Being Single in Your 30s Isn’t Bad Luck, It’s a Global Phenomenon

gorfias

Unrealistic but happy
Legacy
May 13, 2009
7,116
1,872
118
Country
USA
https://getpocket.com/explore/item/...-a-global-phenomenon?utm_source=pocket-newtab

This author appears to find nothing alarming about women waiting until their 30s to settle down, marry and have kids. Cassie Werber refers to this as "waithood". But this person warns that 30 is not the new 20 for bio-reasons.


Further the article speaks of women not marrying down as some sort of social norm rather than a biological imperative: women tend to not be attracted to men who do not satisfy hypergamous instincts. She seems to think all they need to do is make a social change.

Or is that all wrong?
 

JoJo

and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Goat 🐐
Moderator
Legacy
Mar 31, 2010
7,160
125
68
Country
🇬🇧
Gender
♂
I'm with Wolf on this one. Probably a good thing for the planet if people are having less kids, although ideally we need automation to fill in the gaps in the workforce so we can all still get a pension when we're old.
 

McElroy

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2013
4,582
375
88
Finland
So what's wrong with not having kids?
I'm with Wolf on this one.
It's one of those things that on an individual level it doesn't matter much, but on a grander scale passing the responsibility of the continued existence of society to "those other people who have kids" is incredibly short-sighted. The dreams about limiting the damage done to the environment by having fewer kids here are just dreams and nothing more (we lack the technology and the will). Even hypothetically: what gives us the right to have our corner of the world be our lil' retirement home? Absolutely nothing! Our anti-natalist ideas here give less developed countries the right -- hell, a duty -- to increase in population and immigrate to other countries to pick up the fertility slack.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gorfias

Baffle

Elite Member
Oct 22, 2016
3,459
2,746
118
I'm with Wolf on this one. Probably a good thing for the planet if people are having less kids, although ideally we need automation to fill in the gaps in the workforce so we can all still get a pension when we're old.
Bring forth the robot children!

Actually, that's not a bad idea. Like ... a trial run, but using a robot. You're only allowed to turn it off five times a year though - more than that and you're not allowed kids (but you can keep the robot one).
 
  • Like
Reactions: gorfias

JoJo

and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Goat 🐐
Moderator
Legacy
Mar 31, 2010
7,160
125
68
Country
🇬🇧
Gender
♂
Bring forth the robot children!

Actually, that's not a bad idea. Like ... a trial run, but using a robot. You're only allowed to turn it off five times a year though - more than that and you're not allowed kids (but you can keep the robot one).
If the robot ones come with an off switch then that already sounds like an upgrade.
 

The Rogue Wolf

Stealthy Carnivore
Legacy
Nov 25, 2007
16,338
8,834
118
Stalking the Digital Tundra
Gender
✅
Our anti-natalist ideas here give less developed countries the right -- hell, a duty -- to increase in population and immigrate to other countries to pick up the fertility slack.
Conversely, pressure on people who are absolutely unfit to be parents to "do their part" can cause an entirely separate set of problems.
 

EvilRoy

The face I make when I see unguarded pie.
Legacy
Jan 9, 2011
1,840
537
118
I firmly believe in leaving the child rearing to the people who WANT to do it. I really blame a lot of the negative attitudes towards having kids in NA on the fact that a lot of people that age were brought up by parents who had kids because they screwed up, or they felt obligated, or some other factor that created a little bit of resentment towards their own offspring. The current 30 year olds generation of parents was a transition point where traditions were starting to be broken, but the new age was conflicting with the past age and it caused tension. If you grew up in a household where mom gave up her career to have kids and she regrets it, or you were one of six kids in a family that only kept going out of religious obligation while you saw other families with one or two kids that had so much more, or you had business parents who weren't interested in their own children - then your attitude towards having kids is going to be much different than past generations.

I don't think saying "man we need to make more kids, everybody do their part and keep this party going" is a great attitude. Its just going to create more situations where parents view their own kids as an unwanted burden and create the cycle anew. If the next generation needs to be bolstered by immigrants from countries where people actually want to have kids, then that's fine - as long as they are having kids out of an actual desire to do so then over time we'll break a potential cycle of negativity and have a healthier/happier society.
 

