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Are Children No Longer Valuable?

Updated on April 15, 2014

To Be or Not to Be a Parent

This NPR article states many of the new concerns of the last 3 decades. The title "Is Having a Child a Rational Decision?" says a lot about where we have come in terms of the value of career success over family. It was once expected of every person to pair off and reproduce it some point during young adulthood, but now it is almost seen as a lack of insight/understanding to have children. It is argued in this article that maybe having a child is neither rational nor irrational, but perhaps "outside the scope" of reasoning. It seems that many biological functions are being questioned when they were merely accepted as a prerequisite, not an option.

The American Dream Has Changed

Many of us were made to examine the works of Horatio Alger in English class and respond to his American dream in an essay. I am convinced that certain aspects of the dream have changed, and according to a March 2013 NPR article, I am not alone.

Many educated, professional couples debate whether or not to give up their lifestyle and freedom for 3 a.m. feedings and added expenses that come with having children.
Many educated, professional couples debate whether or not to give up their lifestyle and freedom for 3 a.m. feedings and added expenses that come with having children. | Source

Childlessness Has Increased Amongst Women

According to Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends, a 28-year study released in 2010 showed an increase in childlessness amongst women with a surprising increase in childbearing amongst women with advanced degrees. It was noted that childlessness was increased in all ethnic groups, but there was no data representative of abortions or miscarriages.

One of the most interesting observations is the split opinions of the persons polled about the importance of bearing children. 38% agreed the trend is a detriment to society, while 46% felt the birth of a child did not add to or take away from a women's fulfillment in life.

There has also been an increase in childless middle aged couples. The times are changing.

A Natural Phase Turned Choice

What was once expected to occur, is now debated as an option.
What was once expected to occur, is now debated as an option. | Source

Here's Looking At You, Kid

Do you feel children are a blessing are a burden?

See results

Why Haven't You Two Had a Kid?

Nowadays the issue of childbearing is a sensitive topic, sparking internet rants such as this one. The onslaught of supreme personal space as well as the connected disconnectedness of cyberland seems to have bred a backlash to what was a simple and even expected question to young married couples. The thought of a new baby being brought into the world through a loving marriage was positive, but now couples are angered and even disgusted at the question, no matter what the motivation may be. It is a sign of the times. With every societal shift, it seems certain values are strengthened while others are weakened.

Just the Two of Us

Many couples enjoy each other and do not desire offspring.
Many couples enjoy each other and do not desire offspring. | Source

Deciding to Have a Baby


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    • TarynElyse profile image

      Taryn Elyse Lowery 3 years ago from Da Boot State

      I don't feel it's in me to be a parent. I observe my parents, they are great and I can't imagine being as GREAT as they are. #Pressure

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      RealestMotherDear, I get where you are coming from. In previous eras it was just (assumed) that "everyone" grows up, gets married, and has children.

      Parents would often say to us during our childhood; "When you have your own children you will see....etc" They probably never imagined their children would choose not to have children!

      Personally speaking I know a lot of people over the age of 50 both men and women who never had children. Living life on your terms is what brings joy to one's life. If someone wants children and has them that's great and if someone doesn't want them and does not have them that is also great. Both will have gotten the life (they wanted) for themselves.

    • RealestMotherDear profile image

      RealestMotherDear 3 years ago from Louisiana

      I agree, I just find it interesting that the desire to have a child was not really a factor as little as 50 years ago culturally speaking. Thanks for the feedback!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      I believe people who don't want to have children should not have them. One of the worst things to do is bring a child into the world that will not be loved, nurtured, protected, and groomed to assume an independent adulthood. It seems like every week there is a heartbreaking story about someone killing their babies, abandoning them, neglecting and abusing them.

      Ironically it was not all too long ago when the global fear was "overpopulation". Today we have over 7 billion people living on the planet. There is constant talk about "green gases" overflowing landfills, and the destruction of the ozone layer. While some people view childless couples as being "selfish" they could also be viewed as "selfless" in way by choosing to sacrifice having children. Clearly the less people there are on the planet the better the environment will be for those who are here.

      While you touched on miscarriages and abortion I believe the biggest contributor to the decrease of couples having children are; better birth control and career options for (women). One can only speculate how many of us born prior to the 1970s would have been born if there had been 10 birth control methods for women during previous eras. Even now it's doubtful the majority of pregnancies are truly "planned".

      Each of us is responsible for our own happiness. Know yourself, love yourself, and trust yourself. If someone doesn't want children they shouldn't have them. In my own life I chose to have a vasectomy long before I got married. I knew I did not want children and I didn't want to have to rely on someone else to keep it from happening. In the end all that really matters is whether or not we are happy with (our) choices. I am! :-)