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[personal profile] djpsyche
Mainly in case [livejournal.com profile] ford_prefect42 doesn't come back to my previous post.

"I kinda figure that everyone has an inborn compulsion to reproduce. It's kinda evolutionary."

It's an interesting theory and I'd like to pick it apart.

If you could define "an inborn compulsion to reproduce" as "a curiosity as to what their offspring would look/be like," then yeah, I do think that everyone has probably pondered on this at some point in their lives.

The fact is that I am an exception. I have no compulsion to reproduce; never have. Only a few moments in my life has a viable argument in favour of breeding entered my head:
- Once, in my late 30s, when it occurred to me that having children is the only means of preserving any bit of one's youth and vitality.
- Once when I felt a tinge of regret that my musical talent wouldn't be passed on to any future generations.

But those arguments were quickly overruled by logic: In the first case, I reasoned that this was as may be, but still didn't make all the downsides worthwhile; in the second case, I realised that there was no guarantee any child of mine would be musically talented, and in the split second thereafter I realised that this is where so many parents go wrong -- having expectations for kids that aren't even born yet, and who inevitably disappoint them by not exhibiting the combination of inherited traits the parents desired.

What Bill's question prompted me to ask myself was: If I were male, would his theory apply to me? In other words, do I actually possess an "inborn compulsion to reproduce" which has been decisively overruled by my stronger desire to not go through pregnancy and childbirth?

In my two previous long-term relationships, my male partners have expressed the desire to have kids. Easy for them to say, was my reaction. But I loved my grown-up partner enough that I actually considered whether there were any conditions under which I'd be willing to become a parent, for their sake. The absolute conditions on this would have been: I don't have to give birth (so adoption); we could skip the earliest, neediest years, before the kid could communicate verbally and use the toilet on its own (so adopting an older child); and they, not me, would be the primary caregiver. In other words, I could never be a mum, but perhaps I could be a dad. In the end the deciding factor was that even if all of my conditions for parenthood were met, if anything happened to my (actual or hypothetical) partner, I'd end up being a single parent to a child I never actually wanted. And no child deserves that. So thus ended the thought exercise.

A hypothetical "inborn compulsion to reproduce" could be overruled by other factors besides not wanting to endure pregnancy and childbirth. For instance, there's the cynic's argument of not wanting to bring a child into a world which is facing imminent ecological and economic devastation. There's also the survivor-of-abuse argument; some people's parents were so horrible as to put them off even the idea of ever being a parent themselves. These motivations are not gender-specific. I've known people in both categories, and am firmly in the first camp myself. Are these motivators sufficient to override the "inborn compulsion", or are they evidence that this "inborn compulsion" is in no way universal?

Because it's really hard to overrule actual inborn compulsions. Look at people who are gay and try to suppress it, for instance. If people were actively suppressing a compulsion to breed, rather than just not having one in the first place, then pretty much everyone would at some point change their mind about having kids, or regret missing their chance. And not everyone does. So no, I think the existence of people who are truly happily child-free into old age disproves the theory.

Counter arguments?

Date: 2015-06-17 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ford-prefect42.livejournal.com
Well, one sort of counter-argument is to look at how many people that start out at "I will never have children" actually *do* change their minds. It's really the vast majority. IE, "Pretty much everyone" does end up either with children, or regretting the lack. Exceptions exist, of course.

Second is that inborn compulsions are difficult to overcome, but some (few) people still do it. There are, in the real world, examples of homosexuals that never have homosexual sex. There are asexuals that reproduce, psychopaths that never kill, and autistics that communicate. It's *hard*, but it's not impossible, so the fact that some have done so doesn't disprove the existence of a pretty darned universal compulsion.

Now, I am not in your head, and I didn't live your life, however, the impulses you described, to pass on your musical talent, or preserve your youth, may have been squashed pretty quickly, but squashing them is still what you're describing. Basically, hitting the snoozebar on the bio-clock until it decides to shut off (which has caused me to miss many days at work :( ) But the vast majority of people don't have the wherewithal to hit that particular snoozebar that many times, because, unlike with the alarm clock, it actually does take some will, logic, and strength. Hitting the snoozebar is the more difficult path, not the easier one. So, it's feasible that a combination of an unusually weak compulsion, combined with a particularly strong distaste for the process resulted in a happy child-free result. TLDR, there are exceptions to every rule, doesn't mean the rule is necessarily wrong.

