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Choosing to be Childfree to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

guest post by: Emily of Conservation Folks

Buying a house, having a successful career, and raising children are all part of the classic American dream. While it may sound idyllic, its not always an option in todays world. We currently have a growing population of more than 7.4 billion people and counting on a planet that can only sustain a maximum of 10 to 11 billion souls. How can living a childfree life contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle?

According to science, you dont have to live entirely childfree to have a sustainable lifestyle just have one fewer child.Its been calculated that having one fewer child could help to reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by more than 58 tons per year. For comparison, getting rid of your car only reduces emissions by about 2.4 tons per year, and upgrading your light bulbs from incandescent to CFL or LED reduces your emissions by less than 1/10 of a ton.

The key here, in addition to reducing carbon emissions, is to help stabilize the population. While the planet could potentially support a population of around 11 billion, it will not be able to do so well. What is the ideal stable population? Expert opinions vary but many do agree that having fewer children is key. Ideally, the number of children per couple should be 2.1 or fewer. The best way to ensure our planet and resources are able to support the human race is to take steps toward stabilizing our population, but how?

Many modern families have already chosen to limit their family size to one or two children, but for every family that only has one or two kids, there is one that has chosen to shun contraceptive and have as many children as they can carry, i.e. the Duggar family of 19 Kids and Counting. Implementing childbearing laws legally limiting couples to 2 children has been tried before in China, specifically, though there are other areas that have implemented similar laws/policies. Unfortunately, in some areas, it has lead to a stagnating birth rate that hasnt produced enough children to take the place of adults and elderly workers who are reaching the age of retirement.

Having one less child or choosing to have only two children, is one way to be more sustainable. However, to have a large impact on the world, it will have to be implemented on a global scale.

Having a childfree life isnt just good for the environment it can be good for you as well. First, you will have more freedom. Ive always wanted to travel the world without children, I can pick up and go anytime my career and finances will allow. I dont have to worry about finding someone to watch the kids or go through the hassle of bringing them with me to a foreign country. While kids can definitely benefit from this kind of experience, there are tons of things that are simply out of reach if youre traveling with children in tow. Second, youll have more money. The average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is roughly $300,000. Break that down per year and it comes out to somewhere around $17,000. Think of all you could do each year with $17,000 extra.The possibilities are endless. Now, Im not saying that all these things arent possible after youve had children, but having extra money certainly makes them easier.

Finally, you also have the option to add children to your life in the future either biologically or by fostering or adopting. According to the Childrens Bureau, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, there is an average of 500,000 children in the foster care system at any given time. Having fewer children or choosing to live childfree is a totally personal choice but it is one that can have many benefits.

More about Emily:Emily is a sustainability blogger who is passionate about living an eco-friendly lifestyle. You can check out more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.

How do you think being childfree helps the environment? Comment below!

Related

Here is the original post:

Choosing to be Childfree to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

Complete Without Kids: a Childfree by Choice Handbook …

Childfree singles and couples often wrestle with being a minority in a child-oriented world. Whether childless by choice or circumstance, not being a parent can create challenges not always recognized in a family-focused society. Women feel the pressure of a real or imaginary biological clock ticking. Careers, biology, couples priorities and timing influence the end result, and not everyone is destined for parenthood, though there is a subtle assumption that everyone should be.

In Complete Without Kids, licensed clinical psychologist, Ellen L. Walker, examines the often-ignored question of what it means to be childfree and offers ways to cope with the pressure, find a balance in your life and enjoy the financial, health and personal benefits associated with childfree living.

A comprehensive resource on the rewards and challenges of childree living from a unique, unbiased perspective.

A licensed, clinical psychologist, Ellen L. Walker, PhD interviewed childfree adults, men and women, couples and singles, gay and straight, to create a thought-provoking book that sheds light on behind-the-scenes factors that influenced their personal journeys away from parenthood. Childfree herself, Dr. Walker shares the doubts and questions that inspired her to write a useful and supportive guide to a subject often not addressed socially. Complete Without Kids is a resource for any reader considering the joys and challenges of a childfree life path. A fulfilling life is within reach.

Link:

Complete Without Kids: a Childfree by Choice Handbook ...

Choosing to be Childfree to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

guest post by: Emily of Conservation Folks

Buying a house, having a successful career, and raising children are all part of the classic American dream. While it may sound idyllic, its not always an option in todays world. We currently have a growing population of more than 7.4 billion people and counting on a planet that can only sustain a maximum of 10 to 11 billion souls. How can living a childfree life contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle?

According to science, you dont have to live entirely childfree to have a sustainable lifestyle just have one fewer child.Its been calculated that having one fewer child could help to reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by more than 58 tons per year. For comparison, getting rid of your car only reduces emissions by about 2.4 tons per year, and upgrading your light bulbs from incandescent to CFL or LED reduces your emissions by less than 1/10 of a ton.

The key here, in addition to reducing carbon emissions, is to help stabilize the population. While the planet could potentially support a population of around 11 billion, it will not be able to do so well. What is the ideal stable population? Expert opinions vary but many do agree that having fewer children is key. Ideally, the number of children per couple should be 2.1 or fewer. The best way to ensure our planet and resources are able to support the human race is to take steps toward stabilizing our population, but how?

Many modern families have already chosen to limit their family size to one or two children, but for every family that only has one or two kids, there is one that has chosen to shun contraceptive and have as many children as they can carry, i.e. the Duggar family of 19 Kids and Counting. Implementing childbearing laws legally limiting couples to 2 children has been tried before in China, specifically, though there are other areas that have implemented similar laws/policies. Unfortunately, in some areas, it has lead to a stagnating birth rate that hasnt produced enough children to take the place of adults and elderly workers who are reaching the age of retirement.

Having one less child or choosing to have only two children, is one way to be more sustainable. However, to have a large impact on the world, it will have to be implemented on a global scale.

Having a childfree life isnt just good for the environment it can be good for you as well. First, you will have more freedom. Ive always wanted to travel the world without children, I can pick up and go anytime my career and finances will allow. I dont have to worry about finding someone to watch the kids or go through the hassle of bringing them with me to a foreign country. While kids can definitely benefit from this kind of experience, there are tons of things that are simply out of reach if youre traveling with children in tow. Second, youll have more money. The average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is roughly $300,000. Break that down per year and it comes out to somewhere around $17,000. Think of all you could do each year with $17,000 extra.The possibilities are endless. Now, Im not saying that all these things arent possible after youve had children, but having extra money certainly makes them easier.

Finally, you also have the option to add children to your life in the future either biologically or by fostering or adopting. According to the Childrens Bureau, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, there is an average of 500,000 children in the foster care system at any given time. Having fewer children or choosing to live childfree is a totally personal choice but it is one that can have many benefits.

More about Emily:Emily is a sustainability blogger who is passionate about living an eco-friendly lifestyle. You can check out more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.

How do you think being childfree helps the environment? Comment below!

Related

Read the original post:

Choosing to be Childfree to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

Welcome to The Childfree Life | The Childfree Life

This childfree website is a supportive environment for people who dont have kids and dont plan to have children in the future, as well as those who are still considering whether to have children.

Deciding not to have children, for whatever reason, can make you feel like an outcast, and the object of many negative stereotypes. The childfree choice is easy for some people, but for others it can become a quandary that lasts for years. Having no children means you may lose friends to the demands of parenthood or because you no longer have much in common. You may even find yourself facing strong pressure to conform from people close to you. Being childfree is a decision that cannot always be easily explained or understood.

We offer articles and resources for those who dont want children or cant have children, and invite you to join us in The Childfree Life forums for an honest discussion with like-minded people about all aspects of life without children.

Once upon a time, there was a group of intelligent, thoughtful, funny and wise people who met on another internet forum, and talked at length about their childfree lives, choices, and problems. As this forum was on a womens site, mothers that dropped in saw fit to complain about what they read. They didnt like our language, our opinions, or our choices. The site owner (a parent) agreed. As a result, the rules were changed, the site was censored, accounts were deleted, and the group felt the need to move on. We took that opportunity to create a new home for ourselves, and for other moderate childfree people. The Childfree Life is the result. We hope you enjoy it.

Theres a number of great childfree resources on the web, and more are springing up every day. Were a growing movement, but as yet, theres not a huge public awareness of who we are, what we represent, our hopes, dreams and motivations. Wed like to change that. Our vision is to become a hub of the online CF community, a central location for articles, resources, and thoughts about all things childfree, including the best and busiest forum on the web. We know that some of the childfree communities are a little hardcore for the average person, but theres a lot of parent-pleasing on the more women-oriented sites. Wed like to be somewhere in the middle a moderate voice, if you will.

We welcome the opinions and questions of childfree people of both genders, and supportive others. Were here to lend a sympathetic ear, give an opinion, and support people without judgment in their childfree choices.

Continue reading here:

Welcome to The Childfree Life | The Childfree Life

Voluntary childlessness – Wikipedia

Voluntary childlessness, also described by some as being childfree, is the voluntary choice to not have children.

In most societies and for most of human history choosing not to have children was both difficult and undesirable. The availability of reliable contraception along with support provided in old age by systems other than traditional familial ones has made childlessness an option for people in developed countries, though they may be looked down upon in certain communities.

The usage of the term "childfree" to describe people who choose not to have children was coined in the English language late in the 20th century.[1] The meaning of the term "childfree" extends to encompass the children of others (in addition to ones own children) and this distinguishes it further from the more usual term "childless", which is traditionally used to express the idea of having no children, whether by choice or by circumstance.[2] The term 'child free' has been cited in Australian literature to refer to parents who are without children at the current time. This may be due to them living elsewhere on a permanent basis or a short-term solution such as childcare (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2011).

Supporters of living childfree (e.g. Corinne Maier, French author of "No Kids: 40 Reasons For Not Having Children") cite various reasons[3] for their view:

According to economist David Foot of the University of Toronto, the level of a woman's education is the most important factor in determining whether she will reproduce: the higher her level of education, the less likely she is to bear children (or if she does, the fewer children she is likely to have). Overall, researchers have observed childless couples to be more educated, and it is perhaps because of this that they are more likely to be employed in professional and management occupations, more likely for both spouses to earn relatively high incomes, and to live in urban areas. They are also less likely to be religious, subscribe to traditional gender roles, or subscribe to conventional roles.[9]

Being a childfree American adult was considered unusual in the 1950s.[10][11] However, the proportion of childless adults in the population has increased significantly since then. The proportion of childlessness among women aged 40-44 was 10% in 1976, reached a high of 20% in 2005, then declined to 15% in 2014.[12] In Europe, childlessness among women aged 40-44 is most common in Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom (in 2010-2011).[13] Childlessness is least common across Eastern European countries,[13] although one child families are very common there.

