Why Have Kids?, 32°

It's not as homo sapiens is an endangered species. Why do people have this need to have not only one kid, but a whole housefull of them? Do you think that's an extremely selfish choice that only harms the rest of the world and future generations? Why shouldn't we ban people from using infertility clinics? The biggest problem the world faces is human overpopulation, because there are not enough resources to go around. Quite frankly, shouldn't all nations adopt China's one child policy or at least give out free hysterectomies and financial incentives to those of us who choose NOT to have kids? What do you think?

32 replies

I agree that over population is one of the looming threats to our way of life. I personally also feel that having a brood of five kids or more, is a dicey (at best) way to ensure full care, attendance, and support of potential of each individual child.

So while I agree with your premise, I am troubled by the kind of society that we would manifest in order to forcibly limit the amount of children born. Though it may curb population growth and conserve resources in the short term, policy will never last as long as wisedom. Education is mightier than the legislation.

I believe that the biggest problem the word faces is ignorance. Too few people realize their interconnectedness, dependence, and responibility to the rest of the species. If every person just replaced them self, (basically if every woman had a maximum of two children) our population would stabalize and over time come down. We can encourage population reduction through incentive policy (more sex ed, tax breaks, non-breeder car pool lanes and check-out lines) but for me, I believe that any lasting change has to come from the individual choice, not policy.

Written in June 2008

1 person thinks this is a cool reply

C Robb W. 429°

Population reduction will happen, either by choice or force of scarcity of basic needs and overcrowding. Until that time I think it is important to set an example by having only one child if you must have any. But this obsucres the real issue, the consumption patterns of those of us, children or adults, already kicking around. We can be far more effective by downsizing our consumptive lifestyles and economy right now rather than hoping that people will see reason and voluntarily stop having children. We owe it to the children to leave them with a habitable planet full of the richness we ourselves have enjoyed. We can only do that consuming less of it.

Written in June 2008

3 people think this is a cool reply

How about getting your kids neutered? Quite frankly, my life would have been a lot easier had my parents had me spayed. And I wouldn't have to worry about cancer of the reproductive organs now. Just tossing this one out as research for a possible upcoming article or blog post.

Written in June 2008

Charles M. 110°

Overpopulation is not a problem. Over consumption is the problem. Population is just a multiplier. Over population becomes a problem if people consume more. If all the people on the planet consumed like the average westerner does, then we'd be overpopulated with 1billion people.

It is also important to understand that population is not a global issue, but a local one. Some areas are overpopulated and others are under populated. Many towns/cities just don't have the population to support services that can reduce consumption (eg. public transport).

We're a selfish lot, us humans, and thinking of our children and future generations is about the only thing that moderates our behaviour. Take those children away and many people would be less sustainable than they are now.

(I have 2 children)

Written in June 2008

2 people think this is a cool reply

Charles M. 110°

"my life would have been a lot easier had my parents had me spayed"

Always blame the parents/government/video games/whatever.... If you really want to be spayed then take the initiative yourself!

Written in June 2008

"Always blame the parents/government/video games/whatever.... If you really want to be spayed then take the initiative yourself!"

Thanks, Charles. Since you're such an expert on women's reproductiove health, will you front me the thousands of doallrs for the operation and the six months to one year of recovery time I would need to take in order to get such an operation at my age (38)?

Overpoulation is a global problem EVERYWHERE. It's not all about over consumerism. Look at all the species that have been wiped out and are going to be wiped out becuase of human overpopulation.

But thanks for replying. Now I know what I'm up against when writing my articles.

(Has no children)

Written in July 2008

Charles M. 110°

Hey Rena. I don't mean to cause you any pain, but if you're going to raise very contentious issues then expect to get a reaction from people that might have a differing opinion.

I think most people would agree with the idea of giving out free fertility control. That sounds pretty fair. But the idea that you would neuter kids against their will is over the top. That's immensely selfish. It says: "Hey kid it is OK for me to have kids, but it is not ok for you to." Rather don't have the kid at all if you feel so deeply about the impact of kids.

I am not, and do not claim to be, an expert on how a woman's body works, but from the little I do understand, a hysterectomy is not primarily a fertility control procedure and you twist things by adding that to the mix. Getting your tubes done (sorry not being a medic I don't know the clinical term) is free (or very low cost) in many countries and is minor keyhole surgery which does not need a 6-12 month recovery.

You have no kids. I respect your choice. But the idea that your parents should choose that for you is reprehensible.

Written in July 2008

Leanne V. 197°

We have kids to teach us what we are capable of, and what we can be. We also have kids as a permanent connection with another human adult. And we have kids in an attempt to find some sort of immortality in this world.

I have two kids, and they have made me a better person (I think).

Perhaps the question you are trying to ask is, should we be limiting our numbers?

Written in July 2008

Charles M. 110°

"We have kids to teach us what we are capable of"
Hey Leanne, great point. I could not agree more!

When we're young we tend to ask more meaningful questions. Children help keep our thinking fresh and keep us "on program".

There's nothing like a kid asking you "Why do you say xxx, but do yyyy?" to make you think about your actions.

Written in July 2008

"Hey Rena. I don't mean to cause you any pain, but if you're going to raise very contentious issues then expect to get a reaction from people that might have a differing opinion."

No worries, there Charles. Your comments will help my writing for the future, bringint up topics I might forget to address in the articles. But when I saw the advice to do it myself, I couldn't help but wonder "how in the heck am I suppossed to anethetise myself and do the surgery on myself?" ;-)

Unfortunately, where I live in America, no surgery is free. Hysterectomies of tube-tying are not currently covered in in part by health insurance unless there's prrof that cancer is involved. I had to take care of my Mom who had a total hysterectomy due to ovarian cancer and it was 6 months before she could walk up or down 2 flights of stairs per day and 9 months before she could even step out of the house on her own. The surgeons told me this was "normal". But, if she had it when a child, then the recovery time would be a lot quicker. (and I wouldn't be here researching aricles on human overpopulation control).

A complete hysterectomy remove chances for cancer, unlike tube-tying, which is why I mentioned.

Good point about the tube-tying, though. It's something I will look up to see if women in other countries can actually get it relavtively quickly...because I doubt anything so sendible as low-cost tube tying of chemical vascetomies would ever in the United States.

Thanks again, everyone. This helps me know where to go...for more research.

Written in July 2008

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