And it really does kinda fit the pattern of evolution in a "selfish gene" kind of way that pretty much everyone would have the urge to pass on their genes. From an evolutionary standpoint, it's the only actual purpose that organisms have!

Date: 2015-06-18 09:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djpsyche.livejournal.com
Well, one sort of counter-argument is to look at how many people that start out at "I will never have children" actually *do* change their minds. It's really the vast majority. IE, "Pretty much everyone" does end up either with children, or regretting the lack.

And what is your source for this, please? Other than projecting your own experience onto everyone else, which is, of course, what I am probably doing as well when I see lots of people NOT changing their minds?

I'd also remind you that most people != all people.

So let's ask Google:
Part of this article seems to be missing (http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/06/14/child_free_do_they_change_their_minds_.html), but three out of three child-free subjects did not change their minds in 12 years.
Can't read this entire article (http://time.com/241/having-it-all-without-having-children/), and this follow-up (http://werenothavingababy.com/childfree/youll-change-mind-childfree-myth-busted/) found that of the couples profiled, one did change their mind, but the others did not.
Most of the links I am finding are from childfree blogs, which I accept are inherently biased. It would be interesting to do a longitudinal study, find people in their 20s who say they don't want children, and then go back and find those same people 30 years later to see the results.

"There are, in the real world, examples of homosexuals that never have homosexual sex. There are asexuals that reproduce, psychopaths that never kill, and autistics that communicate. It's *hard*, but it's not impossible"

It's not at all hard for me to come up with reasons not to have kids. And the gay people who force themselves to not act on their desires aren't happy. People who don't want kids and don't have kids are happy.

the impulses you described, to pass on your musical talent, or preserve your youth, may have been squashed pretty quickly, but squashing them is still what you're describing.

No; they're more like, as Mel describes below, wondering whether I fancy a sandwich and then deciding I don't -- or, to draw a better parallel, being on a tall building and getting a momentary impulse to jump off, and within a split second deciding that, no, that's stupid, of course I don't want to kill myself. You think that not jumping is hard? No, it's the easiest thing ever to overrule that momentary, irrational impulse. And I've had those impulses far more often than twice in my life, and here I am, still alive, with no aching regret that I didn't jump, and no belief whatsoever that at some point in the future I will "change my mind".

And yes, believing that a rule is "everyone thinks/feels this" but discovering exceptions DOES in fact mean the assumption is wrong. You can't claim that everyone likes pizza when you've met someone who doesn't like pizza. All you can claim is that pizza is popular.

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Date: 2015-06-18 10:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sushidog.livejournal.com
There are asexuals that reproduce, psychopaths that never kill, and autistics that communicate.
A-sexuality is not a compulsion not to reproduce, psychopathy is not a compulsion to kill, and autism is not a compulsion not to communicate, so none of these examples tell us anything about overcoming compulsions.

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Date: 2015-06-18 08:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shewho.livejournal.com
nope, i pretty much agree with what you've written. (n.b. not seen the other post yet!)

the only couple of twinges towards parenthood i've had have been akin to wondering whether i should have a sandwich or not, and deciding pretty quickly i don't actually want one.

i hate the way societal expectation makes you have to question yourself (especially as a woman) and come up for all sorts of reasons for not wanting to reproduce. justify how you feel. bloody ridiculous.

(if i ever DO have some sort of brain injury that causes me to reverse my whole personality and become desperate for a child, adoption is the way forward. for a whole heap of logical and personal reasons.)

Date: 2015-06-18 09:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] robot-mel.livejournal.com
I definitely don't agree that everyone has the inborn compulsion to reproduce. People enjoy sex BECAUSE of evolution. Evolution has made sex pleasurable and given us hormones to want it to encourage reproduction of the species. But that is totally different to EVERYONE MUST FEEL THE DESIRE TO MAKE BABIES!

I think a lot of of people breed without considering it. It just seems what people do. I think the more you think about the reasons to have kids, or not, the more it becomes very obvious that having kids is nothing more than selfish desire.

Date: 2015-06-18 09:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djpsyche.livejournal.com
I think you're right, Mel. Having kids is such hard work that nature has evolved us humans in such a way as to make sex so pleasurable we'll even risk pregnancy!

I wouldn't say having kids is selfish or not having kids is selfish. People are different. Some people are suited to be parents and some are not.

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Date: 2015-06-18 09:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beluosus.livejournal.com
If you could define "an inborn compulsion to reproduce" as "a curiosity as to what their offspring would look/be like," then yeah, I do think that everyone has probably pondered on this at some point in their lives.

