“Parents” study 2016 Child rearing ? Not just a matter for women anymore!
The man goes to work, the woman takes care of the children at home – this family image, which has shaped generations of Germans, is more and more a thing of the past – according to a recent Forsa survey for the magazine “Eltern”. According to the survey, the young generation’s desire to have children is great – but the way they imagine living together is what distinguishes them more and more from their parents – the most important questions of the study and the answers to them:
What do young people nowadays associate with the term family? Not family muffle: Young people still perceive family as something wonderful, which they associate mainly with positive feelings. For most people, family is a place of longing with which they equate emotions such as love (71 percent), security (68 percent) and trust (67 percent).
Do young people still want children at all? The desire to have children among the young generation is there. When asked whether they would like to have children later, 87 percent answered “yes”. For 74 percent, however, the right partner is the most important prerequisite. But Mr. or Mrs. Right are not that easy to find. 61 percent of respondents over the age of 40 answered that their desire to have children had failed because they had never found the right partner. This was the case for 57 percent of 35-39 year olds.
At what age should the first child come? The survey clearly shows that the older the group of childless interviewees gets, the longer the period for the realisation of the wish to have a child will be. One example: In the group of 18- to 22-year-olds, most (34 percent) would like to have their first child between the ages of 25 and 27. For 23 to 26 year olds, the situation is different: Most (40 percent) want to have their first child between the ages of 30 and 35. Among 27- to 30-year-olds, as many as 73 percent want to have baby number one only between the ages of 30 and 35.
Which family form is becoming more and more important in the opinion of the young generation? For the interviewees it is clear that the classic family form will face tough competition. Although most (67 percent) would prefer to live in a classic core family consisting of mother, father and children, 83 percent consider the patchwork family to be the predominant family model of the future. 80 percent are also of the opinion that family structures consisting of same-sex couples with children can gain more and more importance. The model of single parents follows in third place. Only 19 percent still believe in the nuclear family as the model of the future.
What is the young generation’s position on topics such as artificial insemination or surrogacy? Basically, most of them are open to carrying the child by a surrogate mother, to the egg donation of a foreign woman or even to the sperm donation of a foreign man. However, very few people are willing to let themselves be helped in this way in having children. For example, only 15 percent consider surrogacy.
How about adoption? When asked which alternative ways of fulfilling their wish to have children they could also imagine for themselves, the non-medical variant received the greatest approval: 68 percent of respondents said that they would consider adopting a child. Among 18- to 22-year-olds, the figure is as high as 78 percent.
How do young couples imagine living together with children? For most people, one thing is clear: a child changes everything. That’s why young couples want more than just one person to be back on the job once the child has arrived. Child rearing is therefore no longer a matter for women alone. 60 percent imagine their family life in such a way that both partners take care of the children and both continue to work. Only eight percent want to leave the upbringing of their children to care and educational institutions and work full-time.
What priorities should the state set in family policy in the future? 38 percent say that families should be given generous time off for bringing up children (parental leave) or caring for relatives, 35 percent want more childcare and educational facilities. 25 percent say that the state should primarily support families financially.
The study: 1061 men and women aged between 18 and 30 were interviewed. The survey took place between 30 October and 26 November 2015.