IUPUI Study Finds Participants Feel Moral Outrage Toward Those Who Decide to Not Have Children
Parenthood is often seen as a moral imperative, according to new research.
People should not be judged poorly or harassed or shamed for deciding not to have children. Women especially bear the brunt of this – men who decide not to procreate don’t seem to receive as much condemnation for remaining childless as do women.
As for myself, I was not terribly interested in having kids of my own. Had I married when much younger, I was open to the possibility of having a kid or two within marriage, but as I’m still single into my 40s, I have no interest in having kids now if I marry, and I sure as hell have no desire to have a kid out of wedlock and raise it alone (nor do I have the means to do so).
Society needs to get off the backs of people who are childless – whether it’s by choice or circumstance.
I cannot understand why other people act as though everyone has to share the same life goals or choices as they do, and then shame or condemn them for choosing or living differently, especially over something like this.
Data representing individuals from across the United States indicates that U.S. adults are increasingly delaying the decision to have children or forgoing parenthood entirely. Yet evidence suggests that voluntarily child-free people are stigmatized for this decision, according to a study published in the March 2017 edition of Sex Roles: A Journal of Research.
Leslie Ashburn-Nardo, an associate professor of psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, recently investigated this bias against those who choose to not have children.
“What’s remarkable about our findings is the moral outrage participants reported feeling toward a stranger who decided to not have children,” Ashburn-Nardo said. “Our data suggests that not having children is seen not only as atypical, or surprising, but also as morally wrong.”
The findings are consistent with other studies of backlash against people who violate social roles and other stereotypic expectations. When people violate their expected roles, they suffer social sanctions. Given that more and more people in the U.S. are choosing to not have children, this work has far-reaching implications.
Ashburn-Nardo believes these findings offer the first known empirical evidence that parenthood is seen as a moral imperative.
…”Consistent with many personal anecdotes, participants rated voluntarily child-free men and women as significantly less fulfilled than men and women with children,” Ashburn-Nardo said. “This effect was driven by feelings of moral outrage — anger, disapproval and disgust — toward the voluntarily child-free people.”
“Other research has linked moral outrage to discrimination and interpersonal mistreatment,” Ashburn-Nardo said. “It’s possible that, to the extent they evoke moral outrage, voluntarily child-free people suffer similar consequences, such as in the workplace or in health care. Exploring such outcomes for this demographic is the next step in my research.”
(Link): No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Nor Do They Support Adult Singleness – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy / Virginity Sexual Purity Not An Idol
(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): “God’s gifting of singleness is rare” – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage -and- God gifts only the rare the exceptions the few with the gift of Marriage
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site