3

votes

Is the growing trend of choosing Childlessness a bad sign?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 20, 2011 at 10:36 PM

At the risk of offending any confirmed non-breeders here I'll ask my question anyway. So I was reading this article in Details magazine http://www.details.com/culture-trends/critical-eye/201104/no-baby-boom-non-breeders

My question is, much like a vegan diet seems horribly puritanical and, using Sally Fallon's words here, "prudent" it seems equally unnatural to me to never desire to procreate with one's partner. Does anyone else think that these trends could be due to an increasingly unhealthy population? Maybe a combination of no longer seeing virility/fertility in our malnourished partners and an overall decrease in sexual desire?

I understand that the introduction of birth control has a lot to do with it and people are getting it on without that pesky pregnancy side effect. Obviously, I and most people not living in an agricultural environment will have no interest in being baby factories but a population of humans no longer having interest in creating little mini-me's is worrisome to me. This coupled with increasing rates of infertility seems like mighty dark foreshadowing to me.
I've been watching "Human Planet" on Discovery channel and watching these strong nimble, virile people, almost all of whom are breastfeeding effortlessly, climbing up trees with ease, munching on snakes, forest tubers, freshly hunted meat, etc. It's just got me thinking about our childless state.

Yes, Arctic monkey concerts are fun and so are childless nights on the town but as a new mother, making children seems like such an inherently biological urge to me.

(On a side note, after a year of being unable to conceive last year, I got pregnant one month after starting the Atkins diet. I had no idea Paleo or WAPF existed at that point.)

Again I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone who is sensitive about this topic.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 15, 2012
at 12:07 AM

We have a strong desire for sex because it feels good, kids are just a byproduct of it.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 15, 2012
at 12:00 AM

midwesterner's judgement is what pisses off so many people who are happy being childfree. Much like a Christian telling an atheist that they're baby-rapers and heathens just because they don't believe in God, those kinds of ignorant statements get under people's skin. THAT is why she was downvoted.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 14, 2012
at 11:57 PM

Parents should be charged a carbon footprint tax until their child turns 18.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 14, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Desire simply tricks humans into procreating, otherwise there would be a lot less of it (procreating, that is). No one ever looks at a potential sex partner and thinks, "I hope that guy plants a seed in me so in 9 months I'll have to tear my vagina pushing out a baby". Yeah. Awesome.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 14, 2012
at 07:05 PM

The only "people" who are really concerned about flat-lining population growth are corporations and governments. Fewer babies = fewer future consumers, taxpayers and soldiers.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 14, 2012
at 07:05 PM

The only "people" who are really concerned about flat-lining population growth are corporations and governments. Fewer babies = fewer future taxpayers and soldiers.

1398eff69b192c35de5e0dbaad59052a

(2024)

on August 14, 2012
at 06:55 PM

I downvoted it because while I am sorry that she is pained personally, I don't see how that translates into selfishness. That's like saying I don't agree with you, therefore you're an idiot.

Afc0b8e755ac7cdde6b517fdadb50026

(778)

on July 25, 2012
at 11:57 PM

yep, us punjabi folks all tend to live together and so you can count on and influence your cousins to help and have kids. grandparents live with you and can pitch in.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on April 30, 2012
at 10:10 PM

ditto. this question just hurts my feelings. jesus. there is nothing wrong with me because my partner and i dont' want to procreate. Also, this completely ignores homosexuality, which is a totally "natural" occurrence. (See, e.g., Evolution's Rainbow, an awesome book about sexual orientation and gender in nature: http://www.amazon.com/Evolutions-Rainbow-Diversity-Gender-Sexuality/dp/0520240731).

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on April 19, 2012
at 03:54 PM

Saying it how I see it unfortunately. I deal with the results of poor 'can't be bothered' parenting on a daily basis. Of course most of them are lovely. But they have such low aspirations. Already got 2 pregnant 15 year olds in a class of 30 and one of them definitely had no idea what she was doing. And her mum proudly announced the pregnancy on Facebook when frankly she should have been had up for neglect. I think (hope) it is just like this in this very deprived and abandoned area.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on April 16, 2012
at 01:22 PM

I forgot to have children and am now waaay to old. No regrets. I enjoy the children in the extended family, but can say "nice baby! Go home now!" when they are inconvenient.

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 16, 2012
at 10:24 AM

@Queen. Your first statement makes sense but your follow up 'many of them' reeks of ignorance. If that's what you think about your students and their parents that's very unfortunate.

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 16, 2012
at 10:12 AM

How dare you decide my life for me based on your own issues? Also the term is 'CHILDFREE' not'Childless by choice'.

E05b8d2c9ae8a9a92341785f342f131d

(346)

on April 16, 2012
at 09:04 AM

@Geoff is that just your theory or can you cite any research?

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on April 29, 2011
at 10:38 PM

If everyone on Earth shared the common goal of controlling population, it would make sense to unilaterally agree to procreate less. In reality however, some groups feel that they need to promote / defend their ideals / culture by propogating as much as possible... Mormonism comes to mind for example.

Bd4be59f5bcfafc3d834d1ec8765eb9e

(336)

on April 26, 2011
at 09:34 AM

Isn't the innate desire to replicate? Otherwise, why would we have the strong desire for sex? I agree on a conscious level, we desire sex before children.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on April 26, 2011
at 05:07 AM

By natural I meant innate. There is no innate desire to replicate oneself. It's simply impossible. We have an indirect desire to replicate that is the result of our direct desire to copulate.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 25, 2011
at 08:36 PM

I just wanted to quickly weigh in on the statement "but there is a need to hard-wire them into wanting to take care of a child that arises as a result of copulation" There is a moment right after birth when the new baby looks up at mom - there is a feeling (fueled by oxytocin) that takes place in that second - a feeling that a mother builds on for a lifetime. If you don't want kids - that's fine - but I have to completely disagree with you on the biological processes behind a mother's love - the human body provides a mother with the hormones that create a nuturing instinct

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 25, 2011
at 04:42 PM

That's a good point, Geoff. On the other hand, seeing how my own mom "sneaks" things to her existing grandkids (One cookie won't hurt--mom doesn't need to know!), I would be wary about leaving my kids with her for an extended period of time.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 24, 2011
at 10:41 AM

hedonism rules.

Eeefb4a4b2ac14b006f087cf77ba9f23

(106)

on April 23, 2011
at 09:09 PM

Wish I could upvote this 20 times.