From 2007 to 2011 the fertility rate in the U.S. declined 9%, the Pew Research Center reporting in 2010 that the birth rate was the lowest in U.S. history and that childfreeness rose across all racial and ethnic groups to about 1 in 5 versus 1 in 10 in the 1970s.[14] The CDC released statistics in the first quarter of 2016 confirming that the U.S. fertility rate had fallen to its lowest point since record keeping started in 1909: 59.8 births per 1,000 women, half its high of 122.9 in 1957.[15] Even taking the falling fertility rate into account, the U.S. Census Bureau still projected that the U.S. population would increase from 319 million (2014) to 400 million by 2051.[15]

The National Center of Health Statistics confirms that the percentage of American women of childbearing age who define themselves as childfree (or voluntarily childless) rose sharply in the 1990sfrom 2.4 percent in 1982 to 4.3 percent in 1990 to 6.6 percent in 1995.

In 2010, updated information on childlessness, based on a 2008 US Census Population Survey, was analyzed by Pew Research.[16]

While younger women are more likely to be childless, older women are more likely to state that they intend to remain childless in the future.

Being unmarried is one of the strongest predictors of childlessness. It has also been suggested through research that married individuals who were concerned about the stability of their marriages were more likely to remain childless.

Most studies on this subject find that higher income predicted childlessness. However, some women report that lack of financial resources was a reason why they decided to remain childless. Childless women in the developed world often express the view that women ultimately have to make a choice between motherhood and having a career. The 2004 Census Bureau data showed nearly half of women with annual incomes over $100,000 are childless.

Among women aged 3544, the chance of being childless was far greater for never-married women (82.5%) than for ever-married (12.9%). When the same group is analyzed by education level, increasing education correlates with increasing childlessness: not-H.S. graduate (13.5%), H.S. graduate (14.3%), Some College no degree (24.7%), Associate Degree (11.4%), Bachelor's degree (18.2%) and Graduate or Professional degree (27.6%).[17][18]

Most societies place a high value on parenthood in adult life, so that people who remain childfree are sometimes stereotyped as being "individualistic" people who avoid social responsibility and are less prepared to commit themselves to helping others.[19] However, certain groups believe that being childfree is beneficial. With the advent of environmentalism and concerns for stewardship, those choosing to not have children are also sometimes recognized as helping reduce our impact, such as members of the voluntary human extinction movement. Some childfree are sometimes lauded on moral grounds, such as members of philosophical or religious groups, like the Shakers.

There are three broad areas of criticism regarding childfreeness, based upon socio-political, feminist or religious reasons. There are also considerations relating to personal philosophy and social roles.

Childfreedom may no longer be considered the 'best' way to be feminist. Once a paragon of second-wave feminism, the nullipara (childless or childfree woman) is not typically described in third-wave feminism as being superior to, or more feminist than, women who choose to have children. Feminist author Daphne DeMarneffe links larger feminist issues to both the devaluation of motherhood in contemporary society, as well as the delegitimization of "maternal desire" and pleasure in motherhood.[20] In third-wave handbook Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, authors Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards explore the concept of third-wave feminists reclaiming "girlie" culture, along with reasons why women of Baby Boomer and Generation X ages may reject motherhood because, at a young and impressionable age, they witnessed their own mothers being devalued by society and family.[21]

On the other hand, in "The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order"[22] and in Utne Reader magazine, third-wave feminist writer Tiffany Lee Brown described the joys and freedoms of childfree living, freedoms such as travel previously associated with males in Western culture. In "Motherhood Lite," she celebrates being an aunt, co-parent, or family friend over the idea of being a mother.[23]

Some believe that overpopulation is a serious problem and some question the fairness of what they feel amount to subsidies for having children, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (US), free K12 education paid for by all taxpayers, family medical leave, and other such programs.[24]Others, however, do not believe overpopulation to be a problem in itself; regarding such problems as overcrowding, global warming, and straining food supplies to be problems of public policy and/or technology.[25]

Some have argued that this sort of conscientiousness is self-eliminating (assuming it is heritable), so by avoiding reproduction for ethical reasons the childfree will only aid deterioration of concern for the environment and future generations.[26]

Some regard governmental or employer-based incentives offered only to parentssuch as a per-child income tax credit, preferential absence planning, employment legislation, or special facilitiesas intrinsically discriminatory, arguing for their removal, reduction, or the formation of a corresponding system of matching incentives for other categories of social relationships. Childfree advocates argue that other forms of caregiving have historically not been considered equalthat "only babies count"and that this is an outdated idea that is in need of revision. Caring for sick, disabled, or elderly dependents entails significant financial and emotional costs but is not currently subsidized in the same manner. This commitment has traditionally and increasingly fallen largely on women, contributing to the feminization of poverty in the U.S.[27]

The focus on personal acceptance is mirrored in much of the literature surrounding choosing not to reproduce. Many early books were grounded in feminist theory and largely sought to dispel the idea that womanhood and motherhood were necessarily the same thing, arguing, for example, that childfree people face not only social discrimination but political discrimination as well.[24]

Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam place a high value on children and their central place in marriage. In numerous works, including an Apostolic letter written in 1988,[28] Pope John Paul II has set forth the Roman Catholic emphasis on the role of children in family life. However, the Catholic Church also stresses the value of chastity in the non-married state of life and so approves of nominally childfree ways of life for the single. Some religious interpretations hold that any couple who marries with the intention of not producing children is not married within the church.

There are, however, some debates within religious groups about whether a childfree lifestyle is acceptable. Another view, for example, is that the biblical text Gen. 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply", is really not a command but a blessing formula and that while there are many factors to consider as far as people's motives for remaining childless, there are many valid reasons, including dedicating one's time to demanding but good causes, why Christians may choose to remain childless for a short time or a lifetime.[29] Matthew 19:12 describes Jesus as listing three types of eunuchs including one type who chooses it intentionally, noting that whoever is willing to become one, should.

Brian Tomasik cites ethical reasons for people to remain childfree. Also, they will have more time to focus on themselves, which will allow for greater creativity and the exploration of personal ambitions. In this way, they may benefit themselves and society more than if they had a child.[30]

Some opponents of the childfree choice consider such a choice to be selfish. The rationale of this position is the assertion that raising children is a very important activity and so not engaging in this activity must therefore mean living one's life in service to one's self. The value judgment behind this idea is that individuals should endeavor to make some kind of meaningful contribution to the world, but also that the best way to make such a contribution is to have children. For some people, one or both of these assumptions may be true, but others prefer to direct their time, energy, and talents elsewhere, in many cases toward improving the world that today's children occupy (and that future generations will inherit).[31]

Proponents of childfreedom posit that choosing not to have children is no more or less selfish than choosing to have children. Choosing to have children may be the more selfish choice, especially when poor parenting risks creating many long term problems for both the children themselves and society at large.[32] As philosopher David Benatar[33] explains, at the heart of the decision to bring a child into the world often lies the parents' own desires (to enjoy child-rearing or perpetuate one's legacy/genes), rather than the potential person's interests. At very least, Benatar believes this illustrates why a childfree person may be just as altruistic as any parent.

There is also the question as to whether having children really is such a positive contribution to the world in an age when there are many concerns about overpopulation, pollution and depletion of non-renewable resources. Some critics counter that such analyses of having children may understate its potential benefits to society (e.g. a greater labor force, which may provide greater opportunity to solve social problems) and overstate the costs. That is, there is often a need for a non-zero birth rate.[34]

Childfree individuals do not necessarily share a unified political or economic philosophy, and most prominent childfree organizations tend to be social in nature. Childfree social groups first emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, most notable among them the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood and No Kidding! in North America where numerous books have been written about childfree people and where a range of social positions related to childfree interests have developed along with political and social activism in support of these interests. The term "childfree" was used in a July 3, 1972 Time article on the creation of the National Organization for Non-Parents.[35] It was revived in the 1990s when Leslie Lafayette formed a later childfree group, the Childfree Network.[36]

The National Organization for Non-Parents (N.O.N.) was begun in Palo Alto, CA by Ellen Peck and Shirley Radl in 1972. N.O.N. was formed to advance the notion that men and women could choose not to have childrento be childfree. Changing its name to the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood, it continued into the early 1980s both as a support group for those making the decision to be childfree and an advocacy group fighting pronatalism (attitudes/advertising/etc. promoting or glorifying parenthood). According to its bylaws, the purpose of the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood was to educate the public on non-parenthood as a valid lifestyle option, support those who choose not to have children, promote awareness of the overpopulation problem, and assist other groups that advanced the goals of the organization. N.O.N.'s offices were located in Reisterstown, MD; then Baltimore, MD; and, ultimately, in Washington, D.C. N.O.N. designated August 1 as Non-Parents' Day. Just as people with children come from all shades of the political spectrum and temper their beliefs accordingly, so do the childfree. For example, while some childfree people think of government welfare to parents as "lifestyle subsidies," others accept the need to assist such individuals but think that their lifestyle should be equally compensated. Still others accept the need to help out such individuals and also do not ask for subsidies of their own.

There are suggestions of an emergence of political cohesion, for example an Australian Childfree Party (ACFP) proposed in Australia as a childfree political party, promoting the childfree lifestyle as opposed to the family lifestyle.[citation needed] Increasing politicization and media interest has led to the emergence of a second wave of childfree organizations that are openly political in their raisons d'tre, with a number of attempts to mobilize political pressure groups in the U.S. The first organization to emerge was British, known as Kidding Aside. The childfree movement has not had significant political impact.

More:

Voluntary childlessness - Wikipedia

Complete Without Kids: a Childfree by Choice Handbook …

Childfree singles and couples often wrestle with being a minority in a child-oriented world. Whether childless by choice or circumstance, not being a parent can create challenges not always recognized in a family-focused society. Women feel the pressure of a real or imaginary biological clock ticking. Careers, biology, couples priorities and timing influence the end result, and not everyone is destined for parenthood, though there is a subtle assumption that everyone should be.

In Complete Without Kids, licensed clinical psychologist, Ellen L. Walker, examines the often-ignored question of what it means to be childfree and offers ways to cope with the pressure, find a balance in your life and enjoy the financial, health and personal benefits associated with childfree living.

A comprehensive resource on the rewards and challenges of childree living from a unique, unbiased perspective.

A licensed, clinical psychologist, Ellen L. Walker, PhD interviewed childfree adults, men and women, couples and singles, gay and straight, to create a thought-provoking book that sheds light on behind-the-scenes factors that influenced their personal journeys away from parenthood. Childfree herself, Dr. Walker shares the doubts and questions that inspired her to write a useful and supportive guide to a subject often not addressed socially. Complete Without Kids is a resource for any reader considering the joys and challenges of a childfree life path. A fulfilling life is within reach.

See more here:

Complete Without Kids: a Childfree by Choice Handbook ...

Voluntary childlessness – Wikipedia

Voluntary childlessness, also described by some as being childfree, is the voluntary choice to not have children.

In most societies and for most of human history choosing not to have children was both difficult and undesirable. The availability of reliable contraception along with support provided in old age by systems other than traditional familial ones has made childlessness an option for people in developed countries, though they may be looked down upon in certain communities.

