Do men really want to have kids?
September 29, 2011
by Shawn Bean
© Courtesy of Weldon Owen
Interestingly, I discovered this news story last night while stuffing my face with Doritos (while trying not to knock the cigarette out of my mouth). According to a new study out of Stanford University, fathers are less likely to die of heart disease than men who’ve never had kids.
The study, deemed the largest to ever investigate the link between fertility and mortality (a fancy way of saying kids and death), researchers analyzed a decade’s worth of data gathered from 135,000 males (a fancy way of saying the average number of guys that hit on one adult woman). When the study started, none of the dudes had been diagnosed with heart disease or stroke. Nine out of ten of them had children.
Over the course of that decade, childless men were 17 percent more likely to have died of heart disease than guys with kids. In short, the researchers argue that male infertility is linked to heart problems.
When I read stories like this, I always search for that one nugget that gets lost in the sauce. I found it seven paragraphs down: the study’s authors used the children men have "as a stand-in for whether they were infertile.” In other words, if a guy didn’t have kids, it's because his reproductive system was defective. That’s an awfully big leap to make. Maybe those men didn't want kids. I know I didn’t. And I assure you most men are just like me. They correlate having kids to Communism: sounds good in theory, but would be a disaster if actually put into action.
It took my wife to prove me wrong. And of course I feel differently today. These days, I correlate kids to Aztecs: hard to understand, prone to building weird s#@t, believe in crazy things (“Dad, the food on Mars is red.”)
So ask the dad in your life: did he really think about kids before meeting you? Or did he just hear your biological clock ticking like a Hummer-sized cowbell?