Voluntary childlessnessalso described by some as being childfreeis the voluntary choice to not have children. In most societies and for most of human history, choosing not to have children was both difficult and undesirable.
The availability of reliable contraception along with support provided in old age by one's government rather than one's family has made childlessness an option for people in some, though they may be looked down upon in certain communities. The usage of the term "childfree" to describe people who choose not to have children was coined in the English language late in the 20th century. This may be due to them living elsewhere on a permanent basis or a short-term solution such as childcare Australian Institute of Family Studies, Supporters of living childfree e.
According to economist David Foot of the University of Torontothe level of a woman's education is the most important factor in determining whether she will reproduce : the higher her level of education, the less likely she is to bear children or if she does, the fewer children she is likely to have. Overall, researchers have observed childless couples to be more educated[ citation needed ] and it is perhaps because of this that they are more likely to be employed in professional and management occupations, more likely for both spouses to earn relatively high incomes, and to live in urban areas.
They are also less likely to be religioussubscribe to traditional gender rolesor subscribe to conventional roles. Being a childfree, American adult was considered unusual in the s.
From to the fertility rate in the U. Census Bureau still projected that the U. The National Center of Health Statistics confirms that the percentage of American women of childbearing age who define themselves as childfree or voluntarily childless rose sharply in the s—from 2. While younger women are more likely to be childfree, older women are more likely to state that they intend to remain childfree in the future.
Being unmarried is one of the strongest predictors of childlessness. It has also been suggested through research that married individuals who were concerned about the stability of their marriages were more likely to remain childless.
Most studies on this subject find that higher income predicted childlessness. However, some women report that lack of financial resources was a reason why they decided to remain childless. Childless women in the developed world often express the view that women ultimately have to make a choice between motherhood and having a career.
Among women aged 35—44, the chance of being childless was far greater for never-married When the same group is analyzed by education level, increasing education correlates with increasing childlessness: non-H. Most societies place a high value on parenthood in adult life, so that people who remain childfree are sometimes stereotyped as being "individualistic" people who avoid social responsibility and are less prepared to commit themselves to helping others.
With the advent of environmentalism and concerns for stewardship, those choosing to not have children are also sometimes recognized as helping reduce our impact, such as members of the voluntary human extinction movement. Some childfree are sometimes lauded on moral grounds, such as members of philosophical or religious groups, like the Shakers. There are three broad areas of criticism regarding childfreeness, based upon socio-political, feminist or religious reasons.
There are also considerations relating to personal philosophy and social roles. Feminist author Daphne DeMarneffe links larger feminist issues to both the devaluation of motherhood in contemporary society, as well as the delegitimization of "maternal desire" and pleasure in motherhood.Auto type nitro type
On the other hand, in "The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order"  and in Utne Reader magazine, third-wave feminist writer Tiffany Lee Brown described the joys and freedoms of childfree living, freedoms such as travel previously associated with males in Western culture.
In "Motherhood Lite," she celebrates being an aunt, co-parent, or family friend over the idea of being a mother. Some believe that overpopulation is a serious problem and some question the fairness of what they feel amount to subsidies for having children, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit USfree K—12 education paid for by all taxpayers, family medical leave, and other such programs.
Some have argued that this sort of conscientiousness is self-eliminating assuming it is heritableso by avoiding reproduction for ethical reasons the childfree will only aid deterioration of concern for the environment and future generations.
Some regard governmental or employer-based incentives offered only to parents—such as a per-child income tax credit, preferential absence planning, employment legislation, or special facilities—as intrinsically discriminatory, arguing for their removal, reduction, or the formation of a corresponding system of matching incentives for other categories of social relationships.
Childfree advocates argue that other forms of caregiving have historically not been considered equal—that "only babies count"—and that this is an outdated idea that is in need of revision.
Caring for sick, disabledor elderly dependents entails significant financial and emotional costs but is not currently subsidized in the same manner. This commitment has traditionally and increasingly fallen largely on women, contributing to the feminization of poverty in the U.
The focus on personal acceptance is mirrored in much of the literature surrounding choosing not to reproduce. Many early books were grounded in feminist theory and largely sought to dispel the idea that womanhood and motherhood were necessarily the same thing, arguing, for example, that childfree people face not only social discrimination but political discrimination as well.