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on April 23, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Well said, RPS - agree 100%.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on April 23, 2011
at 10:51 AM

I seriously think many of them can't be bothered with contraception - unfortunately they can't be bothered with the children they produce either so we (society in general and their teachers in particular) have to deal with the fall out.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 23, 2011
at 03:41 AM

I agree wholeheartedly with you!

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 23, 2011
at 03:39 AM

I"m 26 and I have my career now, do I want to have a kid at 30 and give up the rest of that career to take care of a kid? Not really. 5-6 years of working at my salary won't pay for a lifetime of a child or college.. I just don't know how I could swing it. I am independent, I'm not giving up my life for someone else like that until I'm done with it.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on April 23, 2011
at 01:47 AM

The problem with your Spockian logic is that you forget one pesky little thing: love.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 22, 2011
at 03:01 PM

I said it was unhealthy to avoid having children. The side-effects of contraception were high on the list. The lack of traditional relationships at the time we are biologically supposed to have them also troubles me. Sure, child + modern life doesn't translate directly to child + paleolithic life, but it's modern life, not the child that we need to change for the better. This argument is based on logic and evolutionary theory, not sources,though I suppose you could google the side-effects of the pill.Realizing this stuff is akin to realizing saturated fat is good for you, despite research.

9117e6079a769f929b502e47ace571c8

(10)

on April 22, 2011
at 02:04 PM

yup. too many people on this earth already.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 22, 2011
at 03:31 AM

Hey Oranges! I was just kidding too! In my experience I haven't had to give up my dreams to become a mom - but I had my son at 29 yrs, so I already had a career by the time I got pregnant. hahah brood-mare - you really have a funny way of speaking of motherhood!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 22, 2011
at 02:49 AM

I do worry about the effects of hormonal contraception in the long term. I had very negative effects from it.

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on April 22, 2011
at 02:06 AM

You can call me selfish. I don't have a desire to have children. The acts going into making children, great. Kids, not so much. Am I selfish? Yes. Why? I like being able to do what I want when I want to (travel, buy things, etc.) and not having to consider other people. I am single which helps this matter. I've spent so many years being able to do what I want that right now, no desire to change that and have children. Am I selfish due to being able to reproduce and choosing not to? No. I'm selfish because I want to keep my current lifestyle. (I like having more money to support my Paleo habit)

E3643af0fac0d409ba70b7ac2a7c0df7

on April 22, 2011
at 01:17 AM

Afterall, there's nothing "natural" about culture. That's hilarious.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 22, 2011
at 12:21 AM

Wow. I'm speechless. It's hard to argue with someone who feels children are parasites; I've apparently spent 27 years of my life to no good purpose. I concede.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 22, 2011
at 12:18 AM

Please cite your sources where its "unhealthy to have children." Personally? It's more unhealthy to lack sleep, stress all the time, not be able to eat a reasonable diet due to lack of time, lack of money, etc. Having a child is the LAST thing you want to do if health is your only concern.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:13 PM

I think a big part of the stress is that Americans no longer have the extended family unit close together. So it's 100% on the parents shoulders to raise the child. In hunter-gatherer societies the whole village helped raise the kids together. In Asian and Latin cultures this is still mostly true, you the the grandparents,uncles, aunts, cousins all raising the kids together and giving some relief to the process.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:10 PM

So you actually believe that a female deer has a desire to make its chance of starvation/death far more likely by becoming host to a parasitic offspring and chooses to do so rather than falling into the procreation trap that copulation sets?

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:06 PM

The unemployed have the highest testosterone followed by blue collar workers and then white collar workers at the bottom. Stress and lack of movement can take a toll on ones hormones

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 21, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Never mind - I gather you don't. And I gather you don't want any; considering how you feel about it, that's a good thing. However, there is VERY much a subconscious desire in all living things (with the *possible* exceptions of humans) to create offspring. If there weren't, no animal would have them.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 21, 2011
at 10:15 PM

"...there is a need to hard-wire them into wanting to take care of a child that arises as a result of copulation. These are crucial distinctions." Travis, do you have children?

Medium avatar

(39821)

on April 21, 2011
at 09:55 PM

The libido has evolved to get individuals to copulate, which produces offspring. There is no need to hard-wire people into wanting a child, but there is a need to hard-wire them into wanting to take care of a child that arises as a result of copulation. These are crucial distinctions. There is no conscious or even subconscious desire to create offspring in any animal (outside of those that are induced culturally in humans).

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 08:00 PM

@Bree - re: Spawn, lol you just have to understand the inside joke. My mom calls me spawn but that's because we're weird and like Monty Python and stuff. It's just that she ingrained in me that she wasn't sucessful in her life (due to medical issue) so after achieving so much in my life on my own merit, giving it up so I can be someone's brood-mare isn't really all that appealing.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 21, 2011
at 06:13 PM

Money is definitely a huge issue - but you make it work! I have a career that keeps me interested and always learning and is wonderfully flexible. I had my son at 29 years old, I had my career locked in, but that was about it. Since the brith of our son, we bought a home. I'm not saying it's easy, and you do have to sacrifice some things (I haven't had a haircut in 1 year) - but it is do-able if you want it to be. BUT - if you think of children as 'spawn' maybe kids aren't in your near future ;)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:44 PM

While I agree that this planet could use a few billion less people to make room for more biodiversity, if Russian scientists are correct, then petroleum is not a "fossil fuel" (abiotic) and is renewable. http://www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/Energy.html

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:09 PM

I just recently read something about abortions increasing breast cancer risk. I don't know if that's based on science, or is propoganda.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:07 PM

The possibilities for disappointment/regret are limitless, lol

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:55 PM

agree.....LGTB community is ver very active in their health and they carry certain risks others do not. They also seek out docs who understand and treat their concerns. Many gay women dont see an OBGYN for reproductive health issues so they get ignored by MDs. The patient has to often lead the charge to get what they need. NYC is very progressive in that area.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 21, 2011
at 03:38 PM

I think the solution here is to rethink how we have families. Maybe we need to bring back dowries so that parents with good careers can carry some of the burden since high income is something that happens late in life for many people. I am very happy my family invested in property that can help ease the burden for me. I will probably continue to work, but I have chosen a career that is very flexible. And my job honestly isn't my life, it is something that pays for my life. Women with more self-actualizing careers might see it differently.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:25 PM

Just to add - the human race wouldn't have gotten very far if procreation was reduced to, "Gee, Leno's boring tonight - hey, hon, let's get it on and have a kid."

