Childless men feel it more than women do

Men feel more depressed and isolated than women if they do not have children, new research has found. Presented at the British Sociological Association's annual conference, the study also revealed males are almost as likely as their female counterparts to want a son or daughter of their own.

Carried out by Robin Hadley of Keele University, the investigation saw 27 men and 81 women - who did not have children - asked about their feelings toward parenthood.

It was shown that while 59 per cent of the men and 63 per cent of the women questioned wanted kids, males feel angry, sad and jealous about the fact they have not already become a father.

Mr Hadley said the findings challenge the common assumption that women are more likely to "want to have children than men and that they consistently experience a range of negative emotions more deeply than men if they don't have children".

Chartered Psychologist Dr Roger Kingerlee comments:

"As awareness of the full range of male feelings gradually dawns on us, this original study emphasises men's susceptibility to feelings of loss in what has traditionally been considered a female domain. This study enriches our clinical understanding of male presentations - not least since feelings of loss and isolation are known risk factors for men and, in psychological treatment, need to be addressed rather than overlooked."