Desire for parenthood, beliefs about masculinity, and fertility awareness among young Danish men

Randi Sylvest, Ulla Christensen, Karin Hammarberg, Lone Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Abstract Studies on fertility and family formation intentions among men are scarce. In the Nordic countries more than 90 of young, childless men desire children in the future. However, around one fifth of men remain permanently childless. The aim of this study was to gain insight into family formation intentions, fertility awareness, and beliefs about the link between fertility and masculinity among young Danish men. We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with nine young, childless men undergoing short-term or long-term further educational training. Data were analysed with a hermeneutic approach. All but one man wished to have children in the future. The men emphasized the importance of having genetically linked children and fatherhood was regarded as a central part of masculinity. We found no differences in family formation intentions or fertility awareness between men pursuing short or long term educational training. Only one man considered his own potential risk of male infertility while the remaining participants took their fertility for granted. Despite knowledge about the decline in female fertility with age, most participants preferred to have children beyond the age of optimal female fertility. Participants? knowledge of assisted reproduction was limited and they substantially over-estimated the chance of a live birth after assisted reproduction. Despite widespread public discussion in Denmark about declining semen quality in the Danish population, the increasing number of children born as a result of assisted reproduction, and the adverse effect on fertility of increasing female age, the young men in this study had considerable fertility-related knowledge gaps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 5
Number of pages5
JournalReproductive System & Sexual Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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