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:24 PM

@David Moss - the main reason you desire to have sex so you'll procreate the species. That's why is it's a "sex drive" and not a "sex desire." And we eat to survive so, yes, we can pass on our genes when we procreate. I'm not saying that everyone is cut out to be a parent, or that we can't decide not to have children because of ethical reasons (i.e. the planet is already overcrowded) or because we simply don't care to submit ourselves to "self-imposed slavery to offspring", but there's a reason sex feels good, and it's so we'll be more inclined to have kids.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:19 PM

@damaged justice- I just re-read all the answers and comments on this thread, and I don't see what's nasty about any of it. As far as midwesterner goes, it is ok for her to state her emotional opinion here, but also realize that if you make a sweeping judgement couched in an opinion you are going to get some strong feedback. I agree though that it's shocking to see so many down votes even if deserved.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:18 PM

I would say this is a cultural shift, semi-coupled with a biological one. 200 years ago, the only reason women existed were to look pretty and make children. Now, we work, just as long during our lifetimes as men and that interferes with child rearing. Plus, it brings in the possibility of really screwed up kids (both parents working, no socialization, etc). Our culture has done this, and our biology is shifting to cope. A worsening diet, too, is leading to the sterility and inability to have children. I don't see either of these changing in the general populace any time soon.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:15 PM

I was unaware that personal responsibility, financial planning, and knowing when you're mature enough (or not) to parent a child was "selfish"

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:12 PM

This is one of my concerns, too. When I was growing up, I was surrounded by TERRIBLE children. And I'm certain that their parents didn't intend for them to become hellions and bullies, but it happened. I don't want to bring a kid into the world because they could become that bully, or even worse, be subjected to the crap I had to deal with.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:09 PM

My issue? I grew up poor, didn't know really how poor until later, but we had a house and my parents both worked (leaving me alone in the house for an hour each day so they could swap jobs, and I didn't know about that until later). Also, I'm successful and I JUST GOT my job. I'm 26. If I have a kid now, the whole rest of my life is down the toilet in child care. I REFUSE to work if I have a child because of how my boyfriend was raised and I won't do that to my kid. But I'm NOT GIVING UP MY LIFE simply so I can have spawn which will take money I no longer have the ability to earn.

9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on April 21, 2011
at 02:55 PM

I voted this up. Having seen how many vote it down, as well as the nasty attitudes surrounding this and other similar issues, I've decided Paleohacks is no longer a place I want to be.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:49 PM

@Jan, it's entirely plausible that most acts of sexual intercourse occurs because of a desire to have sex, not because of a desire to reproduce. Similarly, we largely eat because of a desire to eat, not because we have a desire to ingest nutrients, so as to maintain our bodies that we might pass on our genes.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Nothing personal, but that's truly absurd. If it were "completely unnatural to desire to procreate and is wholly the result of cultural influences" there wouldn't BE anyone here. The desire to procreate the species is the second most powerful drive in the human body, after survival.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:01 PM

In The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, Thom Hartmann argues that the world can realistically support less than one billion people sustainably (i.e. without reliance on fossil fuels).

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:35 PM

I agree: it's about what a person wants out of life.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:34 PM

"Self-imposed slavery to offspring." Nice 8)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:31 PM

Perhaps what you consider "selfish" is actually just people thinking things through. Deciding to raise a new person shouldn't just be about wanting a baby. It will completely change your life. Maybe some people are happy with their lives just the way they are.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:32 AM

I assumed that Travis was saying "If you raised..." rather than suggesting that there have been any actual studies. He may well be right, though I don't know, neither possibility is implausible.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 21, 2011
at 08:14 AM

Eugenics pfw.......

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 21, 2011
at 03:12 AM

Dr. K thinks doctors are scientists.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:58 AM

Dude, if it weren't for all the abundant crazy inthat culture I'd consider it. Lol

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 21, 2011
at 02:28 AM

ugh, I hate the idea that I might have to be enslaved to my job in order to have children. *shudders* no wonder so many people are choosing not to...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 21, 2011
at 02:27 AM

maybe she is being sarcastic?

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:18 AM

Oh my. That is the most disturbing thing I've heard in a while. We live in a sick society! I hope the literature doesn't really indicate that.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:56 AM

I just read both of the articles you cited and neither said that lesbians are being counseled to get pregnant (and terminate the pregnancy if they want) as a measure of protection from breast cancer. Also the literature states that for this pregnancy protection to work you have to have a baby fairly young preferably before 20-25 years of age.

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:34 AM

sad that I can't downvote.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:34 AM

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/planning/ask_expert/2001_11/question_06.jsp

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:27 AM

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/pregnancy

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 21, 2011
at 01:10 AM

@Ashley, two words: SISTER WIVES. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sister_wives (_Totally kidding!_)

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:54 AM

The exact opposite argument could be made here; that is it is a very selfless thing not to have children in a world that is over stressed and over populated by........ us. Every living organism would currently be a whole lot better of if there were no humans. (Vegan's, you know what to do).

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:51 AM

The exact opposite argument could be made here; that is it is a very selfless thing not to have children in a world where that is over stressed and over populated by........ us.

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Up vote. My wife and I are healthy and active, have been together since our early 20s (now mid-thirties) and simply aren't interested in being parents. We have discussed possibly fostering or adopting some day if we ever change our minds. I fail to see the reasoning behind the suggestion that having the ability to procreate means it's Right/Healthy to do it and Wrong/Unhealthy to differ from that belief.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:31 AM

oops meant cite:) I was completely floored by your comment and I haven't found anything online that indicates a pregnancy that is not brought to full term as being preventative for breast cancer.