Abrahamic religions such as JudaismChristianityand Islamas well as Hinduism place a high value on children and their central place in marriage. In numerous works, including an Apostolic letter written in Pope John Paul II has set forth the Roman Catholic emphasis on the role of children in family life.
However, the Catholic Church also stresses the value of chastity in the non-married state of life and so approves of nominally childfree ways of life for the single.More women than ever in the U. Whatever their reasons—whether they be financial, related to health and lifestyle considerations, or quite simply never feeling the maternal instinct—it is clear that many are still questioned about their decision and are often told that they will change their minds or regret it when they are older.
There's no crystal ball that can let a woman look into the future and know if any of these usually unsolicited warnings will turn out to be true. But there is the clarity of hindsight. We talked to 10 women, now past childbearing age, about their decision not to have children to help inform and support younger women making a similar choice.
My mother and stepmother both acted as if child rearing was tantamount to roasting in hell. My stepmother also battered and psychologically mistreated me. I've heard that that often dissuades women from wanting children. It helped that my now-husband was adamantly anti-kid. I might have allowed myself to be swayed otherwise. My mom is disappointed. People may say I'm selfish.Fault analysis in power system using matlab pdf
They'd be right! I would so resent caring for children. Every time I hear about people's problems with their childrenI think, I dodged a bullet. I worry occasionally about finding myself alone in a big indifferent world, but I also know that children can be the ones who put you in a facility against your will, steal from you, or otherwise break your heart.
No regrets so far. Interestingly, though, I often daydream about step or foster children. I guess I feel as if I have a lot of hard-won wisdom to share, if anyone wanted to hear it" —Christie L. My first husband and I were married when we were 22 and I was very intent on having a career as a journalist and traveling a lot. We agreed to delay the decision about children until we were We wound up getting divorced before that deadline so I don't know what would have happened had we stayed together.
I was married twice more, and during my last marriage, my husband convinced me to at least try to get pregnant. I was 37 and very conflicted. I did actually get pregnant, but then had a miscarriage. He blamed me and the marriage never recovered. Though I sometimes had fantasies of having a mini-me that I could take around the world with me, I didn't want it enough to make it happen. I actually do love children, and have been very close to my friends' kids and I have a niece my sister adopted from China with whom I'm very close particularly since my sister, a single mother, died five years ago, so I'm the 'parental alternative' as I say.
Every time I go to a special event—bar mitzvah, wedding, etc. On the other hand, I have friends whose children have been killed, committed suicide, have emotional problems, or just completely ignore them, and I realize that's a never-ending source of agony that I don't think I would have been prepared to deal with.
Most of the time I am comfortable with how things have turned out Perhaps the reason is that I was the youngest of four children and had little experience with babies. A decision point came when I married a man who, because of his troubled family history, was opposed to fathering a child.
I honored that decision, as we both agreed that the world did not need another mouth to feed. That marriage lasted only three years, which only confirmed the wisdom of my decision. Now, 72 years old, I have never regretted it. My career as a public school teacher and university administrator kept me in touch with the vitality of young people.
In my personal life, I was able to support emotionally and in some cases financially friends who were raising children on their own.Years ago, at a crowded happy hour after work, my friend pointed out a man with his kid on his shoulders. This got the laugh I wanted it to. My single friends were in their late twenties, and kids were what seemed like they were impossibly far in the future.
Still, the ticking of my biological clock eventually got loud enough to hear over the salsa music I danced to several times a week. Between the ages of 41 and 43, I sort of tried to get pregnant with my boyfriend, Inti. No thermometer, no ovulation-monitoring app. For a while I tracked my cycle informally, raised an eyebrow at Inti once a month, and stuck my legs in the air after sex. But a year went by, and my period was so regular I never even had to open the pregnancy test package.
It is — but only sort of. If it were deeply sad, if I were the kind of woman who felt truly incomplete without a child, I would have handled it differently.H beam price
These friends, married and single and mostly younger than I am, took hormones, had fibroids removed, did IVF. They looked into adoption, adopted. In the last few years, one way or another, they all had children. And so, they tell me, could I. I find no role model or path to help me navigate this. Yes, betrayal. All those child-free years we had together feel forsaken. That freedom to hit the salsa club on a weeknight, those casual text invitations to same-day happy hours. All that time I was valuing that lifestyle, cherishing it and my friends in it, what was it to them, that they can so decisively change it?
