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Age, Education, Affect When U.S. Men Become Fathers

CDC study details fertility, contraception, fatherhood statistics in U.S. men

FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. men agree with women when reporting whether their children were wanted, mistimed or unwanted at the time of conception, but how and when they become fathers is heavily influenced by age, education, income and ethnicity, according to a new comprehensive report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report includes data from the National Survey of Family Growth conducted in 2002 and is published by the National Center for Health Statistics in Huntsville, Md. It shows that men are more likely than their peers to become sexually active before age 19 if they live with one or neither of their parents at age 14 compared to those living with both parents.

In addition, the study found that about 25 percent of black fathers had their first child before the age of 20, compared with 19 percent of Hispanic fathers and 11 percent of white fathers. And about one-half of men without a high school education fathered a child outside of marriage compared with 6 percent of college graduates.

Men also reported that 65 percent of children born in the previous five years were wanted at conception, 25 percent were mistimed and 9 percent were unwanted, which are new data that match those reported previously by women.

"The reproductive experiences of men and women 15-44 years of age in the United States vary significantly, and often sharply, by demographic characteristics such as education, income and Hispanic origin and race," the authors conclude.

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