Seth Rogen being asked about not having kids wasn't as progressive as you think

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage.

According to society, adult life seems to follow a specific formula.

And any woman who is in a long-term relationship and/or over the age of 30, will be oh-so-used to batting away questions about their family plans.

‘When are you having kids?’ ‘Don’t you want kids?’ ‘Why haven’t you got kids yet?’

Cue major eye roll.

And now, in a slight plot twist, actor Seth Rogen – yes, a man – recently found himself subject to this line of questioning when he appeared on Steven Bartlett’s podcast, Diary of a CEO.

‘You don’t have any kids,’ said Stephen, who raised the idea that some listeners may be of the opinion that parenthood would make Seth happier.

‘I don’t think it would,’ responded Seth.

‘You just are told, you go through life, you get married, you have kids, that’s what happens.

‘And me and my wife… we get to do whatever we want, we’re in the prime of our lives.’

He added: ‘I work with a lot of people with kids, and I see definitively that I have more time to both do the things I need to do, and the things I enjoy doing, than they do.

‘Me and my wife seem to get a lot more enjoyment out of not having kids, than anyone I know seems to get out of having kids.’

Listeners of the pod – which also appears on YouTube – praised Stephen for asking these types of questions, usually reserved for woman, to a man.

‘Finally a man being asked this,’ wrote one commenter. While another said: ‘This is honestly the first time I’ve ever heard a man asked this.’

But while it’s easy to suggest that asking a man about their family plans is progressive – it’s really no better than asking a woman.

Radio presenter Greg James recently opened up about how he and wife, author, Bella Mackie, were fed up of being asked about kids.

‘Whatever happens, it will have absolutely no bearing on your life whatsoever,’ he wrote. ‘So please don’t worry about it.’

While for Greg, the frustration came from the fact that the couple simply didn’t have an answer, there are of course, many reasons why men don’t need to be questioned.

Firstly, their reasons for not having children could be deeply personal. There’s a myth that infertility is a women’s issue – when in fact, men account for around half of all infertility problems, and the most common reason for couples seeking IVF is due to male factor infertility.

But male infertility is still seen as a taboo topic, and rarely discussed. In a survey of conducted by Fertility Network UK and Nuffield Health, more than half of men said they wouldn’t discuss their infertility with a partner, and 45% said they wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing it with a GP.

Catherine Hill, communications manager at Fertility Network UK said: ‘The men we work with will often talk about going to a very dark place.

‘The vast majority of respondents (93%) stated their well-being had been impacted by fertility issues.

‘Men reported fertility issues to be emasculating, distressing and isolating, harming their self-identity, and causing stress, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

‘There’s an idea that infertility makes you less of a man.

‘One respondent described it as “the most upsetting, dark and emasculating experience’ of my life” of his life.’

So is it any wonder that men don’t want to be questioned, any more than women?

Then there’s also the fact that, like Seth, someone may simply not want to have kids at all.

And while society seems to have a harder time grasping this when it’s a woman’s choice, it’s not fun for a guy either.

Psychologist, Sandra Wheatley, said: ‘We all want our loved ones to be happy, and often that involves wanting for them, what we have for ourselves.

‘For many people, happiness equates to marriage and children.

‘Seeing those around us follow the same path as us, also confirms our own choices.’

So while it’s easy to assume that your loved ones want the same as you – maybe stop and think before you dive straight in with an interrogation.

And if someone does ask you the dreaded question? ‘Have an answer ready,’ says Sandra.

‘You can make light of it, or you can simply say, “I don’t want to talk about that right now.”‘

The moral of the story? Stop asking people if they’re having kids.

If you’re struggling with male infertility, visit HIMfertility or join their support group.

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