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New Poll: Americans Think Women Should Start Having Children Earlier than Men

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

From a new Gallup Poll:

 

Quote:

In light of the importance that child rearing has on gender roles in society and, ultimately, on families, workplaces, and the economy, Gallup recently asked Americans what they think is the ideal age for men and women to start having children. The majority, 58%, say 25 or younger is ideal for women, whereas the majority think men should start having children at 26 or older. 

 

Read more and see the poll results here. 

 

What do you think? Are women ready to have children earlier than men are?

post #2 of 9
Respectfully, I think that's the wrong question. It's not nearly as important to know if women are ready for childbearing sooner than men than to know why people believe that this is true.
post #3 of 9
I'm very surprised by this. I had plenty of people tell me I was ruining my life by having kids in my early 20s.
post #4 of 9

From a biological perspective, it's more important for women to reproduce early than it is for men, but younger reproduction in both sexes has benefits.

 

In terms of egg health, ease of recovering from pregnancy etc, as long as a woman is fully-grown, well-nourished and has laid down good calcium deposits, the sooner the better (again, from a purely biological perspective). Older mothers not only have more trouble conceiving, but are at higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities, GD, miscarriage and stillbirth, multiple pregnancy, placenta previa, pre-eclampsia...

 

Younger fathers are less likely than older fathers to have autistic children, and the sex ratio is slightly skewed for older fathers, indicating a decline in fertility and sperm health; so again, younger is better.

 

Of course, the biological issues are only one factor in a very complicated equation, and I think suggesting a blanket 'right' age is ridiculous. But I do think, healthwise, humans are doing themselves a disservice by encouraging a culture in which waiting until mid-late thirties to even consider having kids in billed as the 'responsible' thing to do.

post #5 of 9

I had my first child at 35, and a few years ago, I was shocked to learn that waiting this long (not intentional on my part) did more to increase my risk for certain cancers than all the years of breastfeeding I did after 35 did to reduce my risk.

post #6 of 9

In some countries, having children well into their forties is the norm for women. Also,  most women have no problems conceiving after 35, the true descent in fertility happens after 42. Even then, many women manage to conceive and bear children without problems. It is true that many dont.

 

My point is, we are still in the dark ages when it comes to understanding fertility. It doesnt help  that most statistics reflect those who have fertility issues, rather than the average fertile  man or woman.

 

So who cares? What do the majority of people even know  when scientists and doctors specializing in the field still dont know what they are talking about?

 

Having said that, its nothing new that fertility declines with age.  Knowing exactly when that is for each individual is another question.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
 Also,  most women have no problems conceiving after 35, the true descent in fertility happens after 42.

 

Really? I read that fertility starts declining quite dramatically at 27.

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

In some countries, having children well into their forties is the norm for women. Also,  most women have no problems conceiving after 35, the true descent in fertility happens after 42. Even then, many women manage to conceive and bear children without problems. It is true that many dont.

My point is, we are still in the dark ages when it comes to understanding fertility. It doesnt help  that most statistics reflect those who have fertility issues, rather than the average fertile  man or woman.

So who cares? What do the majority of people even know  when scientists and doctors specializing in the field still dont know what they are talking about?

Having said that, its nothing new that fertility declines with age.  Knowing exactly when that is for each individual is another question.

Agreed
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
 

 

Really? I read that fertility starts declining quite dramatically at 27.

Its very much a misconception. Even the so called decline after 35 is exaggerated.

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