Ugh: Americans Still Think Less of People Without Kids – Glamour

Posted: March 6, 2017 at 3:19 pm

PHOTO: Courtesy Everett Collection

The proportion of people who don't have children has gone way up over the past few years. The birth rate for women in their twenties dropped by 15 percent from 2007 to 2012, and nearly half of women ages 15-44 had no kids in 2014. There's even a new word for the decisionopting to be "childfree"as a less pitiable-sounding alternative to"childless." Celebrities from Oprah Winfrey to Jennifer Aniston have spoken out about the fact that we don't need kids to feel complete.

But that message hasn't reached everyone. A study published in Sex Roles has found that even Millennials, a third of whom plan to remain childfree themselves, don't just consider people without kids less fulfilledthey actually get angry when they hear about them.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis professor Leslie Ashburn-Nardo gave 197 college students an excerpt about someone named James or Jennifer who had either two kids or none. Then, she asked them to rate how happy the character was with their marriage, their children or lack thereof, and life overall. Participants were also asked how this person made them feel.

People considered the childfree characters less satisfied than those with two kids, and they felt "significantly greater moral outrage" toward them than toward parents. And although many women in particular have felt pressured to start families due to gender roles, negative feelings were directed equally toward Jennifer and James.

These findings confirm what a lot of childfree peopleand even people like Adele who have had kids but don't want morehave been saying all along: The stigma against them is real. 69 percent of Millennials believe this isn't a problem anymore, but the data suggest otherwise. There's clearly still a lot of work to be done to change society's attitudes about children and who does and doesn't have them.

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Ugh: Americans Still Think Less of People Without Kids - Glamour

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