Guttmacher releases study – gives bad advice


Not surprisingly, married men were more likely more than single men to report that a pregnancy was intended – as opposed to mistimed or unwanted. This finding held for all racial groups. Overall, 74 percent of the pregnancies reported by married men were intended, as opposed to 49 percent for cohabiting men and 25 percent for single men.

Not surprisingly, older cohorts of men were more likely to report that a pregnancy was intended. Also men with a higher level of formal education were also more likely to indicate that a pregnancy was intended.

Fathers were usually very happy when their child was born. When fathers were asked to rate their level of happiness on a 1-10 scale — with 10 being the most happy – sixty two percent of births received a 10 on the happiness scale. However, there were some disparities based on whether or not the pregnancy was intended. Eighty-two percent of men whose pregnancies were intended rated the birth of their child a 10 on the happiness scale. This is compared to 31 percent of men who reported the pregnancy as mistimed and 18 percent of men who reported the pregnancy as unwanted

Overall, the lesson was clear. Fathers tend to be happier about a birth when the pregnancy was intended – and pregnancies are more likely to be intended when a couple is married. Oddly enough this lesson appears somewhat lost on the Guttmacher researchers. In their conclusion, they discuss “identifying ways of strengthening men’s ability to control their own reproduction without undermining the ability of women to control their lives.” They also mention finding better ways to provide reproductive health services to men. However, a far better way to ensure that a higher percentage of pregnancies are intended and that fathers are happier would be to discourage sexual activity outside of marriage. Such ideas, however, never merit a mention in Guttmacher studies.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

MICHAEL J. NEW, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. He is also an Adjunct Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the Research and Education Arm of the Susan B. Anthony List. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Dartmouth College, Dr. New received a master’s degree in statistics and a doctorate in political science from Stanford University in 2002. Before coming to Michigan, Dr. New worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-MIT Data Center and later taught at The University of Alabama. Dr. New researches and writes about the social science of pro-life issues. He gives presentations on both the positive impact of pro-laws and the gains in public support for the pro-life position. He is a frequent blogger on National Review Online's "The Corner." Dr. New's study pro-life legislation was recently published by State Politics and Policy Quarterly. Four of his other studies on the effects of pro-life legislation have been published by the Heritage Foundation and another study was published by Family Research Council in 2008.

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