Fitter Happier

From time to time, because I have professed to be planning not to have children, articles are forwarded to me on the subject. Then if I read them, post about them, or try to discuss them, I often get accused of attempting to justify my decision. I have written many times before about the subject and I always get mixed comments on such posts.
While support, and good-hearted discussion, is nice I, too often, come away from such exchanges truly feeling like I do have to justify my decision to people, or to be more dramatic, society at large. It (not-procreating) isn’t what organisms are supposed to do (our design makes that embarrassingly obvious) but we do a lot of things we likely aren’t supposed to do. But we have workarounds (or loopholes) for that now. We don’t have to blindly reproduce because that is “what we are supposed to do”.
An American Sociologist Association study from late last year reports findings that I have suspected (and seen proof of in the lives of friends and family) for some time: parents are not happier than adults without children. Here is the full study report (PDF). This information does little for me, but may provide, some bit of comfort for others considering the same path.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. It doesn’t do much for me either, but I’m already fine without having kids so I don’t really need to be reassured.
    I thought about this the other day though, about justification. Being an athiest is also difficult when so many people have faith based identities. However, I’ve actually gotten less weird looks for saying I’m an athiest than I have saying I don’t want kids.
    I suppose it’s because there are a lot of different religions and subsects, so it’s a bit easier to understand that people could believe lots of different things. With kids, you either have them or you don’t. There’s little grey area there. I can see why people would be very firm on one side or the other.

  2. I don’t see why you have to justify it to anyone. What would happen, for instance, if you could not have children for physical/medical reasons? Would that make either partner less of a person? Of course not! But most people don’t consider situations like that that buck the trend or burst their bubbles; to hell with them, I say. Live for yourself, not for others.

  3. Yeah, I don’t think you should bother to justify yourself. You aren’t doing anything wrong.
    I’m guessing that for people who want justification, it’s more about them than about you. They want to be assured that their way of thinking is still right. A strong held opinion off the norm often envokes that reaction in people. You justifying yourself is a way of saying that you can have an odd opinion because you are an odd person. Then, they don’t have to worry about themselves.
    I’ve really been getting into large psychological generalisations lately.
    Anyway, I don’t think that not having kids is wrong. Most people probably shouldn’t have kids (though I wouldn’t put you into that category).

  4. I was once militantly anti-kid. I even used to cite bits from an American Sociologist Association study. But I was wrong.
    Either way man, no judging here and no justification needed. Live and let live.

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