The usage of the term "childfree" to describe people who choose not to have children was coined in the English language late in the 20th century.[1] The meaning of the term "childfree" extends to encompass the children of others (in addition to ones own children) and this distinguishes it further from the more usual term "childless", which is traditionally used to express the idea of having no children, whether by choice or by circumstance.[2] The term 'child free' has been cited in Australian literature to refer to parents who are without children at the current time. This may be due to them living elsewhere on a permanent basis or a short-term solution such as childcare (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2011).

Supporters of living childfree (e.g. Corinne Maier, French author of "No Kids: 40 Reasons For Not Having Children") cite various reasons[3] for their view:

According to economist David Foot of the University of Toronto, the level of a woman's education is the most important factor in determining whether she will reproduce: the higher her level of education, the less likely she is to bear children (or if she does, the fewer children she is likely to have). Overall, researchers have observed childless couples to be more educated, and it is perhaps because of this that they are more likely to be employed in professional and management occupations, more likely for both spouses to earn relatively high incomes, and to live in urban areas. They are also less likely to be religious, subscribe to traditional gender roles, or subscribe to conventional roles.[9]

Being a childfree American adult was considered unusual in the 1950s.[10][11] However, the proportion of childless adults in the population has increased significantly since then. The proportion of childlessness among women aged 40-44 was 10% in 1976, reached a high of 20% in 2005, then declined to 15% in 2014.[12] In Europe, childlessness among women aged 40-44 is most common in Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom (in 2010-2011).[13] Childlessness is least common across Eastern European countries,[13] although one child families are very common there.

From 2007 to 2011 the fertility rate in the U.S. declined 9%, the Pew Research Center reporting in 2010 that the birth rate was the lowest in U.S. history and that childfreeness rose across all racial and ethnic groups to about 1 in 5 versus 1 in 10 in the 1970s.[14] The CDC released statistics in the first quarter of 2016 confirming that the U.S. fertility rate had fallen to its lowest point since record keeping started in 1909: 59.8 births per 1,000 women, half its high of 122.9 in 1957.[15] Even taking the falling fertility rate into account, the U.S. Census Bureau still projected that the U.S. population would increase from 319 million (2014) to 400 million by 2051.[15]

The National Center of Health Statistics confirms that the percentage of American women of childbearing age who define themselves as childfree (or voluntarily childless) rose sharply in the 1990sfrom 2.4 percent in 1982 to 4.3 percent in 1990 to 6.6 percent in 1995.

In 2010, updated information on childlessness, based on a 2008 US Census Population Survey, was analyzed by Pew Research.[16]

While younger women are more likely to be childless, older women are more likely to state that they intend to remain childless in the future.

Being unmarried is one of the strongest predictors of childlessness. It has also been suggested through research that married individuals who were concerned about the stability of their marriages were more likely to remain childless.

Most studies on this subject find that higher income predicted childlessness. However, some women report that lack of financial resources was a reason why they decided to remain childless. Childless women in the developed world often express the view that women ultimately have to make a choice between motherhood and having a career. The 2004 Census Bureau data showed nearly half of women with annual incomes over $100,000 are childless.

Among women aged 3544, the chance of being childless was far greater for never-married women (82.5%) than for ever-married (12.9%). When the same group is analyzed by education level, increasing education correlates with increasing childlessness: not-H.S. graduate (13.5%), H.S. graduate (14.3%), Some College no degree (24.7%), Associate Degree (11.4%), Bachelor's degree (18.2%) and Graduate or Professional degree (27.6%).[17][18]

Most societies place a high value on parenthood in adult life, so that people who remain childfree are sometimes stereotyped as being "individualistic" people who avoid social responsibility and are less prepared to commit themselves to helping others.[19] However, certain groups believe that being childfree is beneficial. With the advent of environmentalism and concerns for stewardship, those choosing to not have children are also sometimes recognized as helping reduce our impact, such as members of the voluntary human extinction movement. Some childfree are sometimes lauded on moral grounds, such as members of philosophical or religious groups, like the Shakers.

There are three broad areas of criticism regarding childfreeness, based upon socio-political, feminist or religious reasons. There are also considerations relating to personal philosophy and social roles.

Childfreedom may no longer be considered the 'best' way to be feminist. Once a paragon of second-wave feminism, the nullipara (childless or childfree woman) is not typically described in third-wave feminism as being superior to, or more feminist than, women who choose to have children. Feminist author Daphne DeMarneffe links larger feminist issues to both the devaluation of motherhood in contemporary society, as well as the delegitimization of "maternal desire" and pleasure in motherhood.[20] In third-wave handbook Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, authors Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards explore the concept of third-wave feminists reclaiming "girlie" culture, along with reasons why women of Baby Boomer and Generation X ages may reject motherhood because, at a young and impressionable age, they witnessed their own mothers being devalued by society and family.[21]

On the other hand, in "The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order"[22] and in Utne Reader magazine, third-wave feminist writer Tiffany Lee Brown described the joys and freedoms of childfree living, freedoms such as travel previously associated with males in Western culture. In "Motherhood Lite," she celebrates being an aunt, co-parent, or family friend over the idea of being a mother.[23]

Some believe that overpopulation is a serious problem and some question the fairness of what they feel amount to subsidies for having children, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (US), free K12 education paid for by all taxpayers, family medical leave, and other such programs.[24]Others, however, do not believe overpopulation to be a problem in itself; regarding such problems as overcrowding, global warming, and straining food supplies to be problems of public policy and/or technology.[25]

Some have argued that this sort of conscientiousness is self-eliminating (assuming it is heritable), so by avoiding reproduction for ethical reasons the childfree will only aid deterioration of concern for the environment and future generations.[26]

Some regard governmental or employer-based incentives offered only to parentssuch as a per-child income tax credit, preferential absence planning, employment legislation, or special facilitiesas intrinsically discriminatory, arguing for their removal, reduction, or the formation of a corresponding system of matching incentives for other categories of social relationships. Childfree advocates argue that other forms of caregiving have historically not been considered equalthat "only babies count"and that this is an outdated idea that is in need of revision. Caring for sick, disabled, or elderly dependents entails significant financial and emotional costs but is not currently subsidized in the same manner. This commitment has traditionally and increasingly fallen largely on women, contributing to the feminization of poverty in the U.S.[27]

The focus on personal acceptance is mirrored in much of the literature surrounding choosing not to reproduce. Many early books were grounded in feminist theory and largely sought to dispel the idea that womanhood and motherhood were necessarily the same thing, arguing, for example, that childfree people face not only social discrimination but political discrimination as well.[24]

Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam place a high value on children and their central place in marriage. In numerous works, including an Apostolic letter written in 1988,[28] Pope John Paul II has set forth the Roman Catholic emphasis on the role of children in family life. However, the Catholic Church also stresses the value of chastity in the non-married state of life and so approves of nominally childfree ways of life for the single. Some religious interpretations hold that any couple who marries with the intention of not producing children is not married within the church.

There are, however, some debates within religious groups about whether a childfree lifestyle is acceptable. Another view, for example, is that the biblical text Gen. 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply", is really not a command but a blessing formula and that while there are many factors to consider as far as people's motives for remaining childless, there are many valid reasons, including dedicating one's time to demanding but good causes, why Christians may choose to remain childless for a short time or a lifetime.[29] Matthew 19:12 describes Jesus as listing three types of eunuchs including one type who chooses it intentionally, noting that whoever is willing to become one, should.

Brian Tomasik cites ethical reasons for people to remain childfree. Also, they will have more time to focus on themselves, which will allow for greater creativity and the exploration of personal ambitions. In this way, they may benefit themselves and society more than if they had a child.[30]

Some opponents of the childfree choice consider such a choice to be selfish. The rationale of this position is the assertion that raising children is a very important activity and so not engaging in this activity must therefore mean living one's life in service to one's self. The value judgment behind this idea is that individuals should endeavor to make some kind of meaningful contribution to the world, but also that the best way to make such a contribution is to have children. For some people, one or both of these assumptions may be true, but others prefer to direct their time, energy, and talents elsewhere, in many cases toward improving the world that today's children occupy (and that future generations will inherit).[31]

Proponents of childfreedom posit that choosing not to have children is no more or less selfish than choosing to have children. Choosing to have children may be the more selfish choice, especially when poor parenting risks creating many long term problems for both the children themselves and society at large.[32] As philosopher David Benatar[33] explains, at the heart of the decision to bring a child into the world often lies the parents' own desires (to enjoy child-rearing or perpetuate one's legacy/genes), rather than the potential person's interests. At very least, Benatar believes this illustrates why a childfree person may be just as altruistic as any parent.

There is also the question as to whether having children really is such a positive contribution to the world in an age when there are many concerns about overpopulation, pollution and depletion of non-renewable resources. Some critics counter that such analyses of having children may understate its potential benefits to society (e.g. a greater labor force, which may provide greater opportunity to solve social problems) and overstate the costs. That is, there is often a need for a non-zero birth rate.[34]

Childfree individuals do not necessarily share a unified political or economic philosophy, and most prominent childfree organizations tend to be social in nature. Childfree social groups first emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, most notable among them the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood and No Kidding! in North America where numerous books have been written about childfree people and where a range of social positions related to childfree interests have developed along with political and social activism in support of these interests. The term "childfree" was used in a July 3, 1972 Time article on the creation of the National Organization for Non-Parents.[35] It was revived in the 1990s when Leslie Lafayette formed a later childfree group, the Childfree Network.[36]

The National Organization for Non-Parents (N.O.N.) was begun in Palo Alto, CA by Ellen Peck and Shirley Radl in 1972. N.O.N. was formed to advance the notion that men and women could choose not to have childrento be childfree. Changing its name to the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood, it continued into the early 1980s both as a support group for those making the decision to be childfree and an advocacy group fighting pronatalism (attitudes/advertising/etc. promoting or glorifying parenthood). According to its bylaws, the purpose of the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood was to educate the public on non-parenthood as a valid lifestyle option, support those who choose not to have children, promote awareness of the overpopulation problem, and assist other groups that advanced the goals of the organization. N.O.N.'s offices were located in Reisterstown, MD; then Baltimore, MD; and, ultimately, in Washington, D.C. N.O.N. designated August 1 as Non-Parents' Day. Just as people with children come from all shades of the political spectrum and temper their beliefs accordingly, so do the childfree. For example, while some childfree people think of government welfare to parents as "lifestyle subsidies," others accept the need to assist such individuals but think that their lifestyle should be equally compensated. Still others accept the need to help out such individuals and also do not ask for subsidies of their own.

There are suggestions of an emergence of political cohesion, for example an Australian Childfree Party (ACFP) proposed in Australia as a childfree political party, promoting the childfree lifestyle as opposed to the family lifestyle.[citation needed] Increasing politicization and media interest has led to the emergence of a second wave of childfree organizations that are openly political in their raisons d'tre, with a number of attempts to mobilize political pressure groups in the U.S. The first organization to emerge was British, known as Kidding Aside. The childfree movement has not had significant political impact.

