SEATTLE, Sep 28, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. men are much more in favor of routine paternity testing at childbirth than women, a University of Washington study published Tuesday said.
Of 811 people surveyed in four different versions of the survey, 50 percent of men were in favor of the test, while just 32 percent of women were.
"Age and income groups don't seem to matter," said Lisa Hayward, a UW doctoral student in biology and lead author of the paper.
Previous studies have shown generally less that 1 percent of married women bear children other than their husband's. Regardless, it would normally be advantageous for the woman to keep the child's paternity a secret so that her husband would continue to care for the child as if he were the father, researchers said.
Smaller groups of those surveyed were questioned further about their responses. A high number of women who favored routine paternity testing said they wanted to reassure their husbands of their faithfulness, and some wanted to make sure that, for health reasons, their children had correct information about their genetic heritage.
The findings are in the current issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.