A recent study found that more U.S. women are childless than ever before. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100625/ap_on_go_ot/us_census_childbearing. Hopefully many of those are “childfree,” i.e. chose not to have children. As a childfree woman, this is one trend I’m thrilled to be part of.
One aspect of this article is chilling: the reporter jumps right into a comparison of white women’s reproductive rates versus those of other races in the U.S. The priority that A.P. gives to this analysis implies that perhaps more white women should reproduce lest, as the article puts it, “U.S. minorities will become the majority by midcentury.” Already “blacks, Hispanics, Asians and multiracial people are growing rapidly in the U.S. population and wielding more influence in politics and society.” Multiracial people with influence??? Horrors — what if they capture the White House! Oops, too late.
Topics the reporter could have looked at instead of the bizarre race angle: the effect of so many more adults with more free time and money; whether there is a correlation between the growth of stores catering exclusively to baby gear (Buy Buy Baby, Baby Gap, Babies “R” Us, etc.) and the reduction in the number of babies (are people spending more on each child?); or how many “childless” women actually chose not to have children. Fretting about shifting racial demographics was not the obvious way to go with the story, but it is an interesting insight into the source of some people’s anxiety around the choice not to breed. (See “The Preachers of Parenthood” below, the first post on this blog.)