I've never wanted offspring, and I've never had any curiosity as to what form they would take.

I don't understand why people who ascribe to a commonly-held viewpoint frequently decide that everyone necessarily holds the same view, even if they don't realise it or have it only in a very limited degree. I've gotten the 'you will change your mind someday' speech from my mum on more than one occasion. Along with the 'you'll grow out of the goth phase' speech. Her inability to see that I might hold a different opinion has yet to alter the fabric of reality do that only her opinion remains.

Date: 2015-06-18 09:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djpsyche.livejournal.com
[livejournal.com profile] beluosus, [livejournal.com profile] robot_mel, let me ask you: In my previous post I claimed that women get "you'll change your mind" more often than men do. As a long-term child-free couple, do you agree?
Edited Date: 2015-06-18 09:46 am (UTC)

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Date: 2015-06-18 10:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sushidog.livejournal.com
Well, I've never wanted to reproduce nor had any curiosity as to what my children would look like, but it's kind of a moot point (exceptions exist to most rules when it comes to human behaviour, after all); the key point here is the idea of any such compulsion being innate or inevitable, and the problem with that idea is that it is impossible to test. We live in a society which needs us to have babies, and which tells us (women particularly, but men too) that we are worth more, and will be more satisfied, if we have children than if we don't. We teach out tiny children that being a parent is good and important and desirable, and indeed we teach little girls that "being a mummy" is what they should aspire to. So of course a lot of women, having been told throughout their lives from a very early age that they should want kids, end up wanting kids. But there needn't be anything innate about that; it could be entirely socialised, in the same way that wearing make-up or high heels or wanting to be a pop star is socialised.

Date: 2015-06-18 10:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] biascut.livejournal.com
From [livejournal.com profile] ford_prefect42's comment above: LDR, there are exceptions to every rule, doesn't mean the rule is necessarily wrong

Except that describing every exception as "an exception", and insisting on the rule, is not a neutral act. It's actively making it harder for exceptions to exist, and creating an imperative for people who might well be exceptions in a neutral environment to go along with the flow. If you've got people who are determined to reproduce at six, and people who are absolutely definitely hostile to the idea of reproducing at 0, and equal numbers at every point in between, you're lumping 6-1 together, isolating the 0s, and making it harder for anyone in the low numbers to say, "Actually, I don't think I..." Confirmation bias like woah.

Go back a hundred years, and it's easy to argue that lesbians, or women who simply don't want to be dependent on men, exist but are "an exception to the rule". Being an exception to that rule is an exceptionally hard and difficult path of constant uphill struggle. It most likely means poverty and risk of violence. You have to really, really want to be independent from men to adopt a single life, or to really, really desire women, to make it worth the risk and sacrifice.

Fast forward a hundred years, and it turns out that once it's a fairly common pathway and reasonably well-protected, and women can be educated and compete in the workplace on equal-ish terms to men and own property in their own right, actually a pretty substantial minority think that sounds pretty good. Change the dates and you can make exactly the same argument about people who are happy to fit into a cis male/female gender binary and people who aren't being minor "exceptions" and effectively ignorable.

In a context where you are insisting that "most people want X", and the minority who don't are swimming upstream, you're defining other people's experience. It's not very cool.

(I have a baby. I would say I'm at 5 or 6 on the wanting-a-child scale: I am in a gay relationship, and I wanted a child enough to jump through MANY hoops to get one, and if I lived in a society where that wasn't possible I'd almost certainly have made sure I ended up in a relationship with a man because I'd prioritise having a child. I can't imagine what it's like to not want to have a child. But I believe people who tell me they don't because Jesus they know the insides of their heads better than I do and I really do hate the idea of "biological imperatives".)
Edited Date: 2015-06-18 10:08 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-06-18 10:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littlered2.livejournal.com
Just sharing my experience: I have no compulsion to have children, and never have. (For reference I am female, in my mid-twenties, and in a long-term relationship with a cis man.) I don't dislike children, but I have no desire to have any of my own - I find it very hard to understand how the positives could outweigh the negatives. Obviously many people do, and my viewpoint is by no means the only valid one, but I find it genuinely difficult to understand why people choose to have children, as I have so little inclination to do so.

