Childless men are more depressed and angry than women, according to new research conducted by Keele University. The study included men who were depressed by up to 63 percent more than women.
Robin Hadley, of Keele University, polled over 108 people who are not parents, asking them why they were childless and whether or not they wanted to have kids. 59% of women and 63% of men stated their desire to have children.
Of those respondents, half the men had “experienced isolation” due to not having children, while only 27% of women felt the same.
In fact, a higher percentage of men experienced depression, anger, jealousy and sadness than women with regard to not having kids.
This news may be surprising to some considering how society tends to see childless women as workaholic spinsters who will probably steal your baby if you leave them alone for too long.
However, perhaps because of this outlook, only women responded to having experienced guilt due to not having any children (16%); no childless men felt the same.
While nearly all people should be able to make their own choices regarding their parenthood state, it’s important to recognize that women are still being chastised for not having children.
We may be able to legally make our decisions just fine, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t remnants of a time past when women were expected to bear children, raise them and that was about it.
But we still need to offer support to men who are experiencing these emotional difficulties; since they’re typically characterized as “female problems,” many men may feel self-conscious or stressed out about expressing sadness over their childless state.
In general, studies like this confirm to us what we already know: men and women are both fully capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions, including being depressed, and that neither are able to be perfectly captured by stereotypes regarding gender.