Child-Free By Choice: Why Many Women Are Intentionally Opting Out of Parenthood by Kait Hanson
Not sure about motherhood? You aren’t alone.
Author and activist Rachel Cargle didn’t always realize that she would want to lead a child-free lifestyle. In fact, the Brooklyn-based writer told TODAY Parents that the decision to choose a life without kids wasn’t something she ever really considered growing up.
“I was, very much so, intent on checking the boxes of job, marriage, kids, and so I can’t say that I would fit in the ‘I’ve always known’ category,” the 32-year-old said. “I was under the impression that motherhood was a requisite of my womanhood, and so my desire to be a mother was auto-piloted based on that. It took a lot of honest observation and considerate introspection to both come to the decision and to be able to vocalize it.”
Cargle is among a growing number of women who are choosing not to have children, with many saying they prefer the term “child-free” to “childless” because it fits their feelings about motherhood more accurately.
Their decisions are part of a larger trend: In 2018, the number of (Link): babies born in the U.S. fell to the lowest level in 32 years, and the (Link): rate has been declining steadily ever since.
Dr. Shannon Curry, a clinical psychologist and director of the Curry Psychology Group in Orange County, California, told TODAY that the social pressure on women to get married and have children is immense.
“The universal narrative tends to be that if you don’t have children you will miss out on the full life experience,” she said.
Curry added that common myths about women without children involve the idea that a woman inevitably will regret a life without children, that not raising children will lead to less happiness, meaning and/or fulfillment in life, that not raising children results in greater selfishness, and that it leads to more hardship in old age due to the unavailability of adult children to provide care.
“In actuality, there is no evidence to support any of these beliefs, as pervasive as they are,” she said. …
The psychologist said the effects of such pressure can be significant.
“These fears arise out of a pervasive cultural narrative that women have been taught throughout their lives, throughout generations,” Curry said. “The narrative devalues women’s capacity for reason, their self-knowledge, their diverse interests and talents, and their ability for happiness.”
…Curry said the primary factors for women who choose to be child-free are having a higher education, living in an urban area, being committed to their careers, being less religious and being less adherent to traditional gender roles.
Read the rest of that (Link): here
(Link): Pro-Life, Yet Anti-Celibacy, Anti-Childless Christian Site Tweets Story about Mother Who Slit New Born Infant Son’s Throat to Save Her Sex Life (Christians equating single or childless / childfree women to women who murder their babies)