Fat Hippo

Prepare to be Gnomed
Legacy
May 29, 2009
1,991
57
33
Gender
Gnomekin
I firmly believe in leaving the child rearing to the people who WANT to do it. I really blame a lot of the negative attitudes towards having kids in NA on the fact that a lot of people that age were brought up by parents who had kids because they screwed up, or they felt obligated, or some other factor that created a little bit of resentment towards their own offspring. The current 30 year olds generation of parents was a transition point where traditions were starting to be broken, but the new age was conflicting with the past age and it caused tension. If you grew up in a household where mom gave up her career to have kids and she regrets it, or you were one of six kids in a family that only kept going out of religious obligation while you saw other families with one or two kids that had so much more, or you had business parents who weren't interested in their own children - then your attitude towards having kids is going to be much different than past generations.

I don't think saying "man we need to make more kids, everybody do their part and keep this party going" is a great attitude. Its just going to create more situations where parents view their own kids as an unwanted burden and create the cycle anew. If the next generation needs to be bolstered by immigrants from countries where people actually want to have kids, then that's fine - as long as they are having kids out of an actual desire to do so then over time we'll break a potential cycle of negativity and have a healthier/happier society.
Yeah, making people have kids out of societal obligation is probably a bad way to go. However, there are likely factors we can control to make having kids more feasible and attractive to people of that age, mostly when it comes to labor laws and support for those that do decide to have children. If somebody has kids only because they feel it is expected of them, that is a shame. But if somebody who might want to have kids, does not do so because it would mean the death of their career or is simply not financially responsible, that is just as great a shame. It's a good way to end up with birth rates as low of those as Italy and Japan, and it is causing quite a few issues for them in terms of their demography.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EvilRoy

twistedmic

Elite Member
Legacy
Sep 8, 2009
2,542
210
68
I firmly believe in leaving the child rearing to the people who WANT to do it. I really blame a lot of the negative attitudes towards having kids in NA on the fact that a lot of people that age were brought up by parents who had kids because they screwed up, or they felt obligated, or some other factor that created a little bit of resentment towards their own offspring.
Growing up around undiagnosed or untreated mental illnesses and personality disorders is another factor towards people not wanting to have kids, even a factor towards people remaining single their whole lives.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EvilRoy

SupahEwok

Malapropic Homophone
Legacy
Jun 24, 2010
4,028
1,401
118
Country
Texas
I think that a lot of people writing off having kids are underestimating their potential as parents, but that's their own beef to hash out.

It's worth noting a few other things:

A) the West is not experiencing a Golden Age of prosperity right now, unlike in a good chunk of the 20th century. College education does not mean a steady career where one parent can support a whole family in a comfortable middle class existence. Both parents being required to work puts a strain on time and energy for children.

B) We have experienced a radical change in societal values among younger folks. Church used to be a cornerstone of the community, and was where a lot of social interaction happened, and church strongly encouraged the nuclear family. We've turned more inward, making communities online and at a distance, and I think that does have an effect on people's traditional views of social ties. There's less unconscious peer pressure for conformity, where thinking that having kids is just the thing you do, if you're not seeing other people's kids around or hearing them talked about.

C) Lot of controversy about this in certain circles, but facts are facts, women today are free to pursue their own goals to a much greater degree than in the past. It started with suffrage, got rolling with staffing factories in WW2, and by the turn of the millennium females having careers was the norm, not the exception. Women do not choose work just because they have to for economic reasons, but because they want to. And the whole pregnancy and child rearing thing gets in the way of that.

D) I think millennials (of which I am one) and later generations have been raised on what I call a "Disney media diet", but it's by far not restricted to just Disney. Basically, a lot of children's media for a while now have had themes of empowerment in general, individualist values, following your dreams and valuing experience over material. I think this has contributed to a general feeling of wishing to pursue one's own interests. Now, I don't have kids, but I've spoken to people with kids and people who haven't. People who haven't say that they think kids would force them to change how they spend their time and energy, and what they spend it on, in a resentful manner. You can't veg out to a videogame for 10 hours on a Saturday when you want, when their's a kid in the house. People who have had kids say, yes, that's true, but that they don't resent the change, because what they valued spending time on changed when they have kids. And I think raising a kid, while filled with its frustrations, would also be a lot more fulfilling than the veg sessions of games and TV you miss out on. I think a lot of folks who write off having kids discount this too much. But it's also true that having a kid is about the biggest responsibility you can have, and if you're not willing to embrace that, you're doing yourself a favor by swearing it off.

