This was originally published on July 4, 2016, on Liberal America.
Deciding whether or not to have children is a very important decision in a woman’s life. Either way, you will be judged for it. Being child free, I get all kinds of judgemental comments from women who want or have children.
Many women are waiting longer to have children. The percentage of women without children has risen from 1 in 10 in 1976 to 1 in 5.
Some women say this decision should be private and is no one else’s business. However, evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa disagrees. He published a study that looked at childless women.
He found that intelligence is highly inheritable. He said:
“General intelligence is known to be highly heritable … and the genes that influence general intelligence are thought to be located on the X chromosomes … It means that boys inherit their general intelligence from their mothers only, while girls inherit their general intelligence from their mothers and from their fathers.”
There are many factors that contribute to a child’s intelligence. A John’s Hopkinsstudy said that children who grew up with government assistance may be smarter because their parents could buy things to educate the child.
Kanazawa also said that with every 15 IQ points a woman has, her desire to have children drops 25-percent.
The decrease in women having children could also be caused by a drop in societal pressure to have children. We don’t expect everyone to get married and settle down. Women with advanced degrees are less likely to have children.
There are many other reasons that young women are having less children. Children are also expensive; many people don’t feel that they are in a good financial place for children. Those of us with college degrees are drowning in student loans, so that makes many women unable to afford to have children.
This may seem harsh, but we also need to look at the issue of population control. Our population is around 7 billion now, and there are unwanted babies everywhere. Also, some women want to focus on their careers, and we have the freedom to do that.
This debate has turned into a bit of a culture war. Many people on either side of the issue are staunchly defending their side. Child free women often getcomments like:
“You don’t know what you’re missing.”
“I want grandkids.”
“You’re going to regret it.”
I think there’s a double standard here. Parents somehow feel like those comments are allowed, but no one would dare ask a parent if they regret it. Very few people tell a pregnant woman that she will regret it.
In April, I came across an article from mommy blogger, Brit Tashjian, saying that child free women are causing a deterioration of society. Here is a taste of her bigoted anti-feminism:
“That’s a huge step for social progress. But I’m afraid it’s taken us in the wrong direction. The reasons these women are touting — sacrificing sleep, money and time, to name a few — don’t defend a woman’s right to be childless, they defend a woman’s right to be selfish. And this push for preserving “self” above all else takes us down a dangerous path — one that’s not particularly safe for the individual and one that will surely lead to deterioration for society as a whole. We live in a culture where personal freedom and comfort have gone from privileges to our top priorities. We’ve long lost the beauty of sacrifice.”
Some parents seem to think that the childfree don’t have any responsibilities. There are other responsibilities in the world besides children. We have pets. We have careers. We don’t have to have a family to be fulfilled.