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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    And, no, we won't die out. These things go in cycles. At some point people will have more children because it's advantageous to do so. Also, at some point it all levels out. People have less and less children for a while but eventually it gets to a point where people are comfortable and they stop having less and less and just have the same.
    I think this is only partly true. It's expensive to have a child and I think there are a lot of people out there who think they cannot afford a child.
    However, I also think that the declining birthrate is connected to women being able to say no these days while they didn't really have a choice a century ago. Women were expected to have children once they were married. I don't think the question of whether someone wanted to have a child or not never came up. But women's rights have changed, and children aren't needed to take care of their parents at old age anymore. So, now if you don't want a child, you can not have a child.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    It's going to suck for the older people for a while but I think everything works better with less people on the earth.
    It's going to suck for EVERYONE, not just old people.

    There are arguments that the world would be better off with less people, but again, population isn't the issue. If we all lived like New Yorkers, the world's population could fit in in Texas with a little overlap on other states. We have more food than we need and sufficient water for everyone. The issue isn't lack so much as distribution.

    There are also arguments that the more people there are, the more human ingenuity we have to mine. And there's evidence for that, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    And, no, we won't die out.
    Why would we?

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    These things go in cycles. At some point people will have more children because it's advantageous to do so.
    Highly unlikely, actually, unless something throws society back into the Dark Ages. Declining and low birth rates are most closely correlated with education. The world hasn't had widespread education until recent times, and reliable birth control hasn't been around, either.

    If there is a cycle of some kind, it is not yet apparent. There is, however, a very clear and predictable pattern of declining birth rates since the 1700s. And given that that birth rates can be controlled and access to natural resources is limited, I don't see any particular reason why people would suddenly start having children again. We need workers, but there is no particular need for children except as longterm future investment, which requires individuals to decide that the sacrifice for the greater good is worthwhile. I don't think it's likely. France, which recognized this all a long time ago, has the most overt pro-natal policies in the world, and their birth rate, while the highest in Europe, is lower than ours and still declining.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Kind of like the divorce rate leveled out at 41% when people were predicting that by the year XXXX everyone will have been divorced at least once.
    I'm not familiar with that prediction. The only prediction I know of was that over the course of a lifetime, 50% of all marriages in the US would end in divorce. And as nearly as most demographers can tell, given that the lifetime isn't over yet, that's going to be true. The current divorce rate is based on annual percentages, which has never been 50%, but the annual percentage doesn't have a lot to do with the lifetime percentage.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

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    The one thing I really appreciate about FSU is there are so many open minded people on here who when it comes to topics like this really accept that people are either one way or the other and don't stereotype.

    A friend of mine really has to stereotype people and put them in pigeon holes all the time. He assumes that everyone has a desire to have children, that is natural for women to want them, but then puts those opinions on you. I have said for years that I have no desire to have children and he has always said "Ah but one day ...." I think that I am now 46 and haven't gone out seeking a partner to procreate with has finally convinced him that maybe I am right and he has accepted that the desire is not there.

    Wanting to be a mother is not natural for everyone.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  4. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    Her husband ought to get the snip instead - it's a much less invasive surgery.
    I believe the plan is for both of them to do it. My friend has turned into one of those very intense childfree people.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    We have more food than we need and sufficient water for everyone.
    For now.

    Global climate change is going to affect ability to grow food. Less food + more population = a bad situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by susan6 View Post
    For now.

    Global climate change is going to affect ability to grow food. Less food + more population = a bad situation.
    Yes, I think global climate change is a big issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Why would we?
    There are people who wring their hands and say that we're going to die out if more people don't start having more kids. I don't agree with that and I gather you don't either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Highly unlikely, actually, unless something throws society back into the Dark Ages. Declining and low birth rates are most closely correlated with education. The world hasn't had widespread education until recent times, and reliable birth control hasn't been around, either.
    I am thinking that at some point the population will be small enough that it becomes more economical to have more kids. If there is more land available, real estate will get cheaper, for example, so you can now afford and extra kid that you couldn't before. There are definitely people having less kids than they'd really like due to economic issues now. Not everyone is having exactly as many kids as they want so there is room for the number of births to go up or down depending on what happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I'm not familiar with that prediction.
    You need to read more People Magazine!

    Seriously, I get so sick of reading "if things continue as they are now, at X point we'll be in big trouble!" in popular news outlets. As scientists know, there is this thing called "regression towards the mean" and also things NEVER continue as they are now forever.