Read more from the original source:

Voluntary childlessness - Wikipedia

Complete Without Kids: a Childfree by Choice Handbook …

Childfree singles and couples often wrestle with being a minority in a child-oriented world. Whether childless by choice or circumstance, not being a parent can create challenges not always recognized in a family-focused society. Women feel the pressure of a real or imaginary biological clock ticking. Careers, biology, couples priorities and timing influence the end result, and not everyone is destined for parenthood, though there is a subtle assumption that everyone should be.

In Complete Without Kids, licensed clinical psychologist, Ellen L. Walker, examines the often-ignored question of what it means to be childfree and offers ways to cope with the pressure, find a balance in your life and enjoy the financial, health and personal benefits associated with childfree living.

A comprehensive resource on the rewards and challenges of childree living from a unique, unbiased perspective.

A licensed, clinical psychologist, Ellen L. Walker, PhD interviewed childfree adults, men and women, couples and singles, gay and straight, to create a thought-provoking book that sheds light on behind-the-scenes factors that influenced their personal journeys away from parenthood. Childfree herself, Dr. Walker shares the doubts and questions that inspired her to write a useful and supportive guide to a subject often not addressed socially. Complete Without Kids is a resource for any reader considering the joys and challenges of a childfree life path. A fulfilling life is within reach.

See original here:

Complete Without Kids: a Childfree by Choice Handbook ...

Childfree – reddit

Greetings /r/childfree!

2018 has been an eventful year. We reached many subscribers milestones (200K, 250K, 300K, and 350K), we added many more doctors to our list, a new childfree dating website popped up and we are now at the point where we daily receive more than 60 submissions. We also had a lot of unrest which we want to address in this message.

There are some issues that we noticed and some issues on which our attention was forcefully drawn too. They are namely :

Because of the size of the sub, the diversity of the subscribers and many other factors, it took some time before we could find a way to have an efficient state of the subreddit message.

It turns out that despite many outcries, we cannot know whether some well known opinions are shared by a vocal minority or expressed for a silent majority. So we submit to you this survey addressing all these issues.

Thank you for participating.

We will get back on the results with you as soon as we humanly can.

The survey will stay up and stickied for 2 months, so as many subscribers as possible can participate. We will then come back to you with user-friendly, readable results as fast as we can. However, we won't take the results in account if we don't manage to get 3,600 participants to the survey (>1% of the subscribers base (at the moment of publishing this post)).

We won't consider messages sent to us through modmail as it doesn't ensure anonymity. Furthermore, disgracious, uncivil modmail sent to us related to this survey will earn the sender a temporary ban.

We have no way to make sure of who is childfree and who is not. We don't have the Reddit-given mod tools for that, we don't have bots for that, we seriously lack the powers you guys think we have. If you have any tool to ensure an efficient and fool-proof selection, you can submit it to us via modmail and we'll redesign the survey following that procedure.

Moderators are volunteers who also have lives outside of this subreddit. Furthermore, the issues are complex, controversial and difficult to fix in a few days or a few weeks while getting the support and approval of the majority of the subreddit. We wanted our first answer to be the best answer as possible for both the moderation team and the community.

Yes.

However, we will dismiss rude, insulting and/or incendiary comments. All comments will be submitted to you for your reading though and won't be censored.

Yes. When we publish the results, there will be a second "State of the Subreddit" post. We'd rather not disclose our opinion about these issues right now and have the results skewed by it.

We can't do everything at once, and we have to prioritize. So, we won't address them yet, but we can discuss them in the second "State of the Subreddit" post. It doesn't mean that we'll get to work on them yet.

Again, it depends on the level of change required and whether or not it is possible for us.

For example, there's an idea that floats around about giving mandatory "NON CF" user flairs to non childfree subscribers. We have no way to enforce that. (1) A user can erase and rewrite his own flair whenever they want. (2) People can lie on the Internet about having kids or not having them. We have no way to know whether or not they truly are CF. Even the comment history doesn't say much as a lot of people have multiple alternate accounts.

If all goes well, we will have a few hundreds of comments to read, so we can't make any promises. It will take a while, that's for sure.

Ideally, we would first start by submitting the results of this survey to you in 2 months and engage in a conversation with the community about what can be done about the issues that arose from the survey.

We will focus on fixing the easiest issues within 2 weeks following that conversation. Concerning the hardest problems, we will see whether or not they are fixable.

No. Again, we want to ensure anonymity concerning which users think what and that individual opinions are not influenced by popular/influential subscribers.

You will know when we submit the full results in 2 months from now.

Yes.

This will depend on what other people vote. Vote hard and comment hard (on the survey), people! Remain civil though. Constructive criticism is encouraged, personal attacks and insults are not.

Then, please, keep calm and keep on cruising along. The survey is indeed and obviously not mandatory.

Yes, but not entirely though.

Nothing much. Some people are/were unhappy about stuff and mentioned it a lot and often for months.

It will be considered as [META] and will be removed.

Yes.

No.

We don't have access to the email addresses. This system is just put in place so people don't vote multiple times. It's fine if you don't want to participate, it makes fewer comments to read.

Almost.

You can submit it to the mod team through modmail.

Sorry, we realized there was a mistake in the survey. We received a lot of comments on this. We have to start over from scratch.

Yes.

EDIT1 : 12 hours later : 162 responses, 55 comments.

EDIT2 : 24 hours later : 217 responses, 71 comments.

EDIT3 : 48 hours later : 377 responses, 138 comments.

EDIT4 : 168 hours (1 week) later : 827 responses, 292 comments.

EDIT5 : 336 hours (2 weeks) later : 1,237 responses, 428 comments.

EDIT6 : 504 hours (3 weeks) later : 1,556 responses, 535 comments.

Reminder #1 (2018/09/13), Reminder #2 (2018/09/15), Reminder #3 (2018/09/17), Reminder #4 (2018/09/19), Reminder #5 (2018/09/21), Reminder #6 (2018/09/23), Reminder #7 (2018/09/25), Reminder #8 (2018/09/27), Reminder #9 (2018/09/29), Reminder #10 (2018/10/01), Reminder #11 (2018/10/03)

See the original post here:

Childfree - reddit

Childfree – definition of childfree by The Free Dictionary

Viewing childfree-ness as anything but weird and sad can put you in the firing line for a lot of grief in life and on social media, as journalist Holly Brockwell found when she wrote about her childfree status.The term childfree first emerged in the United Kingdom as an empowering outlook for the commonly stigmatizing connotation of childlessness (Bartlett, 1996).Most of members of the fertility group, on the other hand, were not aware of the existence of the childfree group and expressed surprise that such a group existed.Families raising biogenetically related children are represented as preferable to childfree families or families raising nonbiogenetically related children.Jordan, for example, equated a single, childfree adulthood with "doing nothing with your life.Many of those who did not have children before joining the women's movement either remained childfree or delayed having children, resulting in an apparent 'babyboom' in the late 1970s and early 1980s among second-wave feminists.I have always been happy to be childfree and I hope many, many others come to the same conclusion.Many of the subjects had elected to remain childfree, citing an unfortunate absence of positive parenting role models in their own childhood.And childfree women face a range of reactions, with 49% saying people always ask them when they're going to have children.The childfree alternative marriages have been made possible by the development of effective contraceptives (Howse, etal 1988).Ambiguous constructions: Development of a childless or childfree life course.So I took my wife for a childfree pre-Mother's Day weekend lunch, only to be left relatively disappointed by the fayre.

Read more from the original source:

Childfree - definition of childfree by The Free Dictionary

Voluntary childlessness – Wikipedia

Voluntary childlessness, also described by some as being childfree, is the voluntary choice to not have children.

In most societies and for most of human history choosing not to have children was both difficult and undesirable. The availability of reliable contraception along with support provided in old age by systems other than traditional familial ones has made childlessness an option for people in developed countries, though they may be looked down upon in certain communities.

The usage of the term "childfree" to describe people who choose not to have children was coined in the English language late in the 20th century.[1] The meaning of the term "childfree" extends to encompass the children of others (in addition to ones own children) and this distinguishes it further from the more usual term "childless", which is traditionally used to express the idea of having no children, whether by choice or by circumstance.[2] The term 'child free' has been cited in Australian literature to refer to parents who are without children at the current time. This may be due to them living elsewhere on a permanent basis or a short-term solution such as childcare (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2011).

Supporters of living childfree (e.g. Corinne Maier, French author of "No Kids: 40 Reasons For Not Having Children") cite various reasons[3] for their view:

According to economist David Foot of the University of Toronto, the level of a woman's education is the most important factor in determining whether she will reproduce: the higher her level of education, the less likely she is to bear children (or if she does, the fewer children she is likely to have). Overall, researchers have observed childless couples to be more educated, and it is perhaps because of this that they are more likely to be employed in professional and management occupations, more likely for both spouses to earn relatively high incomes, and to live in urban areas. They are also less likely to be religious, subscribe to traditional gender roles, or subscribe to conventional roles.[9]

Being a childfree American adult was considered unusual in the 1950s.[10][11] However, the proportion of childless adults in the population has increased significantly since then. The proportion of childlessness among women aged 40-44 was 10% in 1976, reached a high of 20% in 2005, then declined to 15% in 2014.[12] In Europe, childlessness among women aged 40-44 is most common in Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom (in 2010-2011).[13] Childlessness is least common across Eastern European countries,[13] although one child families are very common there.

From 2007 to 2011 the fertility rate in the U.S. declined 9%, the Pew Research Center reporting in 2010 that the birth rate was the lowest in U.S. history and that childfreeness rose across all racial and ethnic groups to about 1 in 5 versus 1 in 10 in the 1970s.[14] The CDC released statistics in the first quarter of 2016 confirming that the U.S. fertility rate had fallen to its lowest point since record keeping started in 1909: 59.8 births per 1,000 women, half its high of 122.9 in 1957.[15] Even taking the falling fertility rate into account, the U.S. Census Bureau still projected that the U.S. population would increase from 319 million (2014) to 400 million by 2051.[15]

The National Center of Health Statistics confirms that the percentage of American women of childbearing age who define themselves as childfree (or voluntarily childless) rose sharply in the 1990sfrom 2.4 percent in 1982 to 4.3 percent in 1990 to 6.6 percent in 1995.

In 2010, updated information on childlessness, based on a 2008 US Census Population Survey, was analyzed by Pew Research.[16]

While younger women are more likely to be childless, older women are more likely to state that they intend to remain childless in the future.

Being unmarried is one of the strongest predictors of childlessness. It has also been suggested through research that married individuals who were concerned about the stability of their marriages were more likely to remain childless.

Most studies on this subject find that higher income predicted childlessness. However, some women report that lack of financial resources was a reason why they decided to remain childless. Childless women in the developed world often express the view that women ultimately have to make a choice between motherhood and having a career. The 2004 Census Bureau data showed nearly half of women with annual incomes over $100,000 are childless.

