Friday, March 31, 2006

BBC: The Rise of the Childfree

The rise of the 'childfree'
Childless or childfree? Not so long ago, all women without children were known as childless, with its implication of a state of loss. Nowadays, a growing number of women are insisting on the term childfree - with its emphasis on liberation.

An increasing number of women in their 30s are rejecting the job description that they believe comes with parenting - loss of freedom, reduced career prospects and financial burdens.

Numbers are difficult to come by, but London School of Economics sociologist Dr Catherine Hakim has carried out some extensive research in this area.
. . .
She believes the number without children will double in many countries to around 20% - except Germany, where the figure is already closer to 30%, partly because it is seen as having some of the most family unfriendly policies in Europe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many journalists love to attribute low birth rates to family-unfriendly policies. Nevermind that America's policies, though robust, usually pale to those of Europe - and America's birthrate tops them all.

But even if we were to accept that people are not having kids because the government doesn't give enough hand-outs to parents - is that such a bad thing?

Do we really want people having hordes of kids just because they get tax breaks, free childcare, reimbursement for nannies? My thinking is that if people are having children because of handouts, perhaps they aren't quite the best suited for parenting in the first place.