• Fri, Apr 8 2011

Poll: Do You Want Kids?

According to Details, not having kids is the new black.

In an article in this month’s issue called “The No-Baby Boom,” writer Brian Frazer tells readers that suddenly, more people are choosing to go childless than ever before. Factual evidence to support this hypothesis includes:

The vasectomy business seems to be one of the few in America that is booming. In the past year, the Associates in Urology clinic in West Orange, New Jersey, has seen a 50 percent jump in the procedure.

Some might blame this particular phenomenon on the plethora of reality TV shows that detail what kind of humans eventually come out of New Jersey if well-meaning adults spawn there, but I hate to speculate. Besides, Frazer goes on to cite some statistics that are a little more representative of trends, like the Pew Center’s report that the number of women who don’t have kids by the end of their reproductive years is about twice what it was in the 1970s.

What to make of this? Well, we could throw ideas around until the cows come home, but really I’m more interested in what you think (I’ve been going to a lot of therapy lately).

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

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  • Christina

    How about it’s not a “no-baby boom” but simply people who never would have wanted children anyway actually having the opportunity to really make that choice, thanks to reliable birth control and access to sterilization? In the past people had to have kids whether they wanted to or not, or live celibate (or you know, take the good old infanticide route).

    • teenie

      Good point – it’s actually a viable and realistic choice nowadays.

  • Lucinda

    Very much so. The mothering instinct is very strong in me. So much so that friends call me Momma Luci.

  • Kat

    Also, kiddies are expensive! And let’s face it, we’re not in the best economical times.

  • Stephanie

    I agree with Kat. The economy has been sluggish since before the official start of the recession and we all know it will take a long time to recover. That and does anyone even get raises or end-of-year bonuses anymore? The financial aspect is a huge factor when deciding whether or not to have children.

  • http://bigapplepants.com sarahnoid

    I declared at age 8 that I didn’t want kids. People have been telling me since that I’ll change my mind. I’m 35. I’m not changing my mind. I like being able to leave out a giant bowl of food and water for the kitties and nip off for a weekend. They frown on that with human children.

  • missy

    I kind of want kids (but not teenagers), but when did having kids get so complicated? I am not so old that I can look at child rearing now and go “in my day…” that said, in my day:
    -we played outside
    -we did not have “play dates” we just went to so-n-so’s house, or to the park, or to the playground, or to the pool
    -our entire lives were not scheduled
    -we went to pre-school at 4, not 2
    -we did not have constant contact with everyone we know beginning at 6 years old, if we wanted to talk to someone we called from our home phones or knocked on their door. There was no 24/7 texting and twittering
    -if we were loud, our parents told us to shut up
    -if we were bad, we were punished

    All of this new stuff sounds so much more daunting to me, and you can scoff at it all you want, but if you don’t have your child interviewed in-utero for pre-school, they won’t get into college. And if they aren’t playing 4 sports, 3 instruments and learning 6 languages, they don’t stand a chance. You have SAT training in 6th grade. Kids are not kids anymore and parents roles are much larger than they used to be. I cannot imagine going through 18 years of that while trying to be my own person and hold a job.

    • Nessy

      My son is 4, and will be starting pre-school this fall, because I actually believe children should be children. I guess I’m old-fashioned, because I’m raising him pretty much like your back-in-the-day description! I have no tolerance for today’s teenagers.

  • Nikki

    Also, in the 70′s women’s choices were more limited. The feminist movement had been well underway, but most women still were expected to graduate highschool, get married, and start making babies by the age of 20. We have so many choices available to us now it’s not surprising that many women are choosing to live the opposite lives their mother’s lead.

  • joanntheredhead

    Yes, I do. And I really wish I could have the one in that photo. : )

  • Eileen

    I’ve always wanted children, except for a brief period when I was about ten and thought that the idea of having sex was so icky that I wouldn’t do it, even to have kids. I definitely think that more couples choosing not to have children has more to do with medical availability and social acceptability of marriage without children than an increase in a desire not to have any.

  • Jamie B

    I suspect that if a poll of this kind “do you personally want to have & raise children” had been conducted among women at any point in the past, the numbers would be similar. Having and raising kids is HARD WORK and it’s not for everybody, and that is totally okay! The only difference is that it is only in recent years that women have had the ability to say it without being censured. I already have one daughter and that was my choice. It’s good to be able to say that I *chose* to have a child, instead of knowing that it was the only option available.

  • rose

    if you don’t have any kids who will take care of you when you are old?

  • orkney

    missy – some very good points there.