This chapter raises questions that are seldom asked:
Why do people intentionally reproduce?
Before the middle of the 20th century,
when reliable birth-control measures became common-place,
most of the human race was subject to random reproduction
—much the same way that other
But now that we can easily control our capacity
to have offspring,
most of us do in fact take advantage of this possibility
by making choices about
This chapter presents in very brief paragraphs
all of the most common 'reasons' for and against having (more)
(about one page for each 'reason').
There are over 20 books in the bibliography called
Exploring the Decision to Have Children
However, these thousands of additional pages of reading
do not present any ideas beyond what is contained in these 40 pages.
Of course, these other books go into much greater
often with very meaningful personal accounts and illustrations.
But this chapter might be the best place to begin reading
the pros and cons of having children.
Another unexpected use for this chapter
(which is also available as a separate book of 40 pages)
is as a college textbook for courses in critical thinking.
Because almost everyone of traditional college age
assumes that they will become parents after college,
this chapter raises some challenging questions
that most college students have never confronted before.
And if they do plan to have children,
this chapter will enable them to articulate and examine
their reasons for making whatever decisions they affirm.
This chapter offers an excellent opportunity
for readers to exercise critical thinking about a real life choice,
which will have a profound impact on the rest of their lives.
Have (More) Children?"
CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Whether or not you have children
—and if you do have
children, how many—
will be one of the most important decisions of your life.
Your choices concerning occupation or marriage
will be very significant, but these decisions can be revised.
But the children you might have will affect your life
more deeply and for a longer period of time
than almost any other decision you can make.
Given that child-bearing and child-rearing
have such profound impacts on one's whole life,
it should be somewhat surprising
that so little attention is given to this life-option.
Most people just assume that they will become parents.
And, in fact, most parents looking back
admit that they did not spend much time
considering the pros and cons of parenthood.
Thus, if you take this chapter seriously,
and if it causes you to make different decisions about reproduction
(whether to have children—and if so how many and when),
this chapter will probably have a larger impact
than any other chapter in New Ways of Loving.