No one promised me to stay child-free forever. Fair enough. But somehow I thought all along we would keep comparing notes from the opposite sides of our different life choices.Parenthood was once thought to be inevitable — a destiny — for healthy fertile adults. No more. Many people are opting outa life choice that still provokes debate. The number of babies born in the U. Americans are now having fewer children than it takes to replace the population, a trend mirrored in other countries.
She and her husband Lance decided not to have children years ago after simply not feeling the pull towards parenthood. For her book, Blackstone interviewed 70 child-free men and women and surveyed more than about their experiences.
She found women still feel the brunt of the stigma. You must be so sad and lonely.
Other top reasons include the desire for autonomy, spontaneity, freedom and the ability to travel. But in my own case, I do recognize that I would be giving something up in terms of my ability to feel close with my partner and nurture that relationship.Paddy power api
Maybe neither choice is selfish. Frankly, nothing could be further from the truth. Many of them are teachers, social workers, pediatricians. Blackstone: I have not talked with anyone who feels regret about their choice. My husband and I have a life that we love. Blackstone: These are questions that we all should be thinking about as we age, whether we have children or not.
Why aren't millennials having kids? 8 insights into the child-free life
In terms of the child-freemany have been creating a nest egg to help them be able to provide for themselves in their old age. Not every adult child cares for their aging parents, research shows. Blackstone: I would love it if we came to understand that the child-free have families. I count my husband and me as a family. Child-free families fulfill the same functions that families with children do.
We create households as a safe space that provides an emotional connection and an opportunity to recharge. For the child-free, that means being mentors and friends to children.
Previously, she was a writer, producer and editor at CNN. Follow today. Don't miss a beat, like us on Facebook. US women aren't having enough babies to replace population Jan.
This Is What No One Tells You About Being Child-Free In Your 40s
Parents Child-free by choice: How Cameron Diaz represents women like me.Before you judge us, or say, "There's still time to change your minds," there are a few things I want you to know about my child-free marriage. I wind up saying things like, "Oh, you never know," or smile and shrug and say "We'll see" — all just to appease people. I really should say, "Mind your own business, please. In fact, we both really like kids. I feel myself constantly defending the decision by overcompensating my adoration for children way more than my husband.
I have a family with my mother and brothers and grandmother and aunts and cousins. Child rearing seems so hard. Your job is so much harder than what I do. I was 8 when my youngest brother was born and I helped to raise him. I was also a nanny. But in everyday life, there are fewer Instagrammable moments for all of us, right? Finally, as I mentioned earlier, my husband and I are h-a-p-p-y.
Our child-free marriage does not feel as if it's lacking — we are full of love, excitement, challenges and we look forward to the future — even if babies aren't a part of it.
Follow today. Don't miss a beat, like us on Facebook. Mom Truths: The truth about marriage with kids June 7, To save this word, you'll need to log in. Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with: More thanwords that aren't in our free dictionary Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes Advanced search features Ad free!
Join Our Free Trial Now! First Known Use of child-freein the meaning defined above Keep scrolling for more Learn More about child-free Share child-free Post the Definition of child-free to Facebook Share the Definition of child-free on Twitter Time Traveler for child-free. See more words from the same year Dictionary Entries near child-free Childe childer Childers child-free childhood childhood friend childing.Doordash corporate
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Literally How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts. Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice?Women Who Choose To Remain Child-Free - Studio 10
Come look at pictures of baby animals. Can you correctly identify these flowers? Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? Do you know the person or title these quotes describe? Login or Register. Save Word. Log In. Definition of child-free.Add child-free to one of your lists below, or create a new one. Definitions Clear explanations of natural written and spoken English. Click on the arrows to change the translation direction.
Follow us. Choose a dictionary. Clear explanations of natural written and spoken English. Word Lists. Choose your language. My word lists. Tell us about this example sentence:. This is a good example of how the word is used. The word in the example sentence does not match the entry word. The sentence contains offensive content. Cancel Submit. Your feedback will be reviewed. Examples of child-free. Acknowledging the distinction child - free became critical as a legitimate choice for women.
From Wikipedia. Before the wedding, they come into agreement to be child - free. These examples are from the Cambridge English Corpus and from sources on the web. Any opinions in the examples do not represent the opinion of the Cambridge Dictionary editors or of Cambridge University Press or its licensors.
Many praised her vocal appreciation of women who actively decided to remain child - free. Child - free cohabitation and consensual unions are minor components in the living arrangements of these single people. From Cambridge English Corpus.
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