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:17 AM

That could very well be. I suppose it depends of your definition of "support", but I like to leave some wiggle room for as-yet-undiscovered means of resource management.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:12 AM

Are you saying that conceiving a child and aborting it is a good prophylactic measure against breast cancer? I always thought that in order to receive the breast health benefits from pregnancy that you had to have the baby and also breast feed. Can you please site that literature to clarify.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:51 PM

PFW, don't be surprized if Travis has access to some secret studies carried out by B.F. Skinner. In any case, hope there is a link to those studies.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:50 PM

And "pained daily" by another's choice that has *no* effect on you whatsoever? That seems a rather strong choice of words.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:49 PM

I just totally don't get how it's selfish. Living in an age where one can choose to biologically parent, or not, is a great thing. I wish more would consider, honestly, the possibility that they may not want to *parent* children before they have them. Wanting a baby and wanting to parent a child are two different things entirely. Besides, the planet is astoundingly overpopulated already.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:49 PM

It's also unnatural to paint like Picasso, build magnificent structures, write novels and play guitars. I embrace my sentience and choose freedom over studying Calculus.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:48 PM

For what it's worth, after reading The Vegetarian Myth, I think that number is well behind us; we passed it by a long time ago with the help of non-renewable fossil fuels.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:45 PM

My husband and I are also healthy, I've never taken the pill. I'll be 36 this year. I certainly consider him a virile and he would be a good and worthy father, but neither of us ever really wanted children. It's crossed both of our minds, and we have talked about maybe taking on foster children someday, but we just don't feel that urgency either. I agree with you about it being difficult to swallow that somehow, by making this choice, there is something "wrong" with you. Being outside of what is considered "the social norm" is not necessarily a bad thing.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:44 PM

You have an experiment with humans raised in labs? Mind linking to it?

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:39 PM

IF they really want one to begin with. if they're on the fence a bit, not having health insurance can go a long way towards sealing the deal of not having a baby.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:26 PM

people have the right to make the choices they feel are correct in their life. it's not very kind or good to put them down for it. worry about your own life.

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:12 PM

My own language is making me twitchy here. When I say "think of it as an evolutionary adaptation" I don't mean it is one. But it is a convenient side effect of some other traits.

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:11 PM

My own language is making me twitchy here. When I say "think of it as an evolutionary adaptation" I don't mean it is one. But it is a convenient side effect of some other traits.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:03 PM

Should have had a girl. They are much easier to deal with at that age :)

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Man, I'd kill for a gaggle of womenfolk to help me with this little guy.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:54 PM

Yes we do. It helps. Anyway, I see that as a reason on an individual level to DELAY a child but not flat out, never have one. It seems like most people who want kids have at least one, finances be damned at some point in their lives if they are physically able And really want one.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:49 PM

for the US population yes....for the person? Debatable. For a women yes.....it is. Being non pregnant raises the risk of breast cancer substantially. Infact the rates of breast cancer in lesbians is astronomical. Many OB's are suggesting to them now they consider a donor and then they can abort if they choose. I am not making a value judgement here but its out in the literature. For men the data is less detrimental. So you have to think about that

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:49 PM

do you have health insurance?

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:47 PM

I suppose they do... I don't know. I'm kinda crunchy so I cloth diaper, breastfeed, feed baby normal non jarred food, have a lot of second hand toys and clothes, and room in with my baby so I'm not feeling the financial crunch that my friends with more conventional parenting methods feel. I'm sure I'll bite my tongue come college time but I have 18 years to save up for that.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:45 PM

That's a good point.

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16 Answers

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20
C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:44 PM

No, it's not a bad thing.

There really is an upper limit to the number of humans this planet can support. What that number is doesn't matter. All that matters is it's somewhere in front of us, blocking the road and we're picking up speed every day.

I even think of it as an evolutionary adaptation, a kind of homeostasis regulator. The closer we get to overpopulation, the fewer of us want to procreate. Makes all kinds of sense to me.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:45 PM

That's a good point.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:48 PM

For what it's worth, after reading The Vegetarian Myth, I think that number is well behind us; we passed it by a long time ago with the help of non-renewable fossil fuels.

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:11 PM

My own language is making me twitchy here. When I say "think of it as an evolutionary adaptation" I don't mean it is one. But it is a convenient side effect of some other traits.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:44 PM

While I agree that this planet could use a few billion less people to make room for more biodiversity, if Russian scientists are correct, then petroleum is not a "fossil fuel" (abiotic) and is renewable. http://www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/Energy.html

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:12 PM

My own language is making me twitchy here. When I say "think of it as an evolutionary adaptation" I don't mean it is one. But it is a convenient side effect of some other traits.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:01 PM

In The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, Thom Hartmann argues that the world can realistically support less than one billion people sustainably (i.e. without reliance on fossil fuels).

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:17 AM

That could very well be. I suppose it depends of your definition of "support", but I like to leave some wiggle room for as-yet-undiscovered means of resource management.

9117e6079a769f929b502e47ace571c8

(10)

on April 22, 2011
at 02:04 PM

yup. too many people on this earth already.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on April 29, 2011
at 10:38 PM

If everyone on Earth shared the common goal of controlling population, it would make sense to unilaterally agree to procreate less. In reality however, some groups feel that they need to promote / defend their ideals / culture by propogating as much as possible... Mormonism comes to mind for example.

17
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on April 23, 2011
at 12:49 AM

A bad sign of what?

I'm not having children (and I'm 40) because I've never been crazy about kids and want to keep living my own life.

Look around... not many people are truly happy, and we live in a social structure that promotes waste, consumerism and greed, and it's not making many people happy. Exactly what is bad about not wanting to push a child into that environment? How is it a "bad sign" that I don't need to find fulfillment externally or through someone else?

How is it a bad sign that I live in a day and age when I CAN actually make these choices with some ease?

How is it a "bad sign" that my lifestyle uses less resources? More gasoline and plastic junk for the rest of you LOL...

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 23, 2011
at 03:41 AM

I agree wholeheartedly with you!

Eeefb4a4b2ac14b006f087cf77ba9f23

(106)

on April 23, 2011
at 09:09 PM

Wish I could upvote this 20 times.

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on April 23, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Well said, RPS - agree 100%.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on April 30, 2012
at 10:10 PM

ditto. this question just hurts my feelings. jesus. there is nothing wrong with me because my partner and i dont' want to procreate. Also, this completely ignores homosexuality, which is a totally "natural" occurrence. (See, e.g., Evolution's Rainbow, an awesome book about sexual orientation and gender in nature: http://www.amazon.com/Evolutions-Rainbow-Diversity-Gender-Sexuality/dp/0520240731).

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 14, 2012
at 11:57 PM

Parents should be charged a carbon footprint tax until their child turns 18.

13
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 20, 2011
at 10:44 PM

I think it's mostly socioeconomic. Children cost a lot of money in our society usually and people don't really reach a period of suitable income until their 30s or later. We have a disconnect between when it's appropriate in our "lifecycle" to have children culturally/economically and when it's appropriate in our biology. One of the biggest causes of infertility is simply waiting too low, though there are some other worrying things out there like the major decline in semen quality in all men of all ages.

