Women Without Children: The Reasons, the Rewards, the Regrets

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9780886875329: Women Without Children: The Reasons, the Rewards, the Regrets

Based on interviews with more than sixty women, an insightful resource offers support and guidance to the growing "invisible minority" of women who chose not to have children, have infertility problems, or waited too long. Reprint. AB. IP.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

After interviewing 63 white, educated, middle-class women between the ages of 36 and 100, Lang (author of a YA book, Extremist Groups in America, 1990) concludes that the compensations for being childless (she prefers ``child-free'') exceed the losses, that women without children lead rich (literally saving $125,000 for a ``no-frills'' child, $600,000 for the luxury model) and fulfilling lives. According to various studies Lang cites, over 15% of women now in their childbearing years will remain childless for various reasons: infertility; belated, unstable, or failed marriages; lack of maternal or paternal interest (50% of 1100 women interviewed in one study considered their husbands ``lousy'' fathers); financial strain (30% of an annual income can be required to support a child); demanding careers (60% of top female executives are childless but only 10% of the comparable males); demanding stepchildren; or lesbian orientation (only 15-30% of lesbians have children). The disadvantages, Lang says, include occasional ``feelings of sadness and loneliness,'' ``regret'' over missing a major life experience, social and parental pressure, and an assortment of health problems. Women with children also have health problems, many associated with obesity, and suffer ``pain and disappointment'' over children who fail and stress from their ``incessant demands,'' reduced financial resources, and loss of time--three months a year are spent on child-rearing. The child- free, on the other hand, use their time and money for ``nurturing and networking,'' traveling, raising pets; they enjoy ``an exceptionally intimate relationship'' with their mates, and continue their ``self-growth.'' The group Lang studies is selective, her statistics questionable (she reports that the American father spends an ``average'' of 38 seconds a day with his infant child), and her observations often self-evident: ``Reproduction, of course, is vital for the survival of the species.'' Still, her crisp journalistic style and extensive quoting from introspective and articulate women make this a slick read--and a chilling revelation of how women without children view the world of motherhood. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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