FERTILITY5050: conception and unwelcome comments

In our second blog about the results of FERTILITY5050, we present more highlights from the 2,052-person conception survey we conducted this June.

Being asked too young

Attitudes towards having kids have changed over time. A recent survey showed that the British public feel 26 is the perfect age for a woman to start having children, which tallies with parental concerns that their adult children should see the world, get a decent job and settle down before taking the big leap.

However, the Fertility5050 survey revealed that younger people are more likely than ever to have been asked probing questions about their baby plans. Strikingly, more people under 30 said they’d been asked about having kids than people over 40 – despite the older cohort having had more years to be asked! 70% of women under 30 had been badgered about having kids before the magic age of 26, contrasting with society’s stated expectations.
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Granted, some of these questions will have been more hypothetical and non-immediate. Yet the trend seems to be moving in the wrong direction, since women are increasingly considering pregnancy later in life, whether for lifestyle or economic reasons.

Asked by the wrong people in the wrong way

Even when someone is at an age when they are expected to think about kids, they are often approached about it in an inappropriate way.


One category here really stood out to us. Managers should steer clear of this question when it comes to employees! Not only is it illegal to ask, but 56% of the time your employee really doesn’t want to talk about it.

Seemingly-benign encounters can also irritate the childless. Even that bastion of tact, the grandparent, bungles it a full third of the time, and one in four respondents were sent reeling by a question from their own mother. Friends and siblings seem the safest. Just be careful when asking someone about whether they are trying for a baby, as this is clearly a sensitive subject.

You can find out more about FERTILITY+, and view the full survey results, on our dedicated FERTILITY5050 page.


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