Personally, I know I'll get a lot of flack for this, but I think women should start family planning in their late teens/early twenties so they can adjust their relationships and career trajectory based on their family goals. On one site people attacked me for saying that since "things change." Yeah, of course things change in EVERYTHING, but that doesn't mean making plans doesn't help people.

Maybe because I was homeschooled I spent a lot of time growing up around older women (at church and other places) who were struggling to conceive and it had a big effect on me. Every women has different priorities, but I decided to make having children before 30 a priority.

EDIT: There has been some talk here about how having a child reduces risk of breast cancer. In the extremely enlightening article "The breast/nipple/areola complex and human sexuality" I learned that this only works if you have the baby (not just get pregnant) before you are young (before 24, though before 30 seems to have an effect, albeit a lesser one). Luckily, merely stimulating the nipples (IE in a erotic situation) seems to also have an effect 0_o

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 21, 2011
at 03:38 PM

I think the solution here is to rethink how we have families. Maybe we need to bring back dowries so that parents with good careers can carry some of the burden since high income is something that happens late in life for many people. I am very happy my family invested in property that can help ease the burden for me. I will probably continue to work, but I have chosen a career that is very flexible. And my job honestly isn't my life, it is something that pays for my life. Women with more self-actualizing careers might see it differently.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:09 PM

My issue? I grew up poor, didn't know really how poor until later, but we had a house and my parents both worked (leaving me alone in the house for an hour each day so they could swap jobs, and I didn't know about that until later). Also, I'm successful and I JUST GOT my job. I'm 26. If I have a kid now, the whole rest of my life is down the toilet in child care. I REFUSE to work if I have a child because of how my boyfriend was raised and I won't do that to my kid. But I'm NOT GIVING UP MY LIFE simply so I can have spawn which will take money I no longer have the ability to earn.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:39 PM

IF they really want one to begin with. if they're on the fence a bit, not having health insurance can go a long way towards sealing the deal of not having a baby.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:49 PM

do you have health insurance?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 21, 2011
at 02:28 AM

ugh, I hate the idea that I might have to be enslaved to my job in order to have children. *shudders* no wonder so many people are choosing not to...

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 22, 2011
at 03:31 AM

Hey Oranges! I was just kidding too! In my experience I haven't had to give up my dreams to become a mom - but I had my son at 29 yrs, so I already had a career by the time I got pregnant. hahah brood-mare - you really have a funny way of speaking of motherhood!

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:54 PM

Yes we do. It helps. Anyway, I see that as a reason on an individual level to DELAY a child but not flat out, never have one. It seems like most people who want kids have at least one, finances be damned at some point in their lives if they are physically able And really want one.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 23, 2011
at 03:39 AM

I"m 26 and I have my career now, do I want to have a kid at 30 and give up the rest of that career to take care of a kid? Not really. 5-6 years of working at my salary won't pay for a lifetime of a child or college.. I just don't know how I could swing it. I am independent, I'm not giving up my life for someone else like that until I'm done with it.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:47 PM

I suppose they do... I don't know. I'm kinda crunchy so I cloth diaper, breastfeed, feed baby normal non jarred food, have a lot of second hand toys and clothes, and room in with my baby so I'm not feeling the financial crunch that my friends with more conventional parenting methods feel. I'm sure I'll bite my tongue come college time but I have 18 years to save up for that.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 21, 2011
at 06:13 PM

Money is definitely a huge issue - but you make it work! I have a career that keeps me interested and always learning and is wonderfully flexible. I had my son at 29 years old, I had my career locked in, but that was about it. Since the brith of our son, we bought a home. I'm not saying it's easy, and you do have to sacrifice some things (I haven't had a haircut in 1 year) - but it is do-able if you want it to be. BUT - if you think of children as 'spawn' maybe kids aren't in your near future ;)

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 08:00 PM

@Bree - re: Spawn, lol you just have to understand the inside joke. My mom calls me spawn but that's because we're weird and like Monty Python and stuff. It's just that she ingrained in me that she wasn't sucessful in her life (due to medical issue) so after achieving so much in my life on my own merit, giving it up so I can be someone's brood-mare isn't really all that appealing.

12
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:24 PM

It's difficult for me to swallow the association here of veganism and bad health with not wanting to have children. I know the author of the ? is trying to put a paleo spin on proper diets and the desire to have kids, but there is far more to it than that.

So, no I don't think that diet/lifestyle can be blamed for the personal decision not to have children. I ate a pretty good diet in my 20's and 30's and didn't take the pill ever. So I don't know why I never had the urge to have a kid. I always figured it would come over me.

Much like the idea of adopted pets, I someday want to take on foster children and/or help with my friends children, which is enough for me.

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Up vote. My wife and I are healthy and active, have been together since our early 20s (now mid-thirties) and simply aren't interested in being parents. We have discussed possibly fostering or adopting some day if we ever change our minds. I fail to see the reasoning behind the suggestion that having the ability to procreate means it's Right/Healthy to do it and Wrong/Unhealthy to differ from that belief.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:45 PM

My husband and I are also healthy, I've never taken the pill. I'll be 36 this year. I certainly consider him a virile and he would be a good and worthy father, but neither of us ever really wanted children. It's crossed both of our minds, and we have talked about maybe taking on foster children someday, but we just don't feel that urgency either. I agree with you about it being difficult to swallow that somehow, by making this choice, there is something "wrong" with you. Being outside of what is considered "the social norm" is not necessarily a bad thing.

10
Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:36 AM

I don't really see a decline in children where I live; but it may also be that since getting pregnant and having a child, most of the places we go are child friendly. There are plenty of children being brought into the world right now.

I think that if you don't want to be a parent - you shouldn't! It is NOT an easy job - especially to be a good parent. It's full of sleepless nights, worry, lack of social-life, sex-life, stretch marks, leaky boobs etc. etc. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE being a mom - but if you aren't sure, or don't want to be I totally support your choice.

Growing up, my parents were the only couple out of their friends to have a child - the lives that the DINKs (double income no kids) were able to have were rich and amazing. So was our life though too - I really think it's all about what you want out of life.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:35 PM

I agree: it's about what a person wants out of life.

10
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on April 20, 2011
at 10:49 PM

I think it's a very good thing. We have enough people on Earth. And there are always going to be plenty of people who want kids.

