Dutch men have least desire to have children
A study into European men shows that the Dutch have the least desire to have children.12 September 2008
THE NETHERLANDS -- The largest-ever study into European men, sponsored by the Discovery television channel, shows that of all European nations, Dutch men have the least desire to have children.
Work, friendships, having fun and travel are all considered more important than raising a family.
Dutch men also postpone having children because they want to know for sure they are ready to be a father, and want to do better than their own fathers.
The relatively small desire to have children is reportedly the result of a strongly felt resistance to settle down.
Off all European men, the Dutch are the ones who rely on their parents longest for financial support, wait longest to buy a house and don't get married till they are 36.
Caring for a wife and children is at the bottom of his list of priorities.
According to recent figures published by Netherlands Statistics, 4.8 percent of all new born babies had a father aged 40 or over in 1985. In 2006, this percentage had increased to 14.8.
Discovery Channel Director Jochem de Jong says the results of the study are notable: "Particularly when you consider that this country is ageing fast, and politics promotes the family as the backbone of society".
Youth and Family Minister André Rouvoet has even said that we should have more children. But the men who are supposed to raise these families have other priorities".
Minister Rouvoet denies his family policy is intended to encourage families to have more children.
"What I did was try to focus attention on the medical risks involved in postponing motherhood, such as an increased risk of breast cancer and babies with congenital defects.
It would be a good thing if Dutch men became aware of these risks and took them into consideration when making their decisions".
[Radio Netherlands / Georg Schreuder Hes / Expatica]