I think being female makes it easier to have strong negative feelings. My partner has talked about being interested in the idea of having children, but I feel like it's a lot easier to say that as the person who is not going to have to go through pregnancy and childbirth, and who is statistically less likely to be the primary carer. I feel that it's societally easier for men to take a more hands-off role, whereas women are more likely to find themselves taking the most responsibility and having their life affected to a greater extent. (Again, this is very much an average thing, rather than the universal experience - same-sex couples have children, people adopt, many fathers are primary carers, etc. But in general, being a mother seems more potentially overwhelming than being a father, and so I feel like I have more to lose.)

Date: 2015-06-18 10:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djpsyche.livejournal.com
I think being female makes it easier to have strong negative feelings. My partner has talked about being interested in the idea of having children, but I feel like it's a lot easier to say that as the person who is not going to have to go through pregnancy and childbirth, and who is statistically less likely to be the primary carer.

Agree entirely. When "spreading one's genes" is limited to "having sex, then seeing whether the result looks like you", it's much more appealing. I think that's why women evolved to be orgasmic. It's not necessary for reproduction; but without it, why would we let men do something to us that would result in babies?

Date: 2015-06-18 10:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ivankravtsov.livejournal.com
You can cancel and gay

Date: 2015-06-18 11:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dexypunk.livejournal.com
Two points. 1) The need to reproduce is certainly evolutionary. Any species needs to reproduce to survive. If we all stop, we die. However, that doesn't mean that it's a blanket compulsion in everyone. 2) Actual reproductive choice in women is a recent development. This makes it quite difficult to study the compulsion to breed on a long view. There is another point, which is that since childbirth has become safer, the NEED to breed has become lessened in our species since maternal and infant mortality is so much reduced.
I think all decisions whether to have kids or not are rooted in societal and cultural values. However, we now have the ability to choose to have one child, eight children, or no children to suit our lives and personalities.

Date: 2015-06-18 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sushidog.livejournal.com
Actual reproductive choice in women is a recent development.
Effective and safe reproductive choice is recent, yes; but women have been using a variety of methods (pessaries, sponges, herbal contraceptives, abortifacients) for thousands of years. The fact that they've been doing so suggests that the idea of a universal compulsion to have children is nonsense, of course.

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Date: 2015-06-18 11:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meepettemu.livejournal.com
Do not want kids. Never wanted kids. 37. My niece might come stay with me (us) to do her degree and I can just about cope with that. But having my own children? Not on your life.

Date: 2015-06-18 12:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zenithed.livejournal.com
I feel like it's hard to say what's 'natural' without excluding the effects of social pressure and norms, which are tremendously powerful.

It's like when you hear politicians say that everyone aspires to own a home - well, sure, I can see how it might look that way, but that's only because we've set up our economy a certain way and it's constantly reinforced through the media, it's not hard to think of a system where that isn't the case.

I'm guessing it's not a coincidence that many of the people I know who've chosen to be child-free are also non-conformist in other ways, and generally don't give a stuff what society thinks.

Date: 2015-06-18 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djpsyche.livejournal.com
Well yes, but owning a home is artificial, but breeding is primal. Are child-free people consciously overriding their primal urges (and social pressure), or do some people simply not have those urges while others do?

The "women have always made efforts to avoid pregnancy" argument isn't necessarily a convincing one, either. While a woman may want to not get pregnant *now* or *by this particular partner*, that's not proof that she won't want to breed at some point in the future.

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Date: 2015-06-20 06:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ford-prefect42.livejournal.com
This was an awful lot of reaction to an "I kinda think" statement.

I see a bunch of things in here that are responses to things I didn't say. For example, there's an underlying theme of "I can't conceive" of the position of the child-free. That's wrong. I *can*. I was that. For a very long time. I understand where that comes from, the logic behind it (overpopulation, ickiness, loss of autonomy, etcetera), and the visceral distaste that one can feel towards it. In fact, being a farmboy, I have a stronger understanding of it than most might think (If anyone's curious, google "prolapse", although I *strongly* advise against that). The "miracle of life" is icky at best, and utterly revolting at worst. And babies are ugly screaming puking shit-monsters. I *get* it.

However, as one of the *last* people that I knew when I was 14-30 that remains without children, as I spend time with and around children, there's another side to the story. I won't try to argue that it's logical, or rational, or that it's anything other than selfish. It's primal, but it's there.

