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Childfree Life: Trends of the Childfree

Childfree living as a lifestyle option has become increasingly prevalent over the last 40 years or more. A study by Stuart Basden PhD (June 2009) shows that, at that time, around 20% – 30% of women in Europe and the US had no children, though it is unclear exactly what percentages of these were voluntarily childfree.

Childfree Life: Trends of the Childfree
The sign that many childfree adults carry

Information on the numbers of people who have voluntarily opted for a childfree life is still a little thin on the ground, despite current demographic trends which show a growth in the numbers of childfree adults in developed nations. Additionally, most current polls and studies relate only to women who have taken this option. Far less data has been published regarding men who have decided to remain childfree.

It is important to make the distinction here between being childless, and being childfree. The former term describes people who are, for whatever reason, unable to have children. The latter term represents those who have chosen a child free lifestyle. But of those who have chosen this path, how does this decision affect their lives, their relationships and their families, and what has prompted them to make this decision?

A study by Magarick and Brown (1981 Journal of Biosocial Science) looked at social and emotional aspects of childfree living for men. The study incorporated 44 vasectomised voluntarily childless men, and compared their results to those of 51 vasectomised fathers.

The study was designed to test whether those who had chosen voluntary childlessness were influenced in any way by their own childhood experiences, or their relative happiness within their relationships. The study also tested the respondents to assess whether they were affected by any type of social pathology.

The results showed that overall those who had chosen voluntary childlessness as a way of life had a greater capacity for independent thought, were less traditionalist than their counterparts in the parent group, and were more inclined toward experimentation. It is interesting to note that even as recently as 1981, choosing a childfree life was still considered to be so unusual, that the respondents mental faculties were questioned in this study.


I have taken a stand, but in a non-aggressive way. We've been questioned, and even judged. Probably the rudest comment we've heard was , " One day when your party days are over you'll realize life isn't all about you." An odd and invalid comment considering I am a volunteer and neither hubby or I party. i don't even drink! Anyhow, I stopped the insults and judgements by saying, "Excuse me, but I don't discuss this personal matter with others unless they're planning on birthing and raising the child, and sending it to college!

Pearce argues that the world’s population is peaking. In the next century, we’re heading not for exponential growth, but a slow, steady decline.

Indeed we are not the majority.
Many folks have kids because they are afraid to "miss out" on the experience.
They neglect to think about the things they will miss out on if they do.
Overpopulation is a myth.
The birth rate in most of the world has fallen below replacement.
Many countries are in fact dying off...
The economic factor is one. The time factor is another. How much time do you want to waste raising a kid?


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