The Views of the Next Generation

Medical, scientific, legal and ethical aspects of compromised fertility in adolescence and early adulthood If formal and informal caregivers are to be alert to sexuality and fertility issues, then they need to be appropriately informed about current medical and scientific knowledge. Not surprisingly, many will be daunted by trying to understand the terminology, let alone weighing up the scientific merits of claims that hit the headlines on a regular basis.


Marked age difference fluctuations were noted as opposed to a consistent pattern of either increasing or decreasing importance. It is unclear exactly why these fluctuations have emerged and further research is indicated. The onset of puberty may provide a partial explanation as fewer extreme gender differences are observed post-Year 8. The transition from primary to secondary school and increased interaction with the opposite sex post-puberty may also be a possible explanation. In addition, it may be that the steady increase in the importance of the desire for children for participants during Years 10 and 11 may be due to increasing awareness of societal expectations to reproduce in adulthood.

It is clear that while some children and young people may have idealized beliefs about parenthood, others are able to comprehend the limitations and difficulties that children might bring. The potential problems of parenthood highlighted by the children in this sample are consistent with previous research with adults.

Age was another theme in meaning of parenthood. The notion of being too young to think about having children was discussed by younger participants and many older participants had clear thoughts about the age at which they would want their own children. This indicates an understanding of the notion of planned life events. One finding from our study is that while not all children and young people were currently thinking about having children of their own, some expressed their awareness that their views would change as they got older. Many indicated that they expected to be parents at some point in their adulthood and that they could anticipate how it might feel to be unable to have children.

The gender and age differences observed in participants’ ranking of ambitions and priorities for adulthood indicate that we do need to be wary of adopting stereotypical ideas about what may be important Canadian pharmacy viagra online for boys and for girls at different ages. Contrary to popular belief, boys may place a high priority on future parenthood. This finding contradicts previous research, which has suggested that boys do not grow up thinking of themselves as future fathers. The message is that time and care must be taken by adults in ascertaining individual children’s current and future ambitions for adulthood.