The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the British Sociological Association in London today (April 3) by Robin Hadley, of the United Kingdom’s Keele University, who polled 27 men and 81 women who didn’t have kids.
About the same proportions of men and women said they wanted kids (59 percent of men and 63 percent of women). Among that group, half of the men said they experienced isolation because they weren’t parents, while just over a quarter of women said the same.
Compared with women, these men also were more likely to feel jealous of other parents and sad, angry, and depressed over not having kids.
“There is very little research on the desire for fatherhood among men,” Hadley said in a statement. “This challenges the common idea that women are much more likely to want to have children than men, and that they consistently experience a range of negative emotions more deeply than men if they don’t have children.”