Once a country achieves a good quality of life (and reliable contraception) for both women and men, the birth rate plummets. It's just how it is. Give people choices in how to live their lives, they will choose to have fewer children on average and more will have none at all. Having kids is expensive, and while it can be rewarding, it's not exactly fun and games. Totally understand people who choose not to reproduce, although I know I want at least one biological child.

8
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:55 PM

According to the article, my husband and I are "undecideds" and it's for a multitude of reasons and "unhealthy" isn't one of them.

Most parents I see look exhausted, slightly aggravated by, and ready to bolt from their children. Sure, there are other parents who obviously love spending time with their kids, but none of them seem energized by it and even they are almost constantly correcting the kid. It's an always on, no-break job.

I have thought about it and realized I would be in a perpetual state of worry if I had a kid. I still claim Undecided status as, since I haven't actually ever had a kid, what if I'm wrong? But I haven't convinced myself it would be healthy for me--or the poor kid who would have to live with me--to take the chance and then deal with all that stress.

Besides, I have plenty of nieces and nephews. 8)

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:12 PM

This is one of my concerns, too. When I was growing up, I was surrounded by TERRIBLE children. And I'm certain that their parents didn't intend for them to become hellions and bullies, but it happened. I don't want to bring a kid into the world because they could become that bully, or even worse, be subjected to the crap I had to deal with.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:07 PM

The possibilities for disappointment/regret are limitless, lol

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:13 PM

I think a big part of the stress is that Americans no longer have the extended family unit close together. So it's 100% on the parents shoulders to raise the child. In hunter-gatherer societies the whole village helped raise the kids together. In Asian and Latin cultures this is still mostly true, you the the grandparents,uncles, aunts, cousins all raising the kids together and giving some relief to the process.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 25, 2011
at 04:42 PM

That's a good point, Geoff. On the other hand, seeing how my own mom "sneaks" things to her existing grandkids (One cookie won't hurt--mom doesn't need to know!), I would be wary about leaving my kids with her for an extended period of time.

Afc0b8e755ac7cdde6b517fdadb50026

(778)

on July 25, 2012
at 11:57 PM

yep, us punjabi folks all tend to live together and so you can count on and influence your cousins to help and have kids. grandparents live with you and can pitch in.

7
Medium avatar

on April 20, 2011
at 11:42 PM

On the contrary, it's actually completely unnatural to desire to procreate and is wholly the result of cultural influences. Humans are the only animal that says, "I want a little fat version of myself to be brought into existence." The rest of the organisms on Earth simply copulate and then cope with the result. If you raise a human in a lab, they don't ever have a conscious desire to create babies unless you introduce the idea to them. It's not hard-wired simply because it's not necessary to do so. We have evolved to have sexual desire, which indirectly leads to reproduction, so there's no need to hard-wire an actual desire for the end result itself. The "biological clock" as it is often described is a total myth; it's a cultural clock.

I embrace my sentience and choose freedom over self-imposed slavery to offspring.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:49 PM

It's also unnatural to paint like Picasso, build magnificent structures, write novels and play guitars. I embrace my sentience and choose freedom over studying Calculus.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:44 PM

You have an experiment with humans raised in labs? Mind linking to it?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:51 PM

PFW, don't be surprized if Travis has access to some secret studies carried out by B.F. Skinner. In any case, hope there is a link to those studies.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:10 PM

So you actually believe that a female deer has a desire to make its chance of starvation/death far more likely by becoming host to a parasitic offspring and chooses to do so rather than falling into the procreation trap that copulation sets?

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 21, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Never mind - I gather you don't. And I gather you don't want any; considering how you feel about it, that's a good thing. However, there is VERY much a subconscious desire in all living things (with the *possible* exceptions of humans) to create offspring. If there weren't, no animal would have them.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 22, 2011
at 12:21 AM

Wow. I'm speechless. It's hard to argue with someone who feels children are parasites; I've apparently spent 27 years of my life to no good purpose. I concede.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 21, 2011
at 10:15 PM

"...there is a need to hard-wire them into wanting to take care of a child that arises as a result of copulation. These are crucial distinctions." Travis, do you have children?

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:49 PM

@Jan, it's entirely plausible that most acts of sexual intercourse occurs because of a desire to have sex, not because of a desire to reproduce. Similarly, we largely eat because of a desire to eat, not because we have a desire to ingest nutrients, so as to maintain our bodies that we might pass on our genes.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on April 23, 2011
at 01:47 AM

The problem with your Spockian logic is that you forget one pesky little thing: love.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:24 PM

@David Moss - the main reason you desire to have sex so you'll procreate the species. That's why is it's a "sex drive" and not a "sex desire." And we eat to survive so, yes, we can pass on our genes when we procreate. I'm not saying that everyone is cut out to be a parent, or that we can't decide not to have children because of ethical reasons (i.e. the planet is already overcrowded) or because we simply don't care to submit ourselves to "self-imposed slavery to offspring", but there's a reason sex feels good, and it's so we'll be more inclined to have kids.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:34 PM

"Self-imposed slavery to offspring." Nice 8)

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:32 AM

I assumed that Travis was saying "If you raised..." rather than suggesting that there have been any actual studies. He may well be right, though I don't know, neither possibility is implausible.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Nothing personal, but that's truly absurd. If it were "completely unnatural to desire to procreate and is wholly the result of cultural influences" there wouldn't BE anyone here. The desire to procreate the species is the second most powerful drive in the human body, after survival.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on April 21, 2011
at 09:55 PM

The libido has evolved to get individuals to copulate, which produces offspring. There is no need to hard-wire people into wanting a child, but there is a need to hard-wire them into wanting to take care of a child that arises as a result of copulation. These are crucial distinctions. There is no conscious or even subconscious desire to create offspring in any animal (outside of those that are induced culturally in humans).

E3643af0fac0d409ba70b7ac2a7c0df7

on April 22, 2011
at 01:17 AM

Afterall, there's nothing "natural" about culture. That's hilarious.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 21, 2011
at 08:14 AM

Eugenics pfw.......

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:25 PM

Just to add - the human race wouldn't have gotten very far if procreation was reduced to, "Gee, Leno's boring tonight - hey, hon, let's get it on and have a kid."

