A survey of 3,103 men and women, conducted by vitamin supplement company Vitabiotics, has found that 45 per cent of women surveyed would consider asking a male friend to father their child in the absence of a suitable partner.
The report by the company reveals that both men and women have concerns about fertility issues, with two thirds of the women polled that were not in current relationships expressing doubts over their ability to conceive naturally, and 26 per cent of men voicing similar concerns.
Three quarters of those questioned thought that fertility issues could cause serious problems within a relationship, possibly leading to a breakup, while more than one in three men and women stated that they would reconsider staying with a partner who could not conceive.
The most intriguing trend to come out of the survey was women's willingness to consider alternative means to conception in the absence of a suitable partner. Women between the ages of 28 and 31 were most likely to entertain the idea of turning to a male friend in absence of a partner, while half of the single female survey respondents thought about meeting a partner on a frequent basis. Many women questioned also made it clear that they would consider a 'second best' option in the event that they were unable to find their 'ideal' partner.
Psychologist Linda Papadopoulos commented on the changing social norms of parenting, which were challenging the conventional nuclear family unit. She stated that 'reconstituted families, same sex families, and single parents are much more prevalent these days, and rather than ascribing to the 'norm' it seems that women and men are more flexible with their definition of 'family''.