Conscientious? You Could Have Trouble Getting Pregnant

You'd think conscientiousness and openness would be wonderful personality features.  And most of the time, they are.  Just, not if you want to have a baby.

A new study has found that:

  • Conscientiousness decreased female fertility
  • Openness decreased male fertility, and
  • Extraversion raised fertility for both men and women
According to, researchers saw a decline in producing children in neurotic (moody or emotional) men, but oddly, only for those born after 1957.  Maybe it was in the water.

Some of it, for the men, may have something to do with waiting longer to have children.  Research has recently indicated that children born of men over age 50 are more likely to develop schizophrenia as young adults, concerning for us as my husband was 51 when our son was born.  

The study, done in Norway, was part of an examination of falling birth rates. 

But don't despair, if you're conscientious.  Chances are, you could live to 100.  That's because, according to another study at the Web site, centenarian participants who said they were conscientious lived to, well, 100.  Maybe because they take better care of themselves?

You're also less likely to be neurotic, if you're conscientious.  Not surprisingly, most of the centenarians in the study had a positive outlook on life, and most were extroverted, optimistic and easy-going. 

So it's a toss-up.  I'd say being conscientious is a good thing (but that's where I fall!).


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