Nav: Home

Online sperm donors more agreeable: QUT study

October 31, 2018

As prospective parents increasingly seek sperm donors online, an international study has analysed what sort of men are donating sperm in this informal setting as opposed to a traditional clinic. And it seems a key characteristic is they are more agreeable.

The international Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology has just published the latest study (Clinical vs. Exclusively Online Sperm Donors: What's the difference? from QUT behavioural economist Dr Stephen Whyte

"Scientists have been studying the psychology and motivations of men who donate in clinical settings for more than 40 years but globally tens of thousands of men and women are now choosing to participate in informal sperm donation," said Dr Whyte, who added the study found exclusively informal donors were also more likely to be in a committed relationship and more likely to identify with a sexuality other than heterosexual, such as gay, bisexual or asexual.

"Connection websites are growing in popularity with the UK-based PrideAngel site having more than 27,000 members even just four years ago.

"Websites like these are a new cyber conduit for donors and recipients. Compared to the traditional clinical sperm banks and assisted reproductive technology providers, this online marketplace is far less constrained for participants.

"The finding that males already in committed relationships are less likely to have a history of clinical donation compared to single males is really a unique finding and may imply male donors currently in a relationship are more popular with women in the online setting.

"It may also represent a stronger signal of a male's ability to cooperate and coordinate successfully with a partner for the purpose of having offspring.

"Formal donation by males (technically) only requires them to attend a clinic and provide a sample at their convenience. Informal donation is a two-sided interaction requiring logistical precision in coordinating timing and travel as well as alignment with a recipient's fertility needs and some level or emotional or psychological support."

The data for the study was collected via a 42-question online survey of 7,696 registered male members of PrideAngel. The donors ranged in age from 22 to 66 years of age.

"As this global marketplace for sperm grows, research is needed to identify and explore the socio-economic characteristics, personality and clinical reproductive history of this new group of men and how it impacts on their reproductive psychology and behaviour," he said.

"Men and women who interact on the connection websites and forums have made a conscious decision to be or find a donor outside of the traditional clinical settings. These developing cyber economies operate outside regulatory frameworks and record-keeping which makes very difficult to conduct research into the micro-level behaviour of participants."

Dr Whyte said growing appeal of connection websites may be explained by the fact they provide a setting in which men and women can communicate directly, reducing financial & psychological burdens and barriers that have existed previously. It also allows the men and women involved to freely negotiate their preferred donation and ongoing parenting arrangements.

"Future research could focus on establishing a greater understanding of the catalysts for males to participate or transition between both clinical and informal sperm donor settings, as well as develop a more accurate picture of the motivations beyond those participating in the informal marketplace," he said.
-end-
The full study is available online at the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology.

Media contact:

Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 3151, amanda.weaver@qut.edu.au

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901, media@qut.edu.au

Queensland University of Technology

Related Fertility Articles:

Vaping may harm fertility in young women
E-cigarette usage may impair fertility and pregnancy outcomes, according to a mouse study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.
Are fertility apps useful?
Researchers at EPFL and Stanford have carried out an analysis of the largest datasets from fertility awareness apps.
Marijuana and fertility: Five things to know
For patients who smoke marijuana and their physicians, 'Five things to know about ... marijuana and fertility' provides useful information for people who may want to conceive.
How could a changing climate affect human fertility?
Human adaptation to climate change may include changes in fertility, according to a new study by an international group of researchers.
Migrants face a trade-off between status and fertility
Researchers from the universities of Helsinki, Turku and Missouri as well as the Family Federation of Finland present the first results from a new, extraordinarily comprehensive population-wide dataset that details the lives of over 160,000 World War II evacuees in terms of integration.
Phthalates may impair fertility in female mice
A phthalate found in many plastic and personal care products may decrease fertility in female mice, a new study found.
Climate change damaging male fertility
Climate change could pose a threat to male fertility -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia.
New test measures men's fertility
At a time when more than half of male infertility cannot be explained by current methods, a new test developed by Androvia LifeSciences is able to measure male fertility.
Fertility rates no different for women with epilepsy
'Myth-busting' study among women with no history of infertility finds that those with epilepsy are just as likely to become pregnant as those without.
Low sperm count not just a problem for fertility
A man's semen count is a marker of his general health, according to the largest study to date evaluating semen quality, reproductive function and metabolic risk in men referred for fertility evaluation.
More Fertility News and Fertility Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

In & Out Of Love
We think of love as a mysterious, unknowable force. Something that happens to us. But what if we could control it? This hour, TED speakers on whether we can decide to fall in — and out of — love. Guests include writer Mandy Len Catron, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, musician Dessa, One Love CEO Katie Hood, and psychologist Guy Winch.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#543 Give a Nerd a Gift
Yup, you guessed it... it's Science for the People's annual holiday episode that helps you figure out what sciency books and gifts to get that special nerd on your list. Or maybe you're looking to build up your reading list for the holiday break and a geeky Christmas sweater to wear to an upcoming party. Returning are pop-science power-readers John Dupuis and Joanne Manaster to dish on the best science books they read this past year. And Rachelle Saunders and Bethany Brookshire squee in delight over some truly delightful science-themed non-book objects for those whose bookshelves are already full. Since...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab