London School of Economics - Mortal men want more children

September 18, 2008

Young men say they want more children when they are contemplating death, according to a study by researchers at the London School of Economics. The authors of "Life after Death", a paper published this month in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, examined the link between mortality and fertility. A total of 872 LSE students were divided into two groups. One was questioned on death and dying before being asked about having children, and the other was asked about having children first. Paul Mathews, one of the researchers, said: "The shift in the number of children that young men wanted after contemplating their own mortality was substantial. They went from wanting to have, on average, 2.29 children in the control group to 2.52 children after mortality priming - an increase of 10 per cent."

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