Fatherhood Desires and Being Bothered by Future Childlessness among U.S. Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men—United States, 2002–2015

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Journal of GLBT Family Studies

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Recent legal and social changes in marriage equality, parenting among same-sex couples, and fatherhood discourses may prompt more US gay and bisexual men to desire fatherhood. However, scholars know little about fatherhood desires among these men. Therefore, we investigated temporal changes in fatherhood desires and perceptions of being bothered by future childlessness among US gay, bisexual, and heterosexual men. The sample included childless men participating in 5 cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth. Adjusted Wald tests and Pearson’s chi-square tests examined temporal changes in future fatherhood desires and being bothered by future childlessness, and they compared the men along these outcomes. We used logistic regression for multivariable analyses. The proportion of gay, bisexual, and heterosexual men who desired fatherhood remained stable from 2002 to 2013–2015. Most gay, bisexual, and heterosexual men desired fatherhood, but gay men had the lowest likelihood of doing so. Gay and bisexual men were less likely than heterosexual men to be bothered by future childlessness. Although the prevalence of fatherhood desires among these men did not increase during 2002–2015, the relatively high prevalence of fatherhood desires warrants research and data collection to understand factors influencing these desires, especially among gay and bisexual men.


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