Edit: saying "we need to get people to have kids to perpetuate our culture over them foreigners coming over here and usurping it" is hella racist and, quite frankly, is talk the Nazis did back in the day. Godwin's law invoked. It's just gross.
 

Fat Hippo

Prepare to be Gnomed
Legacy
May 29, 2009
1,991
57
33
Gender
Gnomekin
Edit: saying "we need to get people to have kids to perpetuate our culture over them foreigners coming over here and usurping it" is hella racist and, quite frankly, is talk the Nazis did back in the day. Godwin's law invoked. It's just gross.
One thing kinda funny about that line of argumentation is that as a rule, the people making it want to have their cake and eat it too.
1. They don't want immigration.
2. They don't want any measures to improve the ability of women to work while also having children.
3. They claim to want economic growth, which most definitely requires the participation of women in the modern workforce, or immigrants to fill those positions.

But it is not possible to have all three at the same time. You can be strict on immigration, but then you'll have to do something about birth rates without "sending women back to the kitchen" or face economic recession. Or you can fill those positions where the women are missing with an imported workforce. In practice, a lot of Western governments are doing something in-between.
 

Secondhand Revenant

Recycle, Reduce, Redead
Legacy
Oct 29, 2014
2,564
139
68
Baator
Country
The Nine Hells
Gender
Male
It's one of those things that on an individual level it doesn't matter much, but on a grander scale passing the responsibility of the continued existence of society to "those other people who have kids" is incredibly short-sighted. The dreams about limiting the damage done to the environment by having fewer kids here are just dreams and nothing more (we lack the technology and the will). Even hypothetically: what gives us the right to have our corner of the world be our lil' retirement home? Absolutely nothing! Our anti-natalist ideas here give less developed countries the right -- hell, a duty -- to increase in population and immigrate to other countries to pick up the fertility slack.
What gives us the right is the very basic right not to have children if we don't want to?

Also, why in the world does it give them a right or duty, or at least more than what they already have?
 

McElroy

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2013
4,582
375
88
Finland
What gives us the right is the very basic right not to have children if we don't want to? Also, why in the world does it give them a right or duty, or at least more than what they already have?
In the marketplace of these humanist ideas having more people tilts the scale your way and having more young people tilts it even further. A culture that wishes to die out has no weight, even if the situation doesn't initially reflect that. Anti-natalists sign away their right to look forward. Technically this could be fine on an individual level (society protects your rights, but globally it does nothing 'cause somebody will pick up that slack, and on a domestic level (in the case one cares about that at all) it undermines that socio-cultural basis. To put it simply, any sort of "deal" we would make to keep our retirement home would include something to fill the void we leave behind. Just us yelling at others to keep off our lawns isn't enough.
saying "we need to get people to have kids to perpetuate our culture over them foreigners coming over here and usurping it" is hella racist and, quite frankly, is talk the Nazis did back in the day. Godwin's law invoked. It's just gross.
If "perpetuating our culture" is gross Nazi talk, then let's hope -- dare I say expect -- that the conclusions we end up drawing are different from what Nazis came up with. (and no, this can't be twisted into Nazi sympathizing)
 

Secondhand Revenant

Recycle, Reduce, Redead
Legacy
Oct 29, 2014
2,564
139
68
Baator
Country
The Nine Hells
Gender
Male
In the marketplace of these humanist ideas having more people tilts the scale your way and having more young people tilts it even further.
What scale do you mean? It's hard to parse this. What tilts in my way (and what is my way here)?

A culture that wishes to die out has no weight, even if the situation doesn't initially reflect that.
In practice or what? Obviously a culture that is dying out has less power, yes. I'm not sure if you're saying it doesn't deserve one or if you're just stating this as a fact.

Anti-natalists sign away their right to look forward. Technically this could be fine on an individual level (society protects your rights, but globally it does nothing 'cause somebody will pick up that slack, and on a domestic level (in the case one cares about that at all) it undermines that socio-cultural basis. To put it simply, any sort of "deal" we would make to keep our retirement home would include something to fill the void we leave behind. Just us yelling at others to keep off our lawns isn't enough.
So what are you arguing? That if we don't reproduce people won't protect our rights because the people left won't be the right people who believe as we do?
 

