Why are families of 2 or more children prized in American society and culture while childfree
and 1 child families are seen as weird and odd, even denigrated and vilified by our society and culture?
Maybe it is stereotyped that only children are spoiled. Which is not the case in a majority.
The philosophy of prizing large families rises and falls, it seems to me, in direct relationship to the social, religious, economic, and cultural views of the times.
This "most recent" trend for more children started in the 80s, I believe, and is diametrically opposed to the strong environmental views of parents in the 70s. Actually, it is hard-wired in my brain to view families with more than two children (replacement children as we called them in the 70s) as morally irresponsible in relation to humankind's existence on this planet. NONE of my friends who were parents in the 60s have more than two children. We felt almost morally bound to limit our procreation. We read books like "Billions and Billions" by the noted astronomer Carl Sagan and paid attention to issues of environmental concern. I can still remember his cartoon drawing in the beginning of the book that explained exponentiality.
That all stopped dead in its tracks in the 80s. The rise of the Evangelical right and their belief in Armageddon is a major factor affecting the valuing of many children in a family. While these people who seem to be applauding themselves for all the good in the world they're spreading and falling over each other in blissful satisfaction of their righteousness, they are totally blind to the fact that many see them as immoral in regard to stewardship of the earth and uninformed of the consequences of having large families.
I do fervently wish that would change because humankind does not have a chance if those views continue. Just like ISIS members who are convinced they will receive their reward in heaven, so too, many on the right who are confident that they are producing souls for the honor and praise of God are working their own destruction on creation. Very convoluted thought processes they have, but it provides comfort and peace to them. So we all pay the price.
What you have said is true.However w/better education, people are opting for small families because children receive premium parental care & attention in addition to having myriad advantages It is the uneducated who have large families.
That's a great point that I missed, Grace. My husband is the oldest of six extremely intelligent siblings. Every one, while being very "rich" in terms of family values, struggles to get by from month to month because of lack of opportunity and ed
Children in large families DON'T have the opportunities that other children have. They are also poor in comparison to other children. Poverty, lack, and struggle are INTEGRAL parts of their lifestyle. Written hubs on this.
I love your thinking. I follow you more in the Q & A than in the hubs because of time limitations and because I'm an extremely slow reader. (I subvocalize every word), but I WILL check out your articles.
I agree with much of what Billie said - a lot of that attitude, certainly in today's America, is coming from the evangelical/religious right, and extreme groups like those in the Quiverfull movement. Large families are valued in those groups because it gives them more ammunition (ie, children) to outnumber/potentially some day outvote -- the non-believers. Those who choose to have only one child, or even no children, are seen as selfish, spoiled, thinking only of "themselves" instead of some nebulous "greater good" or "will of God".
And unfortunately, many such large/religious families are also advocates of home schooling so they can control the information that their children learn and the ideas they are exposed to. So "education" won't help unless they are able to break free from their families and the religious doctrines they are force-fed from an early age.
Nicole, one hopeful sign I've noticed from working with young college students who have been sheltered from the world while being home schooled: When they finally study subjects that open up their minds to philosophy and sociology - Look Out!
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