Monday, July 12, 2010

The Real Reason More Women are Childless

Here. Interesting article and comments section.

Contributed by commenter Karl.


TGGP said...

Karl might be Karl Smith, a pretty cool dude. I believe Felix Salmon said that he's not read by many people, but all the people that matter. Or maybe he was talking about the Velvet Underground.

TGGP said...

Off-topic but likely of interest:

Chip said...

Looking at Karl Smith's "About" page on leads to one of the strangest comment threads I've ever seen:

Sister Y said...

Modeled Behavior is, indeed, rad.

CM said...

Great article. Too bad they don't get to the most interesting part until the very end.

My only problem with those types of articles is that the childfree journalists who write them always tend to confuse the issue; the Pew research compares women who have borne children to those who have not; some of the latter are not childfree but are adoptive or stepmothers. But Amanda Marcotte acts as if negative stereotypes associated with not breeding and those associated with not raising children are one and the same. Maybe because everyone assumes that the only reason to adopt instead of breeding is infertility. But I know from personal experience it's not the case; I've never wanted to breed, but spent most of my life wanting to adopt. I just looked at child-rearing critically later and became childfree as a result.

TGGP, great article, and I think it's on topic. I took it as more evidence for my prognosis that humans will give up pets and possibly become vegan before they even start applying the same critical analysis to their own reproduction.

CM said...

Off topic, but I didn't want to spam the link library. I read David DeGrazia's paper (thanks, Rob), and, unfortunately, there is little originality there. There are invocations of non-identity, an irrelevant discussion of impersonal goodness and badness, allegations of paternalism - the works. He thinks people can be benefited by being brought into existence, as well as harmed.

What I found particularly interesting is that he devotes more time to the discussion of David Benatar's interpretation of various well-being theories than other reviewers so far. Predictably enough, Prof. DeGrazia thinks overall assessments (attitudes) should be given more weight than irreducible experiences, such as pain. And he thinks there is an hierarchy of desires; as long as the more global ones (such as having a decent job, raising a family, etc.) are satisfied, it doesn't matter that we have many more specific unsatisfied desires. And as for objective list theories, we probably can't even imagine things sub specie aeternitatis.

I was also somewhat puzzled by the fact that earlier in his paper, he says that parents are in a good position to make predictions about their future children's well-being (despite the fact that people are not even accurate judges of their own future well-being, as shown by some studies referred to in BNtHB). But at the end, he says he agrees with many of DB's claims, and there is too much irresponsible breeding going on. Sounds like a self-contradiction. The friendly conclusion is a nice touch, though.

Former Shadow said...

Where are you Jim? Long time no see.

I´m proud to announce my blog:

Which is pretty much like the english name, except for the "-o".

Your book is about to come home.

And please, inform me if you are not worried about me posting some of your translated in my blog.