Among women aged 3544, the chance of being childless was far greater for never-married women (82.5%) than for ever-married (12.9%). When the same group is analyzed by education level, increasing education correlates with increasing childlessness: not-H.S. graduate (13.5%), H.S. graduate (14.3%), Some College no degree (24.7%), Associate Degree (11.4%), Bachelor's degree (18.2%) and Graduate or Professional degree (27.6%).[17][18]

Most societies place a high value on parenthood in adult life, so that people who remain childfree are sometimes stereotyped as being "individualistic" people who avoid social responsibility and are less prepared to commit themselves to helping others.[19] However, certain groups believe that being childfree is beneficial. With the advent of environmentalism and concerns for stewardship, those choosing to not have children are also sometimes recognized as helping reduce our impact, such as members of the voluntary human extinction movement. Some childfree are sometimes lauded on moral grounds, such as members of philosophical or religious groups, like the Shakers.

There are three broad areas of criticism regarding childfreeness, based upon socio-political, feminist or religious reasons. There are also considerations relating to personal philosophy and social roles.

Childfreedom may no longer be considered the 'best' way to be feminist. Once a paragon of second-wave feminism, the nullipara (childless or childfree woman) is not typically described in third-wave feminism as being superior to, or more feminist than, women who choose to have children. Feminist author Daphne DeMarneffe links larger feminist issues to both the devaluation of motherhood in contemporary society, as well as the delegitimization of "maternal desire" and pleasure in motherhood.[20] In third-wave handbook Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, authors Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards explore the concept of third-wave feminists reclaiming "girlie" culture, along with reasons why women of Baby Boomer and Generation X ages may reject motherhood because, at a young and impressionable age, they witnessed their own mothers being devalued by society and family.[21]

On the other hand, in "The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order"[22] and in Utne Reader magazine, third-wave feminist writer Tiffany Lee Brown described the joys and freedoms of childfree living, freedoms such as travel previously associated with males in Western culture. In "Motherhood Lite," she celebrates being an aunt, co-parent, or family friend over the idea of being a mother.[23]

Some believe that overpopulation is a serious problem and some question the fairness of what they feel amount to subsidies for having children, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (US), free K12 education paid for by all taxpayers, family medical leave, and other such programs.[24]Others, however, do not believe overpopulation to be a problem in itself; regarding such problems as overcrowding, global warming, and straining food supplies to be problems of public policy and/or technology.[25]

Some have argued that this sort of conscientiousness is self-eliminating (assuming it is heritable), so by avoiding reproduction for ethical reasons the childfree will only aid deterioration of concern for the environment and future generations.[26]

Some regard governmental or employer-based incentives offered only to parentssuch as a per-child income tax credit, preferential absence planning, employment legislation, or special facilitiesas intrinsically discriminatory, arguing for their removal, reduction, or the formation of a corresponding system of matching incentives for other categories of social relationships. Childfree advocates argue that other forms of caregiving have historically not been considered equalthat "only babies count"and that this is an outdated idea that is in need of revision. Caring for sick, disabled, or elderly dependents entails significant financial and emotional costs but is not currently subsidized in the same manner. This commitment has traditionally and increasingly fallen largely on women, contributing to the feminization of poverty in the U.S.[27]

The focus on personal acceptance is mirrored in much of the literature surrounding choosing not to reproduce. Many early books were grounded in feminist theory and largely sought to dispel the idea that womanhood and motherhood were necessarily the same thing, arguing, for example, that childfree people face not only social discrimination but political discrimination as well.[24]

Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam place a high value on children and their central place in marriage. In numerous works, including an Apostolic letter written in 1988,[28] Pope John Paul II has set forth the Roman Catholic emphasis on the role of children in family life. However, the Catholic Church also stresses the value of chastity in the non-married state of life and so approves of nominally childfree ways of life for the single. Some religious interpretations hold that any couple who marries with the intention of not producing children is not married within the church.

There are, however, some debates within religious groups about whether a childfree lifestyle is acceptable. Another view, for example, is that the biblical text Gen. 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply", is really not a command but a blessing formula and that while there are many factors to consider as far as people's motives for remaining childless, there are many valid reasons, including dedicating one's time to demanding but good causes, why Christians may choose to remain childless for a short time or a lifetime.[29] Matthew 19:12 describes Jesus as listing three types of eunuchs including one type who chooses it intentionally, noting that whoever is willing to become one, should.

Brian Tomasik cites ethical reasons for people to remain childfree. Also, they will have more time to focus on themselves, which will allow for greater creativity and the exploration of personal ambitions. In this way, they may benefit themselves and society more than if they had a child.[30]

Some opponents of the childfree choice consider such a choice to be selfish. The rationale of this position is the assertion that raising children is a very important activity and so not engaging in this activity must therefore mean living one's life in service to one's self. The value judgment behind this idea is that individuals should endeavor to make some kind of meaningful contribution to the world, but also that the best way to make such a contribution is to have children. For some people, one or both of these assumptions may be true, but others prefer to direct their time, energy, and talents elsewhere, in many cases toward improving the world that today's children occupy (and that future generations will inherit).[31]

Proponents of childfreedom posit that choosing not to have children is no more or less selfish than choosing to have children. Choosing to have children may be the more selfish choice, especially when poor parenting risks creating many long term problems for both the children themselves and society at large.[32] As philosopher David Benatar[33] explains, at the heart of the decision to bring a child into the world often lies the parents' own desires (to enjoy child-rearing or perpetuate one's legacy/genes), rather than the potential person's interests. At very least, Benatar believes this illustrates why a childfree person may be just as altruistic as any parent.

There is also the question as to whether having children really is such a positive contribution to the world in an age when there are many concerns about overpopulation, pollution and depletion of non-renewable resources. Some critics counter that such analyses of having children may understate its potential benefits to society (e.g. a greater labor force, which may provide greater opportunity to solve social problems) and overstate the costs. That is, there is often a need for a non-zero birth rate.[34]

Childfree individuals do not necessarily share a unified political or economic philosophy, and most prominent childfree organizations tend to be social in nature. Childfree social groups first emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, most notable among them the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood and No Kidding! in North America where numerous books have been written about childfree people and where a range of social positions related to childfree interests have developed along with political and social activism in support of these interests. The term "childfree" was used in a July 3, 1972 Time article on the creation of the National Organization for Non-Parents.[35] It was revived in the 1990s when Leslie Lafayette formed a later childfree group, the Childfree Network.[36]

The National Organization for Non-Parents (N.O.N.) was begun in Palo Alto, CA by Ellen Peck and Shirley Radl in 1972. N.O.N. was formed to advance the notion that men and women could choose not to have childrento be childfree. Changing its name to the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood, it continued into the early 1980s both as a support group for those making the decision to be childfree and an advocacy group fighting pronatalism (attitudes/advertising/etc. promoting or glorifying parenthood). According to its bylaws, the purpose of the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood was to educate the public on non-parenthood as a valid lifestyle option, support those who choose not to have children, promote awareness of the overpopulation problem, and assist other groups that advanced the goals of the organization. N.O.N.'s offices were located in Reisterstown, MD; then Baltimore, MD; and, ultimately, in Washington, D.C. N.O.N. designated August 1 as Non-Parents' Day. Just as people with children come from all shades of the political spectrum and temper their beliefs accordingly, so do the childfree. For example, while some childfree people think of government welfare to parents as "lifestyle subsidies," others accept the need to assist such individuals but think that their lifestyle should be equally compensated. Still others accept the need to help out such individuals and also do not ask for subsidies of their own.

There are suggestions of an emergence of political cohesion, for example an Australian Childfree Party (ACFP) proposed in Australia as a childfree political party, promoting the childfree lifestyle as opposed to the family lifestyle.[citation needed] Increasing politicization and media interest has led to the emergence of a second wave of childfree organizations that are openly political in their raisons d'tre, with a number of attempts to mobilize political pressure groups in the U.S. The first organization to emerge was British, known as Kidding Aside. The childfree movement has not had significant political impact.

View post:

Voluntary childlessness - Wikipedia

The Childfree Life – Official Site

This childfree website is a supportive environment for people who dont have kids and dont plan to have children in the future, as well as those who are still considering whether to have children.

Deciding not to have children, for whatever reason, can make you feel like an outcast, and the object of many negative stereotypes. The childfree choice is easy for some people, but for others it can become a quandary that lasts for years. Having no children means you may lose friends to the demands of parenthood or because you no longer have much in common. You may even find yourself facing strong pressure to conform from people close to you. Being childfree is a decision that cannot always be easily explained or understood.

We offer articles and resources for those who dont want children or cant have children, and invite you to join us in The Childfree Life forums for an honest discussion with like-minded people about all aspects of life without children.

Once upon a time, there was a group of intelligent, thoughtful, funny and wise people who met on another internet forum, and talked at length about their childfree lives, choices, and problems. As this forum was on a womens site, mothers that dropped in saw fit to complain about what they read. They didnt like our language, our opinions, or our choices. The site owner (a parent) agreed. As a result, the rules were changed, the site was censored, accounts were deleted, and the group felt the need to move on. We took that opportunity to create a new home for ourselves, and for other moderate childfree people. The Childfree Life is the result. We hope you enjoy it.

Theres a number of great childfree resources on the web, and more are springing up every day. Were a growing movement, but as yet, theres not a huge public awareness of who we are, what we represent, our hopes, dreams and motivations. Wed like to change that. Our vision is to become a hub of the online CF community, a central location for articles, resources, and thoughts about all things childfree, including the best and busiest forum on the web. We know that some of the childfree communities are a little hardcore for the average person, but theres a lot of parent-pleasing on the more women-oriented sites. Wed like to be somewhere in the middle a moderate voice, if you will.

We welcome the opinions and questions of childfree people of both genders, and supportive others. Were here to lend a sympathetic ear, give an opinion, and support people without judgment in their childfree choices.

See the article here:

The Childfree Life - Official Site

Voluntary childlessness – Wikipedia

Voluntary childlessness, also described by some as being childfree, is the voluntary choice to not have children.

In most societies and for most of human history choosing not to have children was both difficult and undesirable. The availability of reliable contraception along with support provided in old age by systems other than traditional familial ones has made childlessness an option for people in developed countries, though they may be looked down upon in certain communities.

The usage of the term "childfree" to describe people who choose not to have children was coined in the English language late in the 20th century.[1] The meaning of the term "childfree" extends to encompass the children of others (in addition to ones own children) and this distinguishes it further from the more usual term "childless", which is traditionally used to express the idea of having no children, whether by choice or by circumstance.[2] The term 'child free' has been cited in Australian literature to refer to parents who are without children at the current time. This may be due to them living elsewhere on a permanent basis or a short-term solution such as childcare (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2011).

