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Survey: What do you think of the childfree life?

Posted by Kristi Palma  August 5, 2013 01:17 PM

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You may remember in the spring when writer Lauren Sandler's New York Times opinion piece "Only Children: Lonely and Selfish?" caused quite a bit of conversation.

Nearly 2,500 of our readers took our survey that asked whether they thought only children are lonely and selfish or no different than children with siblings (for the record, 71.8 percent of you think they are no different).

This time, Sandler is asking if the childfree life means having it all. Her story, "The Childfree Life," is featured on the August cover of Time magazine with the question: "Does having it all mean not having children?"

In the article, Sandler reports that the American birth rate is at a record low. Here are some statistics from her story:

From 2007 to 2011, the most recent year for which there's data, the fertility rate declined 9%. A 2010 Pew Research report showed that childlessness has risen across all racial and ethnic groups, adding up to about 1 in 5 American women who end their childbearing years maternity-free, compared with 1 in 10 in the 1970s.

Writer Carolina A. Miranda chose not to have children and in her Time piece, Childfree Adults Are Not 'Selfish," she takes issue with the idea that she's selfish because of it.

Miranda writes, in the piece:

The idea that women don’t have babies because they are “selfish” is not only reductive, in so many cases, it is simply incorrect. My husband and I chose not to have children for myriad reasons. I’d say selfishness is not among them.

What do you think? Take our survey.



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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.
Jennifer Clark Estes is a teacher, writer, blogger, and the mother of four young children. In her free time, she blogs at A Mom's World, plays with the kids (or chauffeurs them around), and is desperately seeking a quiet spot so she can read a book. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferCEstes.
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