, and mixed experiences resulted in mixed feelings about having kids. Really not too surprised there, though I didn't have much experience with babies, period, and never ever wanted them until I was in a relationship with my now-husband, so I'm not sure where that falls.

Overall, though, they were surprised to find that "gender role or misplaced nurturance," the first two categories, while often assumed as having a major impact, were really not. So breastfeeding doll haters, it's okay, pretending to nurse a baby (or bottle-feed one) isn't going to lead to teen sex, for a boy OR girl. They said it was just more fundamental than that.

Funny enough, when asking people to rate desires like being rich, famous, having sex, or having kids, men wanted sex more than they wanted kids, and women wanted kids more than they wanted sex. Who is surprised? Raise of hands? Yeah, didn't think so. Overall, men had a similar baby drive as women, for much of the same reasons, but liked recreational sex more.

Does it surprise you that gender roles, or gender itself, don't have much to do with wanting a baby?


Image via amrufm/Flickr

fathers, emotions, trying to conceive


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crzy_joy crzy_joy

Yeah, no surprise on any of this, really. My husband wanted to get married and start a family at 17. Guys love the idea of being the one responsible for the BEING of another being, just like we ladies do. There is something joyous about saying "He's my son" or "She's my daughter", that surpasses definition.

And not all baby experiences are alike, thank the Lord!

Charlotte M Spurrill-Kayser

My husband has always wanted kids more than I did.  I often say that's because he doesn't have to spend 9 months carrying them around and then go through childbirth and all that.  Having kids is EASY for men, so it's no surprise that they want to do it a lot.

Butte... Butterflysky_24

My husband wanted a baby almost as much as I did when we got together. He dreamed about marraige and babies too and it did surprise me but I'm glad.that we wanted the same things. Now that we have a very difficult toddler we joke about not wanting more because of our very hard experience with him, but when the chance came to have another baby both of us were excited and jumped at the chance because we both had baby fever! It is true that the biological clock is more powerful than logic. Sometiems I curse the maternal (or paternal) instinct because it made us want a baby sooo bad even when it's not the right time. And I know I'll keep wanting babies for the rest of my life, even when I'm too old to have them.

Crims... CrimsonRain

My husband and I are both completely exempt from the proposed theories.  Despite positive experiences with children and traditional gender role assignments, neither one of us has ever wanted children.  We are both entirely void of a nurturing or motherly/fatherly instinct for humans; these instincts are focused towards animals instead.  I hear no ticking of some biological clock despite being close to 30.  Neither one of us is interested in sacrificing time, money and energy to raise small versions of ourselves.  We have no desire, no urge, not even the slightest inkling or fantasy.

So, no, I'm not surprised that gender roles don't play that great a role in the desire to breed.  I believe that we have no gender within, and that this genderless being has a predisposition to certain things regardless of nurturing during early life.  I'm a living example of that.  My mother dressed me like a princess and insisted on good manners and taking care of a home.  At the same time, I played with toy trucks in the mud and wrestled with boys.  This wasn't something that was impressed upon me, it was just something I felt right in doing. 

I think people are simply born one of three ways:  they really don't want them; they become pregnant unexpectedly and have them; or they really want them.

Laura Thompson

You are a robot CrimsonRain lol... I thought the same things as you did but I had no partner at the time. I always said to myself, Im never having kids because they're not for me and I have no need to take care of one... Well guess what my biological clock ticked and I decided i really wanted a baby after all. I am a proud mother of 2 a girl and a boy, I feel very blessed. Thank you lord :)


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