Thursday, June 29, 2006

In Germany, One in Four Men, One in Seven Women Do Not Want Children

Study: Men in Germany Are Scared to Start Families
In its study, the Robert Bosch Foundation found that "men are scared to start families," said Ingrid Hamm, managing director of the foundation. The study says one in four men in Germany do not want children, whereas one in seven women prefer to remain childless. In Eastern Germany, that rate is lower, with one in 10 women expressing the wish to remain childless.

The study was based on responses from 10,017 people. Researchers say the survey was representative, even of the smallest groups in Germany.
. . .
Hamm said another reason for fewer children in Germany is that people feel too much pressure. They have long career training periods and then "have to do everything at once between the ages of 30 and 40: get married, have kids, build a house, pursue their careers and save money for retirement," she said. "All that pressure makes people put off having children until later or not at all."

Women, too, are faced with a loss of economic control over their lives if they choose a baby break. For a well-to-do country like Germany, the economic loss is even greater, Hamm said.
. . .
Hamm said the study showed that having children is just one of many values among Germans; it is not a top priority. Parents with many children are viewed critically, while "it is completely socially acceptable to not have kids here."

"One's status does not increase by having kids," she said.
Of course, in the ellipses is the same assumption that everyone would want kids if the government gave them more support. They seem blind to the possibility that it is not always an economic calculation (or the possibility that, if it is, perhaps those aren't the best people to become parents).

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