Allie B. sent in this image found at Washington City Paper that shows how many men and women (aged 18-29) would be pleased by an unexpected pregnancy, despite reporting they wish to avoid pregnancy (additional images taken from the report found here):
Notice that in every category, men are quite a bit more likely to report they would be happy by an unplanned pregnancy. As the WCP article suggests, this would seem to undermine the common perception that women are baby-crazy and secretly hoping they’ll get pregnant.
Perhaps not surprisingly, both men and women are more likely to report they’d be happy about a pregnancy as they get older. Hispanics also stand out as significantly more likely to report they would be happy about an unplanned pregnancy than non-Hispanics.
Despite this, the vast majority of all groups said that pregnancy should be planned, with men actually a little bit more likely in all categories:
The responses to these two questions seem contradictory: you believe pregnancy should be planned, yet a significant proportion say they would be happy about an unintended pregnancy. Thoughts about what’s going on there? Perhaps individuals are saying that though they don’t want a pregnancy, they would not be devastated by one, or their distress would be outweighed by the excitement of having a baby, even if they hadn’t actually planned on doing so? Maybe a sense of fatalism–pregnancy should be planned, but sometimes things just happen and you have to make the best of them? I’m somewhat stumped on this one, so I’d love to hear your thoughts.
We also see that, while in many cases the difference is negligible, in general women are somewhat more likely to say it’s acceptable for a woman to have a child outside of marriage:
It’s interesting that despite the common stereotype that African Americans are more accepting (or even encouraging) of single motherhood, in this study they were actually less likely to support doing so than were Whites and Hispanics.