Supporters of living childfree (e.g. Corinne Maier, French author of "No Kids: 40 Reasons For Not Having Children") cite various reasons[3] for their view:

According to economist David Foot of the University of Toronto, the level of a woman's education is the most important factor in determining whether she will reproduce: the higher her level of education, the less likely she is to bear children (or if she does, the fewer children she is likely to have). Overall, researchers have observed childless couples to be more educated, and it is perhaps because of this that they are more likely to be employed in professional and management occupations, more likely for both spouses to earn relatively high incomes, and to live in urban areas. They are also less likely to be religious, subscribe to traditional gender roles, or subscribe to conventional roles.[9]

Being a childfree American adult was considered unusual in the 1950s.[10][11] However, the proportion of childless adults in the population has increased significantly since then. The proportion of childlessness among women aged 40-44 was 10% in 1976, reached a high of 20% in 2005, then declined to 15% in 2014.[12] In Europe, childlessness among women aged 40-44 is most common in Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom (in 2010-2011).[13] Childlessness is least common across Eastern European countries,[13] although one child families are very common there.

From 2007 to 2011 the fertility rate in the U.S. declined 9%, the Pew Research Center reporting in 2010 that the birth rate was the lowest in U.S. history and that childfreeness rose across all racial and ethnic groups to about 1 in 5 versus 1 in 10 in the 1970s.[14] The CDC released statistics in the first quarter of 2016 confirming that the U.S. fertility rate had fallen to its lowest point since record keeping started in 1909: 59.8 births per 1,000 women, half its high of 122.9 in 1957.[15] Even taking the falling fertility rate into account, the U.S. Census Bureau still projected that the U.S. population would increase from 319 million (2014) to 400 million by 2051.[15]

The National Center of Health Statistics confirms that the percentage of American women of childbearing age who define themselves as childfree (or voluntarily childless) rose sharply in the 1990sfrom 2.4 percent in 1982 to 4.3 percent in 1990 to 6.6 percent in 1995.

In 2010, updated information on childlessness, based on a 2008 US Census Population Survey, was analyzed by Pew Research.[16]

While younger women are more likely to be childless, older women are more likely to state that they intend to remain childless in the future.

Being unmarried is one of the strongest predictors of childlessness. It has also been suggested through research that married individuals who were concerned about the stability of their marriages were more likely to remain childless.

Most studies on this subject find that higher income predicted childlessness. However, some women report that lack of financial resources was a reason why they decided to remain childless. Childless women in the developed world often express the view that women ultimately have to make a choice between motherhood and having a career. The 2004 Census Bureau data showed nearly half of women with annual incomes over $100,000 are childless.

Among women aged 3544, the chance of being childless was far greater for never-married women (82.5%) than for ever-married (12.9%). When the same group is analyzed by education level, increasing education correlates with increasing childlessness: not-H.S. graduate (13.5%), H.S. graduate (14.3%), Some College no degree (24.7%), Associate Degree (11.4%), Bachelor's degree (18.2%) and Graduate or Professional degree (27.6%).[17][18]

Most societies place a high value on parenthood in adult life, so that people who remain childfree are sometimes stereotyped as being "individualistic" people who avoid social responsibility and are less prepared to commit themselves to helping others.[19] However, certain groups believe that being childfree is beneficial. With the advent of environmentalism and concerns for stewardship, those choosing to not have children are also sometimes recognized as helping reduce our impact, such as members of the voluntary human extinction movement. Some childfree are sometimes lauded on moral grounds, such as members of philosophical or religious groups, like the Shakers.

There are three broad areas of criticism regarding childfreeness, based upon socio-political, feminist or religious reasons. There are also considerations relating to personal philosophy and social roles.

Childfreedom may no longer be considered the 'best' way to be feminist. Once a paragon of second-wave feminism, the nullipara (childless or childfree woman) is not typically described in third-wave feminism as being superior to, or more feminist than, women who choose to have children. Feminist author Daphne DeMarneffe links larger feminist issues to both the devaluation of motherhood in contemporary society, as well as the delegitimization of "maternal desire" and pleasure in motherhood.[20] In third-wave handbook Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, authors Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards explore the concept of third-wave feminists reclaiming "girlie" culture, along with reasons why women of Baby Boomer and Generation X ages may reject motherhood because, at a young and impressionable age, they witnessed their own mothers being devalued by society and family.[21]

On the other hand, in "The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order"[22] and in Utne Reader magazine, third-wave feminist writer Tiffany Lee Brown described the joys and freedoms of childfree living, freedoms such as travel previously associated with males in Western culture. In "Motherhood Lite," she celebrates being an aunt, co-parent, or family friend over the idea of being a mother.[23]

Some believe that overpopulation is a serious problem and some question the fairness of what they feel amount to subsidies for having children, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (US), free K12 education paid for by all taxpayers, family medical leave, and other such programs.[24]Others, however, do not believe overpopulation to be a problem in itself; regarding such problems as overcrowding, global warming, and straining food supplies to be problems of public policy and/or technology.[25]

Some have argued that this sort of conscientiousness is self-eliminating (assuming it is heritable), so by avoiding reproduction for ethical reasons the childfree will only aid deterioration of concern for the environment and future generations.[26]

Some regard governmental or employer-based incentives offered only to parentssuch as a per-child income tax credit, preferential absence planning, employment legislation, or special facilitiesas intrinsically discriminatory, arguing for their removal, reduction, or the formation of a corresponding system of matching incentives for other categories of social relationships. Childfree advocates argue that other forms of caregiving have historically not been considered equalthat "only babies count"and that this is an outdated idea that is in need of revision. Caring for sick, disabled, or elderly dependents entails significant financial and emotional costs but is not currently subsidized in the same manner. This commitment has traditionally and increasingly fallen largely on women, contributing to the feminization of poverty in the U.S.[27]

The focus on personal acceptance is mirrored in much of the literature surrounding choosing not to reproduce. Many early books were grounded in feminist theory and largely sought to dispel the idea that womanhood and motherhood were necessarily the same thing, arguing, for example, that childfree people face not only social discrimination but political discrimination as well.[24]

Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam place a high value on children and their central place in marriage. In numerous works, including an Apostolic letter written in 1988,[28] Pope John Paul II has set forth the Roman Catholic emphasis on the role of children in family life. However, the Catholic Church also stresses the value of chastity in the non-married state of life and so approves of nominally childfree ways of life for the single. Some religious interpretations hold that any couple who marries with the intention of not producing children is not married within the church.

There are, however, some debates within religious groups about whether a childfree lifestyle is acceptable. Another view, for example, is that the biblical text Gen. 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply", is really not a command but a blessing formula and that while there are many factors to consider as far as people's motives for remaining childless, there are many valid reasons, including dedicating one's time to demanding but good causes, why Christians may choose to remain childless for a short time or a lifetime.[29] Matthew 19:12 describes Jesus as listing three types of eunuchs including one type who chooses it intentionally, noting that whoever is willing to become one, should.

Brian Tomasik cites ethical reasons for people to remain childfree. Also, they will have more time to focus on themselves, which will allow for greater creativity and the exploration of personal ambitions. In this way, they may benefit themselves and society more than if they had a child.[30]

Some opponents of the childfree choice consider such a choice to be selfish. The rationale of this position is the assertion that raising children is a very important activity and so not engaging in this activity must therefore mean living one's life in service to one's self. The value judgment behind this idea is that individuals should endeavor to make some kind of meaningful contribution to the world, but also that the best way to make such a contribution is to have children. For some people, one or both of these assumptions may be true, but others prefer to direct their time, energy, and talents elsewhere, in many cases toward improving the world that today's children occupy (and that future generations will inherit).[31]

Proponents of childfreedom posit that choosing not to have children is no more or less selfish than choosing to have children. Choosing to have children may be the more selfish choice, especially when poor parenting risks creating many long term problems for both the children themselves and society at large.[32] As philosopher David Benatar[33] explains, at the heart of the decision to bring a child into the world often lies the parents' own desires (to enjoy child-rearing or perpetuate one's legacy/genes), rather than the potential person's interests. At very least, Benatar believes this illustrates why a childfree person may be just as altruistic as any parent.

There is also the question as to whether having children really is such a positive contribution to the world in an age when there are many concerns about overpopulation, pollution and depletion of non-renewable resources. Some critics counter that such analyses of having children may understate its potential benefits to society (e.g. a greater labor force, which may provide greater opportunity to solve social problems) and overstate the costs. That is, there is often a need for a non-zero birth rate.[34]

Childfree individuals do not necessarily share a unified political or economic philosophy, and most prominent childfree organizations tend to be social in nature. Childfree social groups first emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, most notable among them the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood and No Kidding! in North America where numerous books have been written about childfree people and where a range of social positions related to childfree interests have developed along with political and social activism in support of these interests. The term "childfree" was used in a July 3, 1972 Time article on the creation of the National Organization for Non-Parents.[35] It was revived in the 1990s when Leslie Lafayette formed a later childfree group, the Childfree Network.[36]

The National Organization for Non-Parents (N.O.N.) was begun in Palo Alto, CA by Ellen Peck and Shirley Radl in 1972. N.O.N. was formed to advance the notion that men and women could choose not to have childrento be childfree. Changing its name to the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood, it continued into the early 1980s both as a support group for those making the decision to be childfree and an advocacy group fighting pronatalism (attitudes/advertising/etc. promoting or glorifying parenthood). According to its bylaws, the purpose of the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood was to educate the public on non-parenthood as a valid lifestyle option, support those who choose not to have children, promote awareness of the overpopulation problem, and assist other groups that advanced the goals of the organization. N.O.N.'s offices were located in Reisterstown, MD; then Baltimore, MD; and, ultimately, in Washington, D.C. N.O.N. designated August 1 as Non-Parents' Day. Just as people with children come from all shades of the political spectrum and temper their beliefs accordingly, so do the childfree. For example, while some childfree people think of government welfare to parents as "lifestyle subsidies," others accept the need to assist such individuals but think that their lifestyle should be equally compensated. Still others accept the need to help out such individuals and also do not ask for subsidies of their own.

There are suggestions of an emergence of political cohesion, for example an Australian Childfree Party (ACFP) proposed in Australia as a childfree political party, promoting the childfree lifestyle as opposed to the family lifestyle.[citation needed] Increasing politicization and media interest has led to the emergence of a second wave of childfree organizations that are openly political in their raisons d'tre, with a number of attempts to mobilize political pressure groups in the U.S. The first organization to emerge was British, known as Kidding Aside. The childfree movement has not had significant political impact.

More:

Voluntary childlessness - Wikipedia

Choosing to be Childfree to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

guest post by: Emily of Conservation Folks

Buying a house, having a successful career, and raising children are all part of the classic American dream. While it may sound idyllic, its not always an option in todays world. We currently have a growing population of more than 7.4 billion people and counting on a planet that can only sustain a maximum of 10 to 11 billion souls. How can living a childfree life contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle?

