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Misconceptions About Childfree Women

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Childfree women don’t like children.

While it’s true that many women who aren’t mothers would just as soon not be around kids, there are an equal number who love to spend time with nieces, nephews, or the child of a neighbor or friend. Some childfree women enter careers such as teaching, because they want to have close interactions with children.

The reality is that whether or not a woman becomes a mother has little to do with whether or not she likes being around children. After all, we all know women who are mothers but don’t enjoy being around children other than their own.

Childfree women are selfish.

This misconception suggests that not having children is a selfish decision, because the childfree woman is too self-involved to want to take time to love and care for another human being. The fact is that some childfree women are choosing this path for the most unselfish reasons, because of their environmental concerns.

There are plenty of humans in the world already. To make the choice to not have a child is one of the most unselfish decisions one can make. In fact, this is a gift to all who become parents, because the choice to not have a child results in more resources for those who do.

Childfree woman don’t like sex.

After all, if you don’t want to have kids, it likely is because you don’t like the activity that produces them, right? The reality is that marital satisfaction plummets after the birth of the first child, and I’d speculate that a big reason for this is the decline in a couple’s sexual activity. New parents are too tired to want to have sex. Plus, many new mothers become “mommy”, losing their former status as “sex kitten” in the marital bed.

Many women feel overweight and unattractive after having children, and some never really reclaim their former looks and sexual identity. A childfree woman does not go through this transition in her identity, and childfree couples have more time, emotional energy, and physical alertness to enjoy sex on a regular basis.

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157 comments

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2:53AM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

Thanks for the article.

10:44AM PDT on Aug 20, 2011

Thank you for writing this.

10:32AM PDT on Aug 20, 2011

I really loved reading this opinion piece, it's just kinda sad folks have to write them. It should be we accept other people's choices without judgment. My choice to not have kids in not illegal nor does it affect anyone else. Therefore, why does anyone give it a second thought?

People can't tell by looking at me my health issues nor my family background. I don't need to put someone else with my genetic code on the planet. Not to mention, I don't have a desire to be a parent. I feel like I am making a great moral choice to make sure I don't get pregnant.

5:43AM PDT on Aug 20, 2011

Great article, thank you very much for writing it.

6:06PM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

While I agree with many points in this article, the claim that "ask any mother if she’s ever had days when she envied a friend who is childfree, and if she’s honest, she’ll say yes" is FALSE. I have 3 children. I enjoy time away from them, but I have never, not even for ONE SECOND, envied any one of my many childfree freinds. Honest.

5:07PM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

"Reproduction has been described as a fundamental human need." Yes, it has been described so to rationalize (or even 'sanctify') human sex drive. The reasons listed as 'fundamental needs' are in no way fundamental (prosperity is a man-made idea which didn't exist before agricultural era).

Our fundamental needs are the ones that evolution wired into our basic psychology, long before people realized that sexual act and childbirth are somehow connected. On a conscious level, people were breeding for thousands of years just because they had sex, not other way round. Some fundamental needs include giving and receiving love, a need to be accepted and recognized in a group, need for physical (food and shelter) and emotional security, a need to learn and enjoy the world, need to relate to something/someone greater than ourselves... All these can be (and are better) met without kids. Kids have been factored into human existence as an unavoidable fact - only recently humans dared to question its necessity.

4:10PM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

Let's not forget that there are plenty of kids in this country and around the world who have insufficient or no adult nurturing. Childfree adults can be mentors, tutors, coaches, foster parents, and hospital volunteers. There are many babies in hospitals whose parents are unavailable due to a variety of problems from disease to addiction to poverty, and volunteers are needed to simply come and hold them and give them human affection. Sick children and those from disadvantaged backgrounds need adult role models, who could become a defining influence in their lives. People who don't have children of their own are in the best positions regarding time and energy to help children most in need.

6:09AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

Great post!I only had a different perception at one point:since i have no kids and currently no commited relationship,women around me(those who don't know me well)see me as a threat,as i spend my life getting laid and party all the time,and i'd seduce their husbands.

6:05PM PDT on Jun 12, 2011

The woman at the party, portrayed in the article as the one with kids, is the one who comes across as egotistical, non-emphatic, social unintelligent, prejudiced and the lot! Very civil of you to even want to stand next to her, being so rude!

6:06PM PDT on May 14, 2011

Love this article. Thank you for writing it. I am one of those women who doesn't want to have children, and who devotes my time and love to my career, working in impoverished areas of the world. I have plenty of love and affection for my family members, and hate that people assume I am a cold, horrible person when they discover I don't want children. I also teach and tutor children part time, and am not a child-hating monster. I just don't want my own for many of the reasons listed above.

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