Why do many parents insist that having children is indispensable to human fulfillment, when the number of fulfilled childfree adults proves that it clearly isn't? I considered this question in my first post on this blog, "The Preachers of Parenthood." I made some speculations about the explanation, but now there is an actual scientific study that offers a new and intriguing explanation: cognitive dissonance.
A recent study found that more U.S. women are childless than ever before. Hopefully many of those are "childfree," meaning they chose not to have children. As a childfree woman, this is a trend I'm thrilled to be part of.
One aspect of this article is chilling: the reporter jumps right into a comparison of white women's reproductive rates versus those of other races in the U.S. The priority that A.P. gives to this analysis implies that perhaps more white women should reproduce lest, as the article puts it, "U.S. minorities will become the majority by midcentury." Already "blacks, Hispanics, Asians and multiracial people are growing rapidly in the U.S. population and wielding more influence in politics and society." Multiracial people with influence??? Horrors -- what if they capture the White House! Oops, too late.
My friends have begun to breed. Some have children, some are pregnant, some are trying. They are all excited, but I have begun to feel like a heathen in a convent.
I don’t want children myself, and I don’t usually enjoy other people’s children much. But I’m learning to keep all that to myself, because so many people seem compelled to convert me.