Bd4be59f5bcfafc3d834d1ec8765eb9e

(336)

on April 26, 2011
at 09:34 AM

Isn't the innate desire to replicate? Otherwise, why would we have the strong desire for sex? I agree on a conscious level, we desire sex before children.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on April 26, 2011
at 05:07 AM

By natural I meant innate. There is no innate desire to replicate oneself. It's simply impossible. We have an indirect desire to replicate that is the result of our direct desire to copulate.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 25, 2011
at 08:36 PM

I just wanted to quickly weigh in on the statement "but there is a need to hard-wire them into wanting to take care of a child that arises as a result of copulation" There is a moment right after birth when the new baby looks up at mom - there is a feeling (fueled by oxytocin) that takes place in that second - a feeling that a mother builds on for a lifetime. If you don't want kids - that's fine - but I have to completely disagree with you on the biological processes behind a mother's love - the human body provides a mother with the hormones that create a nuturing instinct

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 15, 2012
at 12:07 AM

We have a strong desire for sex because it feels good, kids are just a byproduct of it.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 14, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Desire simply tricks humans into procreating, otherwise there would be a lot less of it (procreating, that is). No one ever looks at a potential sex partner and thinks, "I hope that guy plants a seed in me so in 9 months I'll have to tear my vagina pushing out a baby". Yeah. Awesome.

5
C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on April 21, 2011
at 09:28 PM

I appreciate that this is going to be totally controversial but this is said from the viewpoint of a teacher in a deprived area in the UK. What I seem to see (and I may be wrong) are intelligent educated thoughtful people choosing not to have children whilst people with less aspirations and who place much less value on education or even employment having more than two children - in some cases many more. It may just be what I see but I know families with 5 generations living - grandparents in their 30s and 40s, parents in their teens and early 20s who have never worked. Obviously there is an issue here with our benefits system but if you are implying that poor health leads to a decrease in desire to reproduce then I'd say the opposite - it is the poor, uneducated and most unhealthy who have the most children round here. I hope it is just a symptom of the particular area I teach in - still recovering from the closure of the mines by Thatcher in the 80s - and not a nationwide trend but I have to say that it worries me.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on April 23, 2011
at 10:51 AM

I seriously think many of them can't be bothered with contraception - unfortunately they can't be bothered with the children they produce either so we (society in general and their teachers in particular) have to deal with the fall out.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:06 PM

The unemployed have the highest testosterone followed by blue collar workers and then white collar workers at the bottom. Stress and lack of movement can take a toll on ones hormones

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 16, 2012
at 10:24 AM

@Queen. Your first statement makes sense but your follow up 'many of them' reeks of ignorance. If that's what you think about your students and their parents that's very unfortunate.

E05b8d2c9ae8a9a92341785f342f131d

(346)

on April 16, 2012
at 09:04 AM

@Geoff is that just your theory or can you cite any research?

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on April 19, 2012
at 03:54 PM

Saying it how I see it unfortunately. I deal with the results of poor 'can't be bothered' parenting on a daily basis. Of course most of them are lovely. But they have such low aspirations. Already got 2 pregnant 15 year olds in a class of 30 and one of them definitely had no idea what she was doing. And her mum proudly announced the pregnancy on Facebook when frankly she should have been had up for neglect. I think (hope) it is just like this in this very deprived and abandoned area.

5
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:23 AM

An interesting hypothesis, but I am doubtful. I don't see how ill health would lead to a desire not to have children or lack of desire to have children. The most plausible mechanism would be ill health reducing sex drive and thereby leading to people not wanting to have children. But I don't think that this is the explanation, because however far ill health is reducing our sex drives, I don't think that this is the cause of increasing numbers of people not wanting to have children. If this were so, then the people not wanting to have children would also not be wanting to have sex, but I suspect that this isn't the case. In fact, I should think that many of the people not wanting to have children still want to have sex (and maybe don't want to have children because they still want to have sex unimpeded by children) and that there are lots of people with no sex drive, but who want to have children.

I suspect that the explanations are all primarily sociological and these reasons are easy enough to imagine. The article cites enough though: "We watched [parents] struggle to pay bills, find suitable apartments or houses to fit their families, and work at jobs they didn't like because they needed the insurance."

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on April 16, 2012
at 01:22 PM

I forgot to have children and am now waaay to old. No regrets. I enjoy the children in the extended family, but can say "nice baby! Go home now!" when they are inconvenient.

4
E05b8d2c9ae8a9a92341785f342f131d

(346)

on April 16, 2012
at 09:02 AM

Evolution induced the instinct to have sex, not to procreate. It's only very recently that they haven't amounted to the same thing. If current trends continue, then evolution will start favouring those humans who actively want to have children. Previously, the conscious desire to have children was not necessary to get people to reproduce.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:48 PM

This is an interesting question. I would guess that it's more sociological than biological. Let's face it. A lot of women are in the workforce now and so taking care of a child requires a great deal. Indeed, you will have two jobs, the 9-5 one and then the one at home. Also there is a not so subtle cultural message to resist anything averse to your own personal freedom.

[edit: change "no the joys" to "know the joys". Talk about your freudian slops. } I have three children and know the joys that it brings. However, it is a burden of sorts and I think a lot of people are incapable of imagining the joys and only reflect on the burdens. That's just my opinion.

Now, another thing to consider is the "nuclear" family. Imagine if you lived in a "hunter-gatherer" society where paternity might not be know or might be attributed to numerous men. You would have a number of parties interested in taking care of the children and so the "burden" would not just fall on two parents.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 21, 2011
at 01:10 AM

@Ashley, two words: SISTER WIVES. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sister_wives (_Totally kidding!_)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:03 PM

Should have had a girl. They are much easier to deal with at that age :)

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Man, I'd kill for a gaggle of womenfolk to help me with this little guy.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:58 AM

Dude, if it weren't for all the abundant crazy inthat culture I'd consider it. Lol

2
1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

on April 21, 2011
at 10:51 AM

Just read the book Spontaneous Evolution by Bruce Lipton. He makes it quite evident to reproduce in times like this is counterproductive to the future of humans. Bruce Lipton is one of the leaders in epigenetics and quantum mechanics. Think of this.....we humans have fallen in a terrible rut for the last 100 years.....we keep doing the same thing and expect different results...well that is the definition of insanity! We cannot continue making the same mistakes over an over again or there will be an apocalypse. The law of attraction does work.....those who think the end of the world is coming (religious people) have thought and possibly brought their beliefs to reality. Sound crazy? Nope it's not....read the book....and there are plenty more like it that just make since.