As for "social pressures", tell me, do binobos have "social pressures"? Rats? Sheep? And yet *all* of them reproduce, almost without exception. "Childfree" in the wild kingdom is exclusively the purview of the specimens that are unable (for whatever reason) to reproduce. Do any of you think that that's because all the other deer taunt the spinster? Cause I don't.

Maybe there's a shorthand in the biology, that, rather than the urge to have children, the invisible hand of Darwin substituted making sex REALLY pleasurable. It's possible that, given the existence of contraception, abortion, etcetera), that there isn't a separate urge to reproduce. I have no problem with that notion. Or any other ideas, really. I (like science itself at this point) am basically spit-balling. The study I found earlier (which others paid to actually read) indicates that the issue is complex. I am less than shocked, even though my personal observation (of virtually all the childfree that I knew when I was younger eventually having children) led me to think otherwise. Cool! My understanding (based on my observations) was wrong, now I can stop being wrong in that particular way! I am certain I will find others!

Date: 2015-06-20 08:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sushidog.livejournal.com
However, as one of the *last* people that I knew when I was 14-30 that remains without children,
OK, but that's your (necessarily limited) experience; you can't generalise from that. I know literally dozens of people in their late thirties and forties who are happily child-free and regret-free, myself included.

As for "social pressures", tell me, do binobos have "social pressures"? Rats? Sheep? And yet *all* of them reproduce, almost without exception.
But bonobos (and rats, and sheep, and every other animal too) don't have an innate urge to reproduce; they have an innate urge to breed. That's a different thing, and you seem to be conflating the two.
And of course the idea that animals don't have social pressure and therefore humans don't either is utterly specious. Other animals don't do all sorts of things which we humans do. We absolutely _do_ have social pressures, and they're remarkably powerful; we know this, beyond any doubt, as there is a huge body of research looking at exactly this. Other animals don't have language; does that mean we don't either?

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Date: 2015-06-22 10:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djpsyche.livejournal.com
as one of the *last* people that I knew when I was 14-30 that remains without children, as I spend time with and around children, there's another side to the story. I won't try to argue that it's logical, or rational, or that it's anything other than selfish. It's primal, but it's there.

Just because it's there inside you does not mean it's there inside everyone. I think this is what most people came here to say.

I think when we realise something about ourselves, there is a tendency to assume what we've discovered is a universal truth. For instance, when I realised I was bisexual, it seemed obvious and logical to me that everyone should have the innate capability to find people of all genders attractive and enjoy sex no matter what equipment their partner had. That seemed so self-evident... but it's wrong. As is the assumption that, because you discovered, to your surprise, a primal desire for kids, that means everyone has one.

As a self-described "farm boy" your friends cohort is quite different from my urban group of friends. My friends mostly live in homes that have no room for children, and can't afford to buy larger ones. Perhaps child-free people are more likely to enjoy urban life and move to large cities.

As for "social pressures", tell me, do binobos have "social pressures"? Rats? Sheep? And yet *all* of them reproduce, almost without exception.

THAT'S BECAUSE THEIR BRAINS AREN'T DEVELOPED ENOUGH TO DEVISE BIRTH CONTROL. DUH.
From the point in time when humans realised sex was tied to reproduction, humans have been taking steps to try to keep the sex but eliminate the reproduction.

Maybe there's a shorthand in the biology, that, rather than the urge to have children, the invisible hand of Darwin substituted making sex REALLY pleasurable.

Yes. See several comments ago about why women evolved to be orgasmic. If sex weren't enjoyable, why would we let men do something to us that would potentially result in a baby?
Edited Date: 2015-06-22 11:05 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-06-20 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erming.livejournal.com
The one thing I'd say from this is I think everyone who's posted has a fair point.

I also think people's circle of friends depends on their views. Am guessing if ford_prefect had copied your post onto his lj rather than most people supporting you most people would be attacking you there. Certainly from Facebook friends they seem to be split between the yay no kids group (the majority) and the wanting kids / have kids and see how many baby/kids photos they can post in a day. What I've noticed is most of the group who want to have kids / have gotten kids and continually post pictures of them is with nearly all of them I got to know them as a partner of one of my friends rather than someone who I made a friend with without encouragement. Which just goes to show I pick a lot of my friends by having some similar views to me.

My best friend's wife (who is constantly posting baby pictures and is taking a maternity break from being a lawyer) said when she was at uni there were plenty of women in her year who didn't want children but one by one all of them got pregnant. So changing mind does happen for some people (which is why others are so convinced everyone will change their mind). Certainly I can think of a few people I was interested in who did change their mind later and I was very glad I didn't go out with them.

