Wantedness of Births: Comparing Women's and Men's Reports
Jo Jones, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Gladys M. Martinez, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Joyce C. Abma, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Reducing unintended pregnancies and births continues to be a health objective for the United States. Unintended pregnancies are at higher risk of adverse health outcomes because the mothers are less likely to receive prenatal care and are more likely to expose the babies to harmful substances. In the US, 35 percent of births occurring between 1997 and 2002 were reported as unintended–either occurring too soon or occurring at a time when the woman or man wanted no future births. There is an body of research on the wantedness of births based on women's reports of their own and their partners’ desire for children, but no previous study has used men's direct reports of the wantedness of births they fathered. We use data from the NSFG Cycle 6 to compare men’s and women’s self-reports of how strongly they wanted the pregnancies that led to live births occurring between 1997 and 2002.