SHANGHAI: In Shanghai, men are more willing than women to have a baby, a recent survey has revealed.
A polling of more than 12,000 Shanghai residents - and equal numbers of men and women - found an overall decline in couples' willingness to have a baby, Shanghai Municipal Population and Family Planning Commission announced Thursday.
Among them, people from Shanghai are more unwilling than those from other provinces, and women are more unwilling than men.
Among the 8,000 from Shanghai, nearly 8 percent are unwilling to have a baby - 3.37 percentage points higher than in 2003. Among the 4,000 from other provinces who have stayed in Shanghai for at least six months, 2.49 percent are unwilling to have a baby - 1.1 percentage points higher than in 2004.
In a multiple-choice question, 52.99 percent said they are unwilling because of the high cost, and 48.28 percent said they would rather stick to a family of two. Some 35.1 percent said they don't want a baby to affect their career development.
The willingness decreases with income. Woman are more unwilling, according to the survey conducted in May.
Of the 8,000 Shanghai permanent residents, a man, on average, wants 1.08 children and a woman, on average, wants 1.06.
Xu Xiaobo, 31, who is running a business with her husband, said they are getting ready to have a baby.
"My husband wants a baby more than me. He told me it would be amazing to have a baby looking just like him," she said.
"As for me, I don't mind postponing that until a bit later when our operation reaches a stable stage."
Xu Anqi, a sociologist with Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said that she does not observe major differences between men and women in willingness to have a baby, but admits that having a baby means a bigger lifestyle change to a woman than to a man.
The decrease of the overall willingness to have a baby is from the pressure of living in big cities and the increasing costs of raising a baby.
"A drop in willingness to have a baby is seen in most big cities," she said.
Parents want their children to go to the best schools so they can get a well-paid job, she said. "A woman, who normally takes the main responsibility of taking care of a child, will have to sacrifice more of her career and life for a child."