Watch CBS News

Who wants children more: Men or women?

The largest, most comprehensive national study of single Americans finds men want to have kids more than women
Why more women want kids later or not at all 03:41

Two studies comparing men's and women's desires to have children found that men expressed more interest. In her article about the studies, New York Magazine contributor Bryce Covert writes that while young couples want an egalitarian relationship, the weight often falls more upon women.

"I think the men in our lives are aware of this, but they also probably know that they're not going to be asked to give things up. They won't be guilted about it. It's just an easier road for them," Covert said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

The largest, most comprehensive national study of single Americans in 2011 surveyed over 5,000 participants and found 24 percent of single men without children under 18 said they wanted children, compared to 15 percent of women. A 2013 Associated Press-WE tv poll found more than 8 in 10 fathers surveyed said they always knew they wanted to have children, compared with about 7 in 10 mothers.

"Every woman, I think, of my age is thinking about her career, what she wants to do professionally, and I also think we're very aware that it's tough in this country to balance your career and your children, so they're sort of weighing these things," Covert said.

Covert's article is the most read and shared post on The Cut, the magazine's lifestyle website. While the studies are not new, it was Covert's conversation with friends that sparked her interest.

"I was just having conversations with friends, colleagues around my age, women, who were saying, 'You know, I just don't know if I want to have a kid, I'm really stuck in this decision,'" Covert said.

She also considered her own situation.

"I'm married, and I'm maybe not as ambivalent anymore, but, you know, I think women of my age are really wrestling with this question and their male partners just seemed really confident," Covert said.

She notes that while young women today enjoy more freedoms regarding their fertility than their older generations, they haven't reached that egalitarian point yet.

"My personal opinion is the next generation is going to be the one where things are a lot easier," Covert said. "They will watch us as parents and they will say, 'OK, they got close, and we're going to figure it out. We're going to get to equality.'"

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.