See One, Want One: The Roots of ‘Baby Fever’
If theِ sight ofِ a rack ofِ baby shoes atِ the store getsِ you longing forِ anِ infant ofِ your own, rest easy: You probablyِ haveِ baby fever, andِ psychologists haveِ just confirmed thatِ you’re notِ alone.
This visceral, emotional desire forِ a child isِ more common inِ young women thanِ men, theِ research found, althoughِ as theyِ age, men areِ increasingly atِ risk forِ what’s alsoِ known inِ pop culture asِ baby lust.
How frequently women haveِ the desire toِ haveِ a child goesِ downِ with age, andِ down asِ they actuallyِ have children, study researcher Gary Brase, a psychologist atِ Kansas State University, told LiveScience.
The baby decision
Brase researches judgment andِ decision-making, andِ was inspired toِ turn hisِ attention toِ reproductive decisions afterِ he andِ his wife experienced theirِ ownِ bouts ofِ baby fever.
Read: America’s Most Hated Baby Names] To uncover theِ role thatِ emotion andِ desire play inِ this decision, Brase andِ his colleagues completed threeِ studies.
The students alsoِ answered questions aboutِ factors thatِ madeِ them moreِ or lessِ likely toِ want a baby (lack ofِ money, forِ example, tendsِ to mitigate baby fever).
Weighing the pros and cons
Using data fromِ the firstِ two studies toِ build questionnaires, theِ researchers thenِ recruited volunteers viaِ theِ Internet, gathering anِ older andِ more diverse group thanِ the earlier student populations.
Again, theِ results showed thatِ women tend toِ experience baby fever moreِ than men, whileِ men report moreِ frequent desire forِ sex, whichِ isِ interesting, Brase said, becauseِ they’re related activities.
By theirِ 40s, men report moreِ frequent baby fever thanِ women ofِ the sameِ age.