Men More Depressed Than Women If They Are Childless
Half of fathers without children report feelings of depression and loneliness.
Summary: Women may feel more social pressure to have children, but men may actually face more depression and loneliness if they are childless. These findings were reported at a meeting of the British Sociological Association April 3 by Robin Hadley of the UK’s Keele University. Twenty-seven childless men and 82 childless women, ages 20 to 66, were polled in the study which was conducted online.
Sixty-three percent of the women said they wanted children as did 59% of the men. However, a bigger difference was noted in those who reporting feelings of isolation over being childless — 50% of the men vs. only slightly over 25% of the women. Men also were more likely than women to be jealous of people who have children as well as having feelings of depression. On the other hand, 16% of the women said they felt guilty about not having children while none of the men said so.
Hadley hinted more research is needed on the desire of men to be fathers. It is important also to note that some adults choose to not have children while others are infertile. Job demands or financial concerns could be a deciding factor in some cases.
Hadley also reported on another poll — this one of 125 people who were already parents but who were unable to have more children. Here it was women who demonstrated higher levels of anger, depression, guilt, isolation, sadness, and desires for more kids than did men.
An American study published in 2012 focused on women who chose to be childless. These women felt more pressure to reproduce than other childless women but weren’t as distressed. Meanwhile, women with fertility or medical issues were more distressed.
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Comment: Often it seems that the national media and the political correctness movement are de-emphasizing the importance of traditional families. The picture they too often paint is all about satisfying personal physical drives and rarely about filling deeper spiritual needs. This study tends to counter than perception.
Overpopulation — A fear of many people is that the world is becoming overpopulated, and that our natural resources are too rapidly becoming depleted. People who accept this idea probably are happy that so many men are not fathers. Yet, the truth is that many leading nations such as Russia, Germany and others are facing an under-population problem. Better farming techniques are producing more food per square mile of farmland, and when it comes to energy, more efficient technologies are being developed to stretch our natural resources. Overpopulation, especially among wealthier countries, need not be something to be feared.
Guilt — No prospective parents should feel guilty about not being able to bear children, unless perhaps they have intentionally done something physically to have harmed themselves. Married men and women who are desperately trying to have offspring but without success deserve our sympathies and prayers. Their problem is caused by the sin that has affected all people, in fact all of creation, and not by any specific sin that they may have committed. God desires that his people marry and have children (Genesis 9:1) and reminds us that children are a blessing (Psalm 37:25-26). Yet, the Lord in His wisdom has denied the privilege of bearing children to some couples.
Solution — Medical science cannot promise that all childless couples can have offspring. We might want to pray for God’s blessings on the work of those scientists who are working on this problem. Meanwhile, adoption is always an alternative solution. The ultimate solution is the solution to the sin that causes all these problems in the first place. The solution to sin is faith in Jesus Christ whose death on the cross has earned forgiveness for our misdeeds and has opened up the door of heaven to all who have come to faith in the Savior.
In heaven we will all be one happy family, having been elected to live in perfect harmony with each other and with our Savior/King. “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11).
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QUESTION OF THE DAY
Are inflatable bounce houses and moonwalks dangerous?
In 2010 (most recent data available) 30 children a day had to be treated in emergency rooms for head and neck injuries, fractures, and strains from playing on the inflatable bouncers.
Source: Bottom Line Personal (3/15/13)
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About Me — Warren Krug
Decades ago as a freshman in college I was influenced by an evolutionist biology professor and feel I could have lost my faith. But thanks be to God, some creationist literature and the Bible I soon got back on the right track. Ever since then I have taken an active interest in the creation/evolution controversy.