0
7f1ef1416bdbebe8e04972929fce365c

on August 14, 2012
at 06:21 PM

By "flirty" excuse me forty...women have a different agenda anyway!

We are more concerned with our slowly decline in feminity and overall lifespan as a rule this is a midlife time for reflection of the past and making the most out of the future to come!~

Typicaly by this time a child could possibly greatly hinder both meanwhile maintaining it's own progression, the very definition of motherhood. If you are ready for this very real, purposful and initially bloody self-sacrifice (said tongue in cheek)...PROCREATE

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 21, 2011
at 10:06 PM

It's profoundly unhealthy to avoid having children. It's not like you've got to actively go round trying, but to actively short circuit the system? This is just like eating soy, wheat, etc... it's just a different domain.

Think of contraception as an I.Q. test. It's a low bar, but it is a bar. Some can actually follow the instructions on the package; others get pregnant. So, unless intelligent people actually commit to having children, things will be pretty bleak for the human race. (Things will also be pretty bleak for Gaia too, you planet-loving hippy, if your kin ain't around to stop Idiocracy from turning into a documentary.)

The happiness research has been downright silly. Parents tend to be worried about more stuff, mainly because they are responsible for their children. So when you call parents, versus when you call a singe person and ask them if they are happy, who's more likely to say they are happy? Do we even have a reasonable expectation to believe both people mean the same thing when they say they are happy?

Over-population continues to be a myth. Since the Population Bomb in the 70s onward, every prediction these people make has failed to materialize. We've got a large population but it doesn't matter as much as people think, and the trend is toward fewer children. Russia is actively trying to encourage reproduction; China is in real trouble with a mostly male population; the 'western' countries have low birth rates associated with affluent women; the Japanese are old; I could go on, but I think I've killed my quota of semicolons for today.

And then, what is psychologically healthy? I think there exists an unhealthy assumption among those that seek to find themselves. The search assumes you are static and that you are not wherever you are. Meanwhile, obviously you have a body, so you are there in some meaningful way and you change! Children are a part of that change, part of the full range of human experience.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 22, 2011
at 12:18 AM

Please cite your sources where its "unhealthy to have children." Personally? It's more unhealthy to lack sleep, stress all the time, not be able to eat a reasonable diet due to lack of time, lack of money, etc. Having a child is the LAST thing you want to do if health is your only concern.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 22, 2011
at 02:49 AM

I do worry about the effects of hormonal contraception in the long term. I had very negative effects from it.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 22, 2011
at 03:01 PM

I said it was unhealthy to avoid having children. The side-effects of contraception were high on the list. The lack of traditional relationships at the time we are biologically supposed to have them also troubles me. Sure, child + modern life doesn't translate directly to child + paleolithic life, but it's modern life, not the child that we need to change for the better. This argument is based on logic and evolutionary theory, not sources,though I suppose you could google the side-effects of the pill.Realizing this stuff is akin to realizing saturated fat is good for you, despite research.

-9
Cc2a43461ec5b2b7ba5d55215ea0f068

on April 20, 2011
at 11:18 PM

IMO, it's a very selfish thing. Being someone who would really like to be a mother and not having any luck finding a mate, I'm pained daily those who are "childless by choice".

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:49 PM

I just totally don't get how it's selfish. Living in an age where one can choose to biologically parent, or not, is a great thing. I wish more would consider, honestly, the possibility that they may not want to *parent* children before they have them. Wanting a baby and wanting to parent a child are two different things entirely. Besides, the planet is astoundingly overpopulated already.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:51 AM

The exact opposite argument could be made here; that is it is a very selfless thing not to have children in a world where that is over stressed and over populated by........ us.

9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on April 21, 2011
at 02:55 PM

I voted this up. Having seen how many vote it down, as well as the nasty attitudes surrounding this and other similar issues, I've decided Paleohacks is no longer a place I want to be.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:31 PM

Perhaps what you consider "selfish" is actually just people thinking things through. Deciding to raise a new person shouldn't just be about wanting a baby. It will completely change your life. Maybe some people are happy with their lives just the way they are.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 21, 2011
at 02:27 AM

maybe she is being sarcastic?

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:26 PM

people have the right to make the choices they feel are correct in their life. it's not very kind or good to put them down for it. worry about your own life.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:50 PM

And "pained daily" by another's choice that has *no* effect on you whatsoever? That seems a rather strong choice of words.

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:34 AM

sad that I can't downvote.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:15 PM

I was unaware that personal responsibility, financial planning, and knowing when you're mature enough (or not) to parent a child was "selfish"

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 24, 2011
at 10:41 AM

hedonism rules.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:54 AM

The exact opposite argument could be made here; that is it is a very selfless thing not to have children in a world that is over stressed and over populated by........ us. Every living organism would currently be a whole lot better of if there were no humans. (Vegan's, you know what to do).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:19 PM

@damaged justice- I just re-read all the answers and comments on this thread, and I don't see what's nasty about any of it. As far as midwesterner goes, it is ok for her to state her emotional opinion here, but also realize that if you make a sweeping judgement couched in an opinion you are going to get some strong feedback. I agree though that it's shocking to see so many down votes even if deserved.

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on April 22, 2011
at 02:06 AM

You can call me selfish. I don't have a desire to have children. The acts going into making children, great. Kids, not so much. Am I selfish? Yes. Why? I like being able to do what I want when I want to (travel, buy things, etc.) and not having to consider other people. I am single which helps this matter. I've spent so many years being able to do what I want that right now, no desire to change that and have children. Am I selfish due to being able to reproduce and choosing not to? No. I'm selfish because I want to keep my current lifestyle. (I like having more money to support my Paleo habit)

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 16, 2012
at 10:12 AM

How dare you decide my life for me based on your own issues? Also the term is 'CHILDFREE' not'Childless by choice'.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 15, 2012
at 12:00 AM

midwesterner's judgement is what pisses off so many people who are happy being childfree. Much like a Christian telling an atheist that they're baby-rapers and heathens just because they don't believe in God, those kinds of ignorant statements get under people's skin. THAT is why she was downvoted.

1398eff69b192c35de5e0dbaad59052a

(2024)

on August 14, 2012
at 06:55 PM

I downvoted it because while I am sorry that she is pained personally, I don't see how that translates into selfishness. That's like saying I don't agree with you, therefore you're an idiot.

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