I've had a lot of "you'll change your mind" from a lot of people, especially mum. Personally I worry about turning into my dad parent style wise (which'd be no good for anyone) but more to the point I have a few things that are hereditory wrong with me (eg severe eczema - thanks, dad) that I would really need to hate a person to give them it. That is usually the way I silence the people who keep going on at me to have kids. Certainly when my mum was cooing over my sister being pregnant she was all "you'll change your views on children when you have ones you are closely related to". I think one is 8 and the other is 6 and have seen one once and the other twice and have no interest in seeing photos of them, something that stunned my mum. She usually tries to show them to me by claiming she needs help viewing them because of technical problems. Having said that once I was very proud of her eldest - he was bullied at school by a lot bigger kid a lot and Sonny used karate on the bigger kid and knocked him out cold. My sister was put in the awkward situation of being called in to see the head who expected her to be sorry when she was quite proud of him for what he did.

One thing that I reckon for blokes who are broody about having children they should "try before they buy", ie go out and live with someone who does have them for a while and see if that changes their mind. A lot of people who have rosy views of being parents often find their views shattered by something like that. Certainly I know of a couple who was considering having a kid after getting married, but the couple in the flat above them did so. 8 months of sleepless nights caused by screaming babies and hearing a lot of arguments from upstairs seemed to have put them off it.

Date: 2015-06-20 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erming.livejournal.com
Oh and the thing about anecdotal evidence is most people quote the anecdotes that meet their views!

Date: 2015-06-22 10:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djpsyche.livejournal.com
Certainly when my mum was cooing over my sister being pregnant she was all "you'll change your views on children when you have ones you are closely related to".

That has happened for me, but "changing my views on children" took the form of "allowing that other people's children can be tolerable at times" rather than "changing my views about whether I personally want children."

Date: 2015-06-23 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellebabe.livejournal.com
- Societal pressure to have children, even if you yourself feel no compulsion
- Desire to please a partner, even if you yourself feel no compulsion
- Accidental pregnancy and religious beliefs/lack of access to abortion/the man not getting a say


I totally agree with the above.

I don't think it is so much an inborn compulsion as it is social conditioning and some fortunate hormonal responses after the fact.

Little girls are encouraged towards behaving in a maternal, nurturing manner more than anything else.

As adults, females are constantly having the message being a mother = feminine/ major worth as a person on a near daily basis.

In my experience, many people who fully agree it is a woman's decision whether or not to breed still find it "unnatural" on some level that she would choose not to.

Again, in my experience, this doesn't let up no matter how many "life milestones" you achieve. Things such as getting married ("now you can have kids") buying a home ("all that room just for the two of you") getting pets ("are you trying to fill a child shaped hole") - I am hoping it dies off sometime by menopause.


The most simple logic overrode any "inborn compulsion" I had.

From my point of view, being a parent is a time, effort, emotional, physical and financial sink hole that has a 50/50 chance of producing intangible benefits/a human you can be proud of sometimes.

It is a stressor that makes the things a person previously take for granted seem like miracles.

And at best,some of the people I have enjoyed knowing for years have gone down that path and are similar to how they were before. They have managed to retain or - after a short hiatus of a year or two - return to those things that gave them bliss before kids.

But others became utterly miserable beings who dislike their lives and (quietly) regret having children on nearly a daily basis.

Not good odds at all.

Date: 2015-06-23 10:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djpsyche.livejournal.com
in my experience, this doesn't let up no matter how many "life milestones" you achieve. Things such as getting married ("now you can have kids") buying a home ("all that room just for the two of you") getting pets ("are you trying to fill a child shaped hole") - I am hoping it dies off sometime by menopause.

I'm sorry this is continuing for you, Elle. I guess it depends on the person -- people look at me and see hips that are not cut out for child-bearing, boobs that couldn't feed a mouse's baby, a lifestyle that's completely non-conducive to parenthood, so it's no surprise I'm viewed as one of the (not so) "rare" exceptions. (Besides, my sisters have provided Mum with grandkids, so there's no need for me to fulfil that role.)

I do think that some people must have an "inborn compulsion" -- I know people who are blissfully happy being parents. As odd as that seems to me, I'm glad they're happy. Saves the likes of us from having to propagate the species, eh? *wry five*

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] ellebabe.livejournal.com - Date: 2015-06-25 12:24 am (UTC) - Expand
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