    Generally, there is a pressure that starts a trend in response to the pressure. And the change eventually relieves the pressure and now there is no pressure and the trend levels off at it's natural level whatever that may be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    The only prediction I know of was that over the course of a lifetime, 50% of all marriages in the US would end in divorce. And as nearly as most demographers can tell, given that the lifetime isn't over yet, that's going to be true. The current divorce rate is based on annual percentages, which has never been 50%, but the annual percentage doesn't have a lot to do with the lifetime percentage.
    Except the current rate has held steady for quite some time. So why would it ever go above 41% if more people aren't divorcing at higher rates? Which they don't seem to be.


    Quote Originally Posted by ballettmaus View Post
    I think this is only partly true. It's expensive to have a child and I think there are a lot of people out there who think they cannot afford a child.
    However, I also think that the declining birthrate is connected to women being able to say no these days while they didn't really have a choice a century ago. Women were expected to have children once they were married. I don't think the question of whether someone wanted to have a child or not never came up. But women's rights have changed, and children aren't needed to take care of their parents at old age anymore. So, now if you don't want a child, you can not have a child.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

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    Don't we all know women who married (usually later) a man who was not "the" one, just Mr. Right Now, because they just wanted to be married and have kids (like their friends have)? It amazes me that women will settle for a lifetime commitment with a guy they aren't really deeply in love with, yet also I feel that some women are encouraged to do just that.....you know, the don't put off having/adopting kids too long comments?

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    Quote Originally Posted by susan6 View Post
    For now.

    Global climate change is going to affect ability to grow food. Less food + more population = a bad situation.
    But the population rate is declining.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    I am thinking that at some point the population will be small enough that it becomes more economical to have more kids. If there is more land available, real estate will get cheaper, for example, so you can now afford and extra kid that you couldn't before. There are definitely people having less kids than they'd really like due to economic issues now. Not everyone is having exactly as many kids as they want so there is room for the number of births to go up or down depending on what happens.
    If that were broadly true, the rich would have more kids and the poor fewer.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    You need to read more People Magazine!
    Thank you, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Seriously, I get so sick of reading "if things continue as they are now, at X point we'll be in big trouble!" in popular news outlets.
    So stop reading them.

    I'm taking a class in global populations myself. I like to think it's at least a tiny bit more accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Except the current rate has held steady for quite some time. So why would it ever go above 41% if more people aren't divorcing at higher rates? Which they don't seem to be.
    Because the two numbers are not related. The first is calculated by looking at the number of marriages that occur within a year and dividing that by the number of divorces that occur within the same year. The second looks at the number of people who got married in, say, 1972, and how many of them divorce before they die.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    So stop reading them.
    Those are the headlines. You have to read the headlines to know if you want to read the article.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Because the two numbers are not related. The first is calculated by looking at the number of marriages that occur within a year and dividing that by the number of divorces that occur within the same year. The second looks at the number of people who got married in, say, 1972, and how many of them divorce before they die.
    That's interesting.

    The last article on the subject I read said that only 25% of first marriages end in divorce though.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

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    I think I'm falling into the don't want to have kids camps. Most of the time I cringe at the amount of time, attention and care I would have to give a child. I love my "me time" and got a cat because she provides some companionship but doesn't require too much care.

    One of the reasons I quit working at a school was because I just didn't like working with children. I don't feel comfortable around babies. I have a friend who had a baby a little less than a year ago and I never feel comfortable enough to hold or play with the baby. I mean the baby is cute but I don't feel a mothering urge around her or other babies. I find children cute from a distance most of the time but when I really think about the care required, it scares me.

    There are times when I think I want to have a traditional nuclear family but then I read online about women who don't get this overwhelming joy or happiness from being mothers and I fear I'll be part of that camp. I just don't want to have a child and then be unhappy and resent the child. I feel like that's not fair.

    The main problem is that men in my religious group still expect women to have children because it increases the "ummah" (Muslim community) and all that jazz. I'm sure I want a spouse eventually but I'm not sure about the children.

    This from someone who nurtured her dolls and even tried to breastfeed one after seeing her sister do it.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    But the population rate is declining.
    The GROWTH rate is declining, but the population will still increase until the rate drops to zero (basically one child born for every one person that dies, which would maintain the population at the level it is at when that happens). What will the global population level off at? Nine billion? 12 billion?

    The only way we're sustaining the population we currently have (7 billion and growing) is by supercharging the soil with chemicals so it can grow more crops than it would naturally. Unfortunately, chemical fertilizers are not absorbed as well as natural fertilizers, so there's a lot of run off when it rains. When the rain washes the excess fertilizer into rivers and then into oceans, it causes algae blooms which use up the oxygen in the water which kills the fish. There are significant and growing "dead zones" in oceans around the world. Which is nature's way of saying there's already too many people.

  12. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    I think I'm falling into the don't want to have kids camps. Most of the time I cringe at the amount of time, attention and care I would have to give a child. I love my "me time" and got a cat because she provides some companionship but doesn't require too much care.

    This from someone who nurtured her dolls and even tried to breastfeed one after seeing her sister do it.
    I think that it is important to listen to your heart. I know a lot of people who are human childless, but are wonderful parents to their animal children. Nurturing gene doesn't necessarily mean infants/children, the world needs all of us.

  13. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    I think I'm falling into the don't want to have kids camps. Most of the time I cringe at the amount of time, attention and care I would have to give a child. I love my "me time" and got a cat because she provides some companionship but doesn't require too much care.

    One of the reasons I quit working at a school was because I just didn't like working with children. I don't feel comfortable around babies. I have a friend who had a baby a little less than a year ago and I never feel comfortable enough to hold or play with the baby. I mean the baby is cute but I don't feel a mothering urge around her or other babies. I find children cute from a distance most of the time but when I really think about the care required, it scares me.

    There are times when I think I want to have a traditional nuclear family but then I read online about women who don't get this overwhelming joy or happiness from being mothers and I fear I'll be part of that camp. I just don't want to have a child and then be unhappy and resent the child. I feel like that's not fair.

    The main problem is that men in my religious group still expect women to have children because it increases the "ummah" (Muslim community) and all that jazz. I'm sure I want a spouse eventually but I'm not sure about the children.

    This from someone who nurtured her dolls and even tried to breastfeed one after seeing her sister do it.
    You are just starting a new chapter--and still figuring out who you are and what you want. So questions like this are normal. Take your time, enjoy (and revel in) your "me time" without guilt. (you have my permission! )
    "Me, cutie/chicken, the egg cup, I am the hammer of my spoon!"--Jen_Faith translation

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by suep1963 View Post
    Take your time, enjoy (and revel in) your "me time" without guilt. (you have my permission! )
    And m_m, you have my permission not to have kidlets if you don't want 'em.
    The fastest thing out of New Jersey since Tricky Nicky in a Muscovian handbasket

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    Quote Originally Posted by susan6 View Post
    The GROWTH rate is declining, but the population will still increase until the rate drops to zero (basically one child born for every one person that dies, which would maintain the population at the level it is at when that happens). What will the global population level off at? Nine billion? 12 billion?
    Current prediction is somewhere around 10.

    Quote Originally Posted by susan6 View Post
    The only way we're sustaining the population we currently have (7 billion and growing) is by supercharging the soil with chemicals so it can grow more crops than it would naturally. Unfortunately, chemical fertilizers are not absorbed as well as natural fertilizers, so there's a lot of run off when it rains. When the rain washes the excess fertilizer into rivers and then into oceans, it causes algae blooms which use up the oxygen in the water which kills the fish. There are significant and growing "dead zones" in oceans around the world. Which is nature's way of saying there's already too many people.
    Yes, we discuss this at length as well. But we also talk about how there is much more food than is necessary to sustain everyone on the planet and and how people in the US waste on average 40% of the food they buy.

    So again, it's not really population--it's distribution. Not that I expect distribution to change a whole lot, although the prediction is that as our population grays, we will start importing people from developing countries to work in significant numbers, which will shift things some.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    The last article on the subject I read said that only 25% of first marriages end in divorce though.
    I've heard that stat for a couple of states in New England, but never for the US overall. I think the last accurate measure there was around 42% for first marriages for woen, but it's hard to say since the government stopped keeping track and most data now comes from surveys, which are not as accurate and so tend to vary widely. The 42% figure applied only for women up to age 44, and divorce rates go up quite a bit when women hit their 50s, for example, so that's not a good lifetime rate.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    And m_m, you have my permission not to have kidlets if you don't want 'em.

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    When asked if I have kids, I say "No. We rent." I've never met a parent who wouldn't happily part with theirs for a few hours, or even an overnight.
    A good friend of mine used to regularly come into work and offer the rest of us her son because he was "being Satan" that day. She is the most honest mother I know. She shares the good and the bad of parenthood in equal measure, which is quite a refreshing change from the 'it's all wonderful' message that a large number (not all!) parents seem to try and give.
    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    I mean the baby is cute but I don't feel a mothering urge around her or other babies.
    This is something I had trouble communicating to a former colleague of mine. She just didn't get that I really felt neutral about babies and small children. Didn't think they were cute or ugly, they were just babies, and I didn't feel anything in particular about them. On the other hand, show me a picture of a kitten and I'll be all "Oooh! What a cute kitty!"
    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    I read online about women who don't get this overwhelming joy or happiness from being mothers and I fear I'll be part of that camp. I just don't want to have a child and then be unhappy and resent the child. I feel like that's not fair.
    I do know what you mean, but even in my childfree state, I am prepared to say that mother nature does tend to take care of that sort of thing. My mother always says "it's different when it's your own" and I believe her because she's not particularly maternal (don't get me wrong, she was a good mother, but I take after her in terms of lack of maternal instinct).
    The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods, and the cats have never forgotten.

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny Hop View Post
    This is something I had trouble communicating to a former colleague of mine. She just didn't get that I really felt neutral about babies and small children. Didn't think they were cute or ugly, they were just babies, and I didn't feel anything in particular about them. On the other hand, show me a picture of a kitten and I'll be all "Oooh! What a cute kitty!"
    Yeah, this describes me perfectly. My mother and sister both cannot understand this to save their lives. My cousin has two small girls, one is a baby, and all summer she kept trying to get me to hold the baby and I kept insisting I had no desire to do so and it actually upset her. Show me a cat, though, and I will happily play with and hold the kitty. That makes me happy.

    I understand that she wants grandchildren, but my sister is absolutely going to give her many of those. Why I apparently need to do so as well is totally beyond me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    I think Motherhood as we think of it today is a brand spanking new post WWII concept. We idolize days of yore as being one where the family, especially the mother, was the central institute of society. This is true, but our concept of family has changed drastically. It was considered duty and stability and a way to ensure a legacy or more help with the chores and extra workers. Feelings of love and companionship were there, but definitely secondary.

    We have this idea that stay at home mom=lots of time nurturing children, helping with homework, drying eyes, etc. But that's not true. On average, two working parents of today spend double the time with their children than the stay at home mom of the 1950s. Well to do wives and mothers had nannies and governesses who did the majority of rearing; children of non well-to-do wives and mothers went to work.
    The 50s was actually one of the worst times for mothers in North American. Many women who enjoying working for income during the war found themselves housewives afterwards - their jobs were gone and there was an expectation that women would stay home. Plus, one of the consequences of industrial advancement was that the women of that time actually did more housework than the previous generation. Television advertising intensified the pressure to keep a perfect house and was oriented to housewives who were constantly in and out of the living or rec room. Suburban life was in, extended families were out, and women were to a certain extent isolated at home in their biological family. And there were all sorts of new appliances and cleaning products to help women keep homes that met middle-class standards.

    Plus, those were the days of Dr. Spock telling women how to be good mothers - women's wisdom on the matter came second as parenting standards became stringent.

    I saw a Good Housekeeping column from the late 50s or early 60s some time ago. It was scary - advised women to 'do a once over of the house before he comes home to make sure it is perfect' and to 'remember, his problems are more important than yours'.

    Yes, the well-to-do had nannies, but there was a huge population of middle class housewives at the time. They were first and foremost housewives and everything else came second. My mom and many of my friends' moms were quite frustrated with their lots in life. Especially since their husbands didn't contribute to childcare and housework. Those women were on their feet for at least 12 hours a day.

    Betty Friedan eventually coined the term 'the problem with no name' to describe what a lot of women at the time were going the depression. And doctors were liberally prescribing valium to women with the 'problem'.

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    I wonder if it is more the isolation effect of modern society, rather than the cost, that deters women from having children. It seems that women part of reliable communities - religious or otherwise - are more comfortable having multiple children. My dad laments the impact of the modern job market - people have to move away for jobs - which makes having an extended family (and the related support) nearly impossible. e. g. there are four of us kids total in my family and we all live in different states.

    This isn't a motherly issue reallly, but I am terrble at remembering birthdays and doing thank you cards. I always knew this from when I was little and thought I really shouldn't ever be a mom, because that seemed to be job one for mothers. Keeping organized and thoughtful at the same time. If it wasn't for the dotted i's and crossed t's, I think I'd really like being a mom.
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