According to science, you dont have to live entirely childfree to have a sustainable lifestyle just have one fewer child.Its been calculated that having one fewer child could help to reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by more than 58 tons per year. For comparison, getting rid of your car only reduces emissions by about 2.4 tons per year, and upgrading your light bulbs from incandescent to CFL or LED reduces your emissions by less than 1/10 of a ton.

The key here, in addition to reducing carbon emissions, is to help stabilize the population. While the planet could potentially support a population of around 11 billion, it will not be able to do so well. What is the ideal stable population? Expert opinions vary but many do agree that having fewer children is key. Ideally, the number of children per couple should be 2.1 or fewer. The best way to ensure our planet and resources are able to support the human race is to take steps toward stabilizing our population, but how?

Many modern families have already chosen to limit their family size to one or two children, but for every family that only has one or two kids, there is one that has chosen to shun contraceptive and have as many children as they can carry, i.e. the Duggar family of 19 Kids and Counting. Implementing childbearing laws legally limiting couples to 2 children has been tried before in China, specifically, though there are other areas that have implemented similar laws/policies. Unfortunately, in some areas, it has lead to a stagnating birth rate that hasnt produced enough children to take the place of adults and elderly workers who are reaching the age of retirement.

Having one less child or choosing to have only two children, is one way to be more sustainable. However, to have a large impact on the world, it will have to be implemented on a global scale.

Having a childfree life isnt just good for the environment it can be good for you as well. First, you will have more freedom. Ive always wanted to travel the world without children, I can pick up and go anytime my career and finances will allow. I dont have to worry about finding someone to watch the kids or go through the hassle of bringing them with me to a foreign country. While kids can definitely benefit from this kind of experience, there are tons of things that are simply out of reach if youre traveling with children in tow. Second, youll have more money. The average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is roughly $300,000. Break that down per year and it comes out to somewhere around $17,000. Think of all you could do each year with $17,000 extra.The possibilities are endless. Now, Im not saying that all these things arent possible after youve had children, but having extra money certainly makes them easier.

Finally, you also have the option to add children to your life in the future either biologically or by fostering or adopting. According to the Childrens Bureau, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, there is an average of 500,000 children in the foster care system at any given time. Having fewer children or choosing to live childfree is a totally personal choice but it is one that can have many benefits.

More about Emily:Emily is a sustainability blogger who is passionate about living an eco-friendly lifestyle. You can check out more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.

How do you think being childfree helps the environment? Comment below!

Related

Read the original here:

Choosing to be Childfree to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

Welcome to The Childfree Life | The Childfree Life

This childfree website is a supportive environment for people who dont have kids and dont plan to have children in the future, as well as those who are still considering whether to have children.

Deciding not to have children, for whatever reason, can make you feel like an outcast, and the object of many negative stereotypes. The childfree choice is easy for some people, but for others it can become a quandary that lasts for years. Having no children means you may lose friends to the demands of parenthood or because you no longer have much in common. You may even find yourself facing strong pressure to conform from people close to you. Being childfree is a decision that cannot always be easily explained or understood.

We offer articles and resources for those who dont want children or cant have children, and invite you to join us in The Childfree Life forums for an honest discussion with like-minded people about all aspects of life without children.

Once upon a time, there was a group of intelligent, thoughtful, funny and wise people who met on another internet forum, and talked at length about their childfree lives, choices, and problems. As this forum was on a womens site, mothers that dropped in saw fit to complain about what they read. They didnt like our language, our opinions, or our choices. The site owner (a parent) agreed. As a result, the rules were changed, the site was censored, accounts were deleted, and the group felt the need to move on. We took that opportunity to create a new home for ourselves, and for other moderate childfree people. The Childfree Life is the result. We hope you enjoy it.

Theres a number of great childfree resources on the web, and more are springing up every day. Were a growing movement, but as yet, theres not a huge public awareness of who we are, what we represent, our hopes, dreams and motivations. Wed like to change that. Our vision is to become a hub of the online CF community, a central location for articles, resources, and thoughts about all things childfree, including the best and busiest forum on the web. We know that some of the childfree communities are a little hardcore for the average person, but theres a lot of parent-pleasing on the more women-oriented sites. Wed like to be somewhere in the middle a moderate voice, if you will.

We welcome the opinions and questions of childfree people of both genders, and supportive others. Were here to lend a sympathetic ear, give an opinion, and support people without judgment in their childfree choices.

Original post:

Welcome to The Childfree Life | The Childfree Life

Complete Without Kids: a Childfree by Choice Handbook …

Childfree singles and couples often wrestle with being a minority in a child-oriented world. Whether childless by choice or circumstance, not being a parent can create challenges not always recognized in a family-focused society. Women feel the pressure of a real or imaginary biological clock ticking. Careers, biology, couples priorities and timing influence the end result, and not everyone is destined for parenthood, though there is a subtle assumption that everyone should be.

In Complete Without Kids, licensed clinical psychologist, Ellen L. Walker, examines the often-ignored question of what it means to be childfree and offers ways to cope with the pressure, find a balance in your life and enjoy the financial, health and personal benefits associated with childfree living.

A comprehensive resource on the rewards and challenges of childree living from a unique, unbiased perspective.

A licensed, clinical psychologist, Ellen L. Walker, PhD interviewed childfree adults, men and women, couples and singles, gay and straight, to create a thought-provoking book that sheds light on behind-the-scenes factors that influenced their personal journeys away from parenthood. Childfree herself, Dr. Walker shares the doubts and questions that inspired her to write a useful and supportive guide to a subject often not addressed socially. Complete Without Kids is a resource for any reader considering the joys and challenges of a childfree life path. A fulfilling life is within reach.

Go here to read the rest:

Complete Without Kids: a Childfree by Choice Handbook ...

Voluntary childlessness – Wikipedia

Voluntary childlessness, also described by some as being childfree, is the voluntary choice to not have children.

In most societies and for most of human history choosing not to have children was both difficult and undesirable. The availability of reliable contraception along with support provided in old age by systems other than traditional familial ones has made childlessness an option for people in developed countries, though they may be looked down upon in certain communities.

The usage of the term "childfree" to describe people who choose not to have children was coined in the English language late in the 20th century.[1] The meaning of the term "childfree" extends to encompass the children of others (in addition to ones own children) and this distinguishes it further from the more usual term "childless", which is traditionally used to express the idea of having no children, whether by choice or by circumstance.[2] The term 'child free' has been cited in Australian literature to refer to parents who are without children at the current time. This may be due to them living elsewhere on a permanent basis or a short-term solution such as childcare (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2011).

Supporters of living childfree (e.g. Corinne Maier, French author of "No Kids: 40 Reasons For Not Having Children") cite various reasons[3] for their view:

According to economist David Foot of the University of Toronto, the level of a woman's education is the most important factor in determining whether she will reproduce: the higher her level of education, the less likely she is to bear children (or if she does, the fewer children she is likely to have). Overall, researchers have observed childless couples to be more educated, and it is perhaps because of this that they are more likely to be employed in professional and management occupations, more likely for both spouses to earn relatively high incomes, and to live in urban areas. They are also less likely to be religious, subscribe to traditional gender roles, or subscribe to conventional roles.[9]

Being a childfree American adult was considered unusual in the 1950s.[10][11] However, the proportion of childless adults in the population has increased significantly since then. The proportion of childlessness among women aged 40-44 was 10% in 1976, reached a high of 20% in 2005, then declined to 15% in 2014.[12] In Europe, childlessness among women aged 40-44 is most common in Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom (in 2010-2011).[13] Childlessness is least common across Eastern European countries,[13] although one child families are very common there.

From 2007 to 2011 the fertility rate in the U.S. declined 9%, the Pew Research Center reporting in 2010 that the birth rate was the lowest in U.S. history and that childfreeness rose across all racial and ethnic groups to about 1 in 5 versus 1 in 10 in the 1970s.[14] The CDC released statistics in the first quarter of 2016 confirming that the U.S. fertility rate had fallen to its lowest point since record keeping started in 1909: 59.8 births per 1,000 women, half its high of 122.9 in 1957.[15] Even taking the falling fertility rate into account, the U.S. Census Bureau still projected that the U.S. population would increase from 319 million (2014) to 400 million by 2051.[15]

The National Center of Health Statistics confirms that the percentage of American women of childbearing age who define themselves as childfree (or voluntarily childless) rose sharply in the 1990sfrom 2.4 percent in 1982 to 4.3 percent in 1990 to 6.6 percent in 1995.

In 2010, updated information on childlessness, based on a 2008 US Census Population Survey, was analyzed by Pew Research.[16]

While younger women are more likely to be childless, older women are more likely to state that they intend to remain childless in the future.

Being unmarried is one of the strongest predictors of childlessness. It has also been suggested through research that married individuals who were concerned about the stability of their marriages were more likely to remain childless.

Most studies on this subject find that higher income predicted childlessness. However, some women report that lack of financial resources was a reason why they decided to remain childless. Childless women in the developed world often express the view that women ultimately have to make a choice between motherhood and having a career. The 2004 Census Bureau data showed nearly half of women with annual incomes over $100,000 are childless.

Among women aged 3544, the chance of being childless was far greater for never-married women (82.5%) than for ever-married (12.9%). When the same group is analyzed by education level, increasing education correlates with increasing childlessness: not-H.S. graduate (13.5%), H.S. graduate (14.3%), Some College no degree (24.7%), Associate Degree (11.4%), Bachelor's degree (18.2%) and Graduate or Professional degree (27.6%).[17][18]

Most societies place a high value on parenthood in adult life, so that people who remain childfree are sometimes stereotyped as being "individualistic" people who avoid social responsibility and are less prepared to commit themselves to helping others.[19] However, certain groups believe that being childfree is beneficial. With the advent of environmentalism and concerns for stewardship, those choosing to not have children are also sometimes recognized as helping reduce our impact, such as members of the voluntary human extinction movement. Some childfree are sometimes lauded on moral grounds, such as members of philosophical or religious groups, like the Shakers.

There are three broad areas of criticism regarding childfreeness, based upon socio-political, feminist or religious reasons. There are also considerations relating to personal philosophy and social roles.

