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Sperm donors nicer than average, Swede study finds

Independent and NOT shy, researchers discover

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Swedish sperm donors are more stable and mature and have better social skills than the country's manhood at large, researchers have found.

Researchers at Linköping University studied 115 men at seven fertility clinics between 2005 and 2008, comparing them with a control group of sperm bank non-depositers.

Donors who agreed to take a break from filling cups to fill in a form emerged as "less unhappy, less shy and less insecure than the control group".

They also "evaluated themselves as more independent, responsible, and willing to cooperate".

However, there were differences amongst the sperm donors depending on their lifestyle. Single men making a deposit tended to be more pessimist and passive. The survey found that 43 per cent of donors were married and 36 per cent had their own children – or at least children they knew of.

Cooperation, a lack of shyness and the ability to work independently would all seem to be useful for traits for sperm donors anywhere in the world, and apparently all these traits have been noted globally in previous research.

However, a key defining characteristic of Swedish donors was altruism: Swedish donors do not get paid for their efforts, unlike their American counterparts. The Scandinavians just seemed to get more out of giving.

“Often they know someone afflicted with sterility and want to help others in the same situation. There’s never anyone who asks what they can earn from donating," said Ginilla Sydsjö, professor of reproductive research at the university and the report's principal author.

Before adding, in an interesting turn of phrase, "They do both people and society a service.” ®

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