Disregarded, disbelieved and dissmissed: reactions to the childfree

I came accross this piece by Laura Carroll If Not Wanting Kids Is ‘Entirely Normal,’ Why Is It Hard to Totally Accept? and thought I’d share the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-carroll/if-not-wanting-kids-is-en_b_1909823.html?utm_hp_ref=tw  In the article Carroll discusses reactions to people’s decision to be childfree, especially the belief that it is a temporary phase and that one will inevitably change one’s mind.

Rosemary Gillespie has also written on this and other dissmissive reactions, based on her research findings, in an article in the academic journal Women’s Studies International Forum (Vol. 23, Iss. 2).  She found that people disbelieved that childlessness had been chosen (i.e. there must be a problem such as infertility or inability to find a partner). She also reports that people disregarded women’s claims to be childfree, believing that they would change their minds, this, she states, “often involved the suggestion that they would change their minds when they ‘met the right man’”. Finally, she also notes how women were dismissed as deviant in that they were seen as childess, selfishness and unfeminine. Their choice was therefore related to a personal failing and not seen as legitimate.

As Carroll notes, “Underlying beliefs about parenthood drive the lack of total acceptance, and that set of beliefs is called pronatalism. […] As long as society sees these kinds of pronatalist notions about parenthood as unquestionably true, it will remain difficult to accept that not having kids is totally normal.”

I hope that you find the article(s) interesting, Tracy

P.S. If anyone has read Carroll’s book The Baby Matrix, then drop us a line and let us know what you thought.

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4 Responses to Disregarded, disbelieved and dissmissed: reactions to the childfree

  1. Tracey Feltham-King says:

    This is an interesting read. I think the idea of ‘NIMBY (not in my back yard) acceptance’ could be used to explain the levels of acceptance that many marginalised individuals experience.

  2. Hi, Laura Carroll here~Thanks for discussing my recent article on huffpo…see what people are saying about the The Baby Matrix at lauracarroll.com, including this review by Mardy Ireland PhD, author of the groundbreaking Reconceiving Women: http://lauracarroll.com/review-of-the-baby-matrix-a-needed-book-for-the-21st-century/ People are talking about it on amazon.com, goodreads as well…it takes the childfree discussion to the next level! Laura

  3. Pingback: You sir, are awesome!

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