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 16, 2010
18,674
3,588
118
In the marketplace of these humanist ideas having more people tilts the scale your way and having more young people tilts it even further. A culture that wishes to die out has no weight, even if the situation doesn't initially reflect that. Anti-natalists sign away their right to look forward. Technically this could be fine on an individual level (society protects your rights, but globally it does nothing 'cause somebody will pick up that slack, and on a domestic level (in the case one cares about that at all) it undermines that socio-cultural basis. To put it simply, any sort of "deal" we would make to keep our retirement home would include something to fill the void we leave behind. Just us yelling at others to keep off our lawns isn't enough.
Why does that have to be reproducing, though?

Isn't a schoolteacher that doesn't have kids themselves helping develop the next generation? Or just someone who pays taxes to pay for those schools?
 

McElroy

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2013
4,582
375
88
Finland
What scale do you mean? It's hard to parse this. What tilts in my way (and what is my way here)?
I'd say there is a cultural landscape in the world. People within a culture communicate well with each other, and so it seems to make sense for a culture to spread into places where it faces the least resistance. This doesn't mean that a "culture war" is raging on, especially nowadays when conquest is often frowned upon and incredibly expensive. But what we more or less have is a global marketplace of ideas and this cultural weight in there (supplied by population among other things) determines how that culture is seen. Updated, outdated, a curiosity, a nuisance, healthy, dying, in need of protection, evolving, stagnant, a silly meme, and so on. Why does this matter to someone who doesn't value their culture above others'? Because two healthy intact cultures are better than one that's fragmented. A strong culture communicates their ideas to others and learns from them too, and we need that because an objectively good synthesis isn't realistically possible.

So what are you arguing? That if we don't reproduce people won't protect our rights because the people left won't be the right people who believe as we do?
I don't mean "rights" in the sense of civil rights or constitutional rights. I argue that if one thinks this here (or there) socio-cultural basis is valuable as its own thing (instead of like, "let's choose three favorite things and throw the rest out") then there is no reason to celebrate childlessness (chosen or otherwise) and negative developments that seemingly have lead to fewer people raising families shouldn't be dressed as positive or neutral.
Why does that have to be reproducing, though? Isn't a schoolteacher that doesn't have kids themselves helping develop the next generation? Or just someone who pays taxes to pay for those schools?
As I said right away in the first comment it doesn't really matter much on an individual level. People are sometimes unable to have children; it happens. Often enough childfree people focus on themselves and don't care how the future shapes up to be, but a good deed is a good deed. One could argue that wanting people who appear to dislike children to have kids is wrong too, but SupahEwok's comment addresses this.
 

Drathnoxis

Became a mass murderer for your sake
Legacy
Sep 23, 2010
5,468
1,916
118
Just off-screen
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
The global population was 2 billion in 1920, now we are at nearly 8 billion a hundred years later! This growth is not sustainable! Not having kids is a good thing at this point.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gorfias

gorfias

Unrealistic but happy
Legacy
May 13, 2009
7,116
1,872
118
Country
USA
Conversely, pressure on people who are absolutely unfit to be parents to "do their part" can cause an entirely separate set of problems.
Not a bad idea if they Darwin themselves out. A problem I see going forward is not ensuring women, who, fair or not fair, have an early window in which to make a decision, need to be informed to make that decision. They need to know the author of "Sex in the City" who pushed the glamour singleton life is now, at 60, regretting her decisions feeling "truly alone". Of course, to your point, there are plenty that DID have kids and wish they had not. Just, be informed.
The global population was 2 billion in 1920, now we are at nearly 8 billion a hundred years later! This growth is not sustainable! Not having kids is a good thing at this point.
I have to agree at some point. I don't think we are anywhere close to there yet. Our biggest problems are political and urbanization (people clustered in cities). I live in a small USA state. Go 30 min. from a city center and you are in the boonies. Supposedly we can still fit a house for every family on Earth in Texas. I do think the curve will/is going in the other direction now. Let's hope we stop the downward spiral timely (we don't end up like the mouse utopia).