Stop all the stereotypes. New research is saying that it is men who want to start families sooner, not us ladies with our ominously ticking biological clocks. The study in question was commissioned by VoucherCloud for God knows what reason and the results say that the average British man wants to start a family three years earlier than a woman his age. Twenty-nine is the magic age for men to start pushing buggies while women want to wait until they are 32 before spitting out a litter of kids, as Blake Lively would say.
The men polled said 25 was the ideal age for a woman to have a child. Women chose 31 as the ideal age to start motherhood. As regards men having children, females felt 30 was a good age for men to become dads. It seems men are broodier than the fairer sex in general. When asked if they wanted children, 88% of men said yes, while 79% of women replied in the affirmative. This discrepancy might have something to do with the fact we would have to incubate the hypothetical darlings.
VoucherCloud credit this change in attitude to the rise in the celebrity dad. Having whiskey down the gentlemen's club, while the significant other begets an heir before the spare, is no longer the custom with men such as David Beckham, who showcases the wonders of hauling the little ones to sporting events. The reason for women's reluctance to embrace maternity wear during their twenties is down to common sense, because of those little issues of career progress and childcare costs.
In Ireland, the age of first-time mothers has been rising for the past few decades, with the most recent CSO figures in 2013 noting that 30 was the average age. Last June the television personality Kirstie Allsopp found herself under fire for telling women to skip university to find a nice boyfriend and have a baby by the time they're 27, leading to a fair amount of backlash and agreement.
What do you make of all this ideal-age-to-have-children business?
Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun