alexa Desire for Parenthood, Beliefs about Masculinity, and F
ISSN: 2161-038X

Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research
Open Access

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Research Article

Desire for Parenthood, Beliefs about Masculinity, and Fertility Awareness among Young Danish Men

Randi Sylvest1, Ulla Christensen1, Karin Hammarberg2 and Lone Schmidt1*

1 Department of Public Health, Section of Social Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

2 Jean Hailes Research Unit, School of Population Health and Preventive medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

*Corresponding Author:
Lone Schmidt
University of Copenhagen
Department of Public Health
5 Øster Farimagsgade, P.O. Box 2099
DK-1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Tel: +4535327962
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: December 02, 2013; Accepted date: January 13, 2014; Published date: January 20, 2014

Citation: Sylvest R, Christensen U, Hammarberg K, Schmidt L (2014) Desire for Parenthood, Beliefs about Masculinity, and Fertility Awareness among Young Danish Men. Reprod Syst Sex Disord 3:127. doi:10.4172/2161-038X.1000127

Copyright: © 2014 Sylvest R, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Studies on fertility and family formation intentions among men are scarce. In the Nordic countries more than 90% of young, childless men desire children in the future. However, around one fifth of men remain permanently childless. The aim of this study was to gain insight into family formation intentions, fertility awareness, and beliefs about the link between fertility and masculinity among young Danish men. We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with nine young, childless men undergoing short term or long term further educational training. Data were analysed with a hermeneutic approach. All but one man wished to have children in the future. The men emphasized the importance of having genetically linked children and fatherhood was regarded as a central part of masculinity. We found no differences in family formation intentions or fertility awareness between men pursuing short or long term educational training. Only one man considered his own potential risk of male infertility while the remaining participants took their fertility for granted. Despite knowledge about the decline in female fertility with age, most participants preferred to have children beyond the age of optimal female fertility. Participants’ knowledge of assisted reproduction was limited and they substantially over-estimated the chance of a live birth after assisted reproduction. Despite widespread public discussion in Denmark about declining semen quality in the Danish population, the increasing number of children born as a result of assisted reproduction, and the adverse effect on fertility of increasing female age, the young men in this study had considerable fertility-related knowledge gaps.

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