Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How personality affects fertility: Men's and women's personalities linked to likelihood that they will have children

Date:
August 21, 2013
Source:
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Summary:
A new study finds a link between men's and women's personalities and the likelihood that they will have children.

A new study from IIASA population researchers finds a link between men's and women's personalities and the likelihood that they will have children.
Credit: LanaK / Fotolia

A new study from IIASA population researchers finds a link between men's and women's personalities and the likelihood that they will have children.

Men with neurotic personality traits are having fewer children compared to previous generations, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Personality. The study examined the effect of personality on how likely a person is to have children, using extensive survey and birth registry data from Norway. It also found that men who are extraverted and open tend to have more children, while women who rank as conscientious on personality tests tend to have fewer children, although these findings were constant across generations.

The study could have important implications for population dynamics at a time when fertility rates across developed countries have fallen to below replacement rates. Personality effects may be one factor contributing to the decline of fertility rates in Europe, says IIASA's Vegard Skirbekk, who led the study, but they have not previously been studied in detail. Population changes are an important factor for projecting future changes in sustainability, climate, energy, and food security, IIASA's core research areas.

In particular, Skirbekk notes the decline in childbearing among neurotic men -- neurotic meaning individuals who tend to be moody and emotional. The study found that the effect only applies for men born after 1957. Skirbekk says that the change in these men's fertility could be due to new norms in having children, for example that couples today wait longer to have children, and couples tend to test each other out more before committing to raising children together.

The study was made possible by Norway's very detailed birth records and an integrated personality survey, which allowed the researchers to examine the connections between both female and male fertility and personality. "For men, often you don't know exactly how many children they have because information is not matched in the registries, but for Norway we have very exact information" says Skirbekk.

While the study only considers Norway, Skirbekk says that the findings likely apply more widely. "Norway is a leader country in terms of family dynamics," says Skirbekk, "Many trends that have been observed first in Norway -- increasing cohabitation, divorce rates, and later marriage, for example -- have then been observed later in many other parts of the world. Of course it remains to be seen if this phenomenon will also spread."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vegard Skirbekk, Morten Blekesaune. Personality Traits Increasingly Important for Male Fertility: Evidence from Norway. European Journal of Personality, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/per.1936

Cite This Page:

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. "How personality affects fertility: Men's and women's personalities linked to likelihood that they will have children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130821124701.htm>.
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. (2013, August 21). How personality affects fertility: Men's and women's personalities linked to likelihood that they will have children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130821124701.htm
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. "How personality affects fertility: Men's and women's personalities linked to likelihood that they will have children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130821124701.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins