The Chosen Lives of Childfree Men

By Patricia Lunneborg | Go to book overview

Chapter 14
To Sum Up

Most men have the concept of responsibility drilled into them from the time they are very young. . . . "What kind of world is this to bring a kid into?" is a question that never had more relevance than today. I believe that a man is more likely to ask such a question, and here's why: men have a more cynical view of the world around them. . . . The concept of parenthood is a sobering one for mature and thoughtful men, and they are deeply concerned about the responsibilities incumbent in such a decision. Furthermore, they have few illusions about the world around them. ( Leslie Lafayette, 1995, pp. 151-152)

Fertility rates are falling around the globe, the threat of overpopulation is lessening. The clearest correlate of the decline in birth rates everywhere is the education of women. Closer to home, one in five American and British women is deciding to have no children at all. Again, it is associated with greater education. Many of these women are part of a couple, so more couples are deciding not to have children. Just how many more we don't know, because fertility data are not collected on couples, only on women until very recently, when the first data on men were collected.

What role are men playing in the fall in birth rates? What are the men like who make the choice not to have a child? The thirty men I interviewed provide a glimpse of what that man is like.


THE CHILDFREE MAN

The typical childfree man does not want dependents. He doesn't want children, he doesn't want to manage people. He doesn't have

-129-

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The Chosen Lives of Childfree Men
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter 1- Not to Be a Father? 1
  • Chapter 2- Personal Development 13
  • Chapter 3- Relationships 25
  • Chapter 4- Work and Money 37
  • Chapter 5- At Home 47
  • Chapter 6- Avoiding Mistakes 55
  • Chapter 7- Not Liking Kids 67
  • Chapter 8- Early Retirement 75
  • Chapter 9- Avoiding Stress 85
  • Chapter 10- Staying the Way We Are 97
  • Chapter 11- Mixed Feelings 105
  • Chapter 12- Men and Overpopulation 113
  • Chapter 13- The Father Connection 121
  • Chapter 14- To Sum Up 129
  • Appendix Reasons Why People Say No to Kids 137
  • References 139
  • Index 141
  • About the Author *
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