Childfreedom may no longer be considered the 'best' way to be feminist. Once a paragon of second-wave feminism, the nullipara (childless or childfree woman) is not typically described in third-wave feminism as being superior to, or more feminist than, women who choose to have children. Feminist author Daphne DeMarneffe links larger feminist issues to both the devaluation of motherhood in contemporary society, as well as the delegitimization of "maternal desire" and pleasure in motherhood.[20] In third-wave handbook Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, authors Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards explore the concept of third-wave feminists reclaiming "girlie" culture, along with reasons why women of Baby Boomer and Generation X ages may reject motherhood because, at a young and impressionable age, they witnessed their own mothers being devalued by society and family.[21]

On the other hand, in "The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order"[22] and in Utne Reader magazine, third-wave feminist writer Tiffany Lee Brown described the joys and freedoms of childfree living, freedoms such as travel previously associated with males in Western culture. In "Motherhood Lite," she celebrates being an aunt, co-parent, or family friend over the idea of being a mother.[23]

Some believe that overpopulation is a serious problem and some question the fairness of what they feel amount to subsidies for having children, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (US), free K12 education paid for by all taxpayers, family medical leave, and other such programs.[24]Others, however, do not believe overpopulation to be a problem in itself; regarding such problems as overcrowding, global warming, and straining food supplies to be problems of public policy and/or technology.[25]

Some have argued that this sort of conscientiousness is self-eliminating (assuming it is heritable), so by avoiding reproduction for ethical reasons the childfree will only aid deterioration of concern for the environment and future generations.[26]

Some regard governmental or employer-based incentives offered only to parentssuch as a per-child income tax credit, preferential absence planning, employment legislation, or special facilitiesas intrinsically discriminatory, arguing for their removal, reduction, or the formation of a corresponding system of matching incentives for other categories of social relationships. Childfree advocates argue that other forms of caregiving have historically not been considered equalthat "only babies count"and that this is an outdated idea that is in need of revision. Caring for sick, disabled, or elderly dependents entails significant financial and emotional costs but is not currently subsidized in the same manner. This commitment has traditionally and increasingly fallen largely on women, contributing to the feminization of poverty in the U.S.[27]

The focus on personal acceptance is mirrored in much of the literature surrounding choosing not to reproduce. Many early books were grounded in feminist theory and largely sought to dispel the idea that womanhood and motherhood were necessarily the same thing, arguing, for example, that childfree people face not only social discrimination but political discrimination as well.[24]

Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam place a high value on children and their central place in marriage. In numerous works, including an Apostolic letter written in 1988,[28] Pope John Paul II has set forth the Roman Catholic emphasis on the role of children in family life. However, the Catholic Church also stresses the value of chastity in the non-married state of life and so approves of nominally childfree ways of life for the single. Some religious interpretations hold that any couple who marries with the intention of not producing children is not married within the church.

There are, however, some debates within religious groups about whether a childfree lifestyle is acceptable. Another view, for example, is that the biblical text Gen. 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply", is really not a command but a blessing formula and that while there are many factors to consider as far as people's motives for remaining childless, there are many valid reasons, including dedicating one's time to demanding but good causes, why Christians may choose to remain childless for a short time or a lifetime.[29] Matthew 19:12 describes Jesus as listing three types of eunuchs including one type who chooses it intentionally, noting that whoever is willing to become one, should.

Brian Tomasik cites ethical reasons for people to remain childfree. Also, they will have more time to focus on themselves, which will allow for greater creativity and the exploration of personal ambitions. In this way, they may benefit themselves and society more than if they had a child.[30]

Some opponents of the childfree choice consider such a choice to be selfish. The rationale of this position is the assertion that raising children is a very important activity and so not engaging in this activity must therefore mean living one's life in service to one's self. The value judgment behind this idea is that individuals should endeavor to make some kind of meaningful contribution to the world, but also that the best way to make such a contribution is to have children. For some people, one or both of these assumptions may be true, but others prefer to direct their time, energy, and talents elsewhere, in many cases toward improving the world that today's children occupy (and that future generations will inherit).[31]

Proponents of childfreedom posit that choosing not to have children is no more or less selfish than choosing to have children. Choosing to have children may be the more selfish choice, especially when poor parenting risks creating many long term problems for both the children themselves and society at large.[32] As philosopher David Benatar[33] explains, at the heart of the decision to bring a child into the world often lies the parents' own desires (to enjoy child-rearing or perpetuate one's legacy/genes), rather than the potential person's interests. At very least, Benatar believes this illustrates why a childfree person may be just as altruistic as any parent.

There is also the question as to whether having children really is such a positive contribution to the world in an age when there are many concerns about overpopulation, pollution and depletion of non-renewable resources. Some critics counter that such analyses of having children may understate its potential benefits to society (e.g. a greater labor force, which may provide greater opportunity to solve social problems) and overstate the costs. That is, there is often a need for a non-zero birth rate.[34]

Childfree individuals do not necessarily share a unified political or economic philosophy, and most prominent childfree organizations tend to be social in nature. Childfree social groups first emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, most notable among them the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood and No Kidding! in North America where numerous books have been written about childfree people and where a range of social positions related to childfree interests have developed along with political and social activism in support of these interests. The term "childfree" was used in a July 3, 1972 Time article on the creation of the National Organization for Non-Parents.[35] It was revived in the 1990s when Leslie Lafayette formed a later childfree group, the Childfree Network.[36]

The National Organization for Non-Parents (N.O.N.) was begun in Palo Alto, CA by Ellen Peck and Shirley Radl in 1972. N.O.N. was formed to advance the notion that men and women could choose not to have childrento be childfree. Changing its name to the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood, it continued into the early 1980s both as a support group for those making the decision to be childfree and an advocacy group fighting pronatalism (attitudes/advertising/etc. promoting or glorifying parenthood). According to its bylaws, the purpose of the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood was to educate the public on non-parenthood as a valid lifestyle option, support those who choose not to have children, promote awareness of the overpopulation problem, and assist other groups that advanced the goals of the organization. N.O.N.'s offices were located in Reisterstown, MD; then Baltimore, MD; and, ultimately, in Washington, D.C. N.O.N. designated August 1 as Non-Parents' Day. Just as people with children come from all shades of the political spectrum and temper their beliefs accordingly, so do the childfree. For example, while some childfree people think of government welfare to parents as "lifestyle subsidies," others accept the need to assist such individuals but think that their lifestyle should be equally compensated. Still others accept the need to help out such individuals and also do not ask for subsidies of their own.

There are suggestions of an emergence of political cohesion, for example an Australian Childfree Party (ACFP) proposed in Australia as a childfree political party, promoting the childfree lifestyle as opposed to the family lifestyle.[citation needed] Increasing politicization and media interest has led to the emergence of a second wave of childfree organizations that are openly political in their raisons d'tre, with a number of attempts to mobilize political pressure groups in the U.S. The first organization to emerge was British, known as Kidding Aside. The childfree movement has not had significant political impact.

See the article here:

Voluntary childlessness - Wikipedia

Welcome to The Childfree Life | The Childfree Life

This childfree website is a supportive environment for people who dont have kids and dont plan to have children in the future, as well as those who are still considering whether to have children.

Deciding not to have children, for whatever reason, can make you feel like an outcast, and the object of many negative stereotypes. The childfree choice is easy for some people, but for others it can become a quandary that lasts for years. Having no children means you may lose friends to the demands of parenthood or because you no longer have much in common. You may even find yourself facing strong pressure to conform from people close to you. Being childfree is a decision that cannot always be easily explained or understood.

We offer articles and resources for those who dont want children or cant have children, and invite you to join us in The Childfree Life forums for an honest discussion with like-minded people about all aspects of life without children.

Once upon a time, there was a group of intelligent, thoughtful, funny and wise people who met on another internet forum, and talked at length about their childfree lives, choices, and problems. As this forum was on a womens site, mothers that dropped in saw fit to complain about what they read. They didnt like our language, our opinions, or our choices. The site owner (a parent) agreed. As a result, the rules were changed, the site was censored, accounts were deleted, and the group felt the need to move on. We took that opportunity to create a new home for ourselves, and for other moderate childfree people. The Childfree Life is the result. We hope you enjoy it.

Theres a number of great childfree resources on the web, and more are springing up every day. Were a growing movement, but as yet, theres not a huge public awareness of who we are, what we represent, our hopes, dreams and motivations. Wed like to change that. Our vision is to become a hub of the online CF community, a central location for articles, resources, and thoughts about all things childfree, including the best and busiest forum on the web. We know that some of the childfree communities are a little hardcore for the average person, but theres a lot of parent-pleasing on the more women-oriented sites. Wed like to be somewhere in the middle a moderate voice, if you will.

We welcome the opinions and questions of childfree people of both genders, and supportive others. Were here to lend a sympathetic ear, give an opinion, and support people without judgment in their childfree choices.

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Welcome to The Childfree Life | The Childfree Life

Choosing to be Childfree to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

guest post by: Emily of Conservation Folks

Buying a house, having a successful career, and raising children are all part of the classic American dream. While it may sound idyllic, its not always an option in todays world. We currently have a growing population of more than 7.4 billion people and counting on a planet that can only sustain a maximum of 10 to 11 billion souls. How can living a childfree life contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle?

According to science, you dont have to live entirely childfree to have a sustainable lifestyle just have one fewer child.Its been calculated that having one fewer child could help to reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by more than 58 tons per year. For comparison, getting rid of your car only reduces emissions by about 2.4 tons per year, and upgrading your light bulbs from incandescent to CFL or LED reduces your emissions by less than 1/10 of a ton.

The key here, in addition to reducing carbon emissions, is to help stabilize the population. While the planet could potentially support a population of around 11 billion, it will not be able to do so well. What is the ideal stable population? Expert opinions vary but many do agree that having fewer children is key. Ideally, the number of children per couple should be 2.1 or fewer. The best way to ensure our planet and resources are able to support the human race is to take steps toward stabilizing our population, but how?

Many modern families have already chosen to limit their family size to one or two children, but for every family that only has one or two kids, there is one that has chosen to shun contraceptive and have as many children as they can carry, i.e. the Duggar family of 19 Kids and Counting. Implementing childbearing laws legally limiting couples to 2 children has been tried before in China, specifically, though there are other areas that have implemented similar laws/policies. Unfortunately, in some areas, it has lead to a stagnating birth rate that hasnt produced enough children to take the place of adults and elderly workers who are reaching the age of retirement.

Having one less child or choosing to have only two children, is one way to be more sustainable. However, to have a large impact on the world, it will have to be implemented on a global scale.

Having a childfree life isnt just good for the environment it can be good for you as well. First, you will have more freedom. Ive always wanted to travel the world without children, I can pick up and go anytime my career and finances will allow. I dont have to worry about finding someone to watch the kids or go through the hassle of bringing them with me to a foreign country. While kids can definitely benefit from this kind of experience, there are tons of things that are simply out of reach if youre traveling with children in tow. Second, youll have more money. The average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is roughly $300,000. Break that down per year and it comes out to somewhere around $17,000. Think of all you could do each year with $17,000 extra.The possibilities are endless. Now, Im not saying that all these things arent possible after youve had children, but having extra money certainly makes them easier.

Finally, you also have the option to add children to your life in the future either biologically or by fostering or adopting. According to the Childrens Bureau, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, there is an average of 500,000 children in the foster care system at any given time. Having fewer children or choosing to live childfree is a totally personal choice but it is one that can have many benefits.

More about Emily:Emily is a sustainability blogger who is passionate about living an eco-friendly lifestyle. You can check out more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.

How do you think being childfree helps the environment? Comment below!

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Choosing to be Childfree to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

Childfree and Loving It!: Nicki Defago: 9781904132639 …

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