“What’s one little baby? JUST DO IT.”
Pronatalism, or the promotion of procreation, as an ideology emphasizes creating new humans. Its insidious propaganda machine conditions people to believe they won’t be complete, won’t be fulfilled, won’t know love, or won’t be truly happy unless they have a child. “It’s easy! It’s fun! You’ll be lonely and miserable if you don’t do it!”
This pressure has a long history.
In 1969, Joseph W. Maxwell (Head of the Department of Family and Child Development at Auburn University) and James E. Montgomery (head of the Department of Management, Housing and Family Development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute), in their article “Societal Pressures Toward Early Parenthood” published in The Family Coordinator, cite M.M. Hunt’s finding in “The Case Against Having Children Too Soon” (published in a 1968 issue of Redbook) that
young couples have children only in part because they want them, and in larger part because they want to play the role of parents. ‘They often bring forth children, not for themselves, but for other people. Relatives, neighbors, and friends all exert subtle but continuous pressure to “join the club,” to do the proper thing, to accept adult responsibilities and settle down like everyone else. In trying to win approval and acceptance, many husbands and wives become parents before they are emotionally ready.’
· Orna Donath, in Regretting Motherhood (2017), found that … pressure on women that makes them feel they won’t be fully accepted by society if they don’t have a child leads them to have children even if they aren’t sure it’s the right decision. (NIH)
· Forty percent of women and twenty percent of men in a 2022 YouGov survey say they (still) face pressure to have children.
· In the Reddit group /r/Regretfulparents, feeling pressured to have children is cited among the reasons for having them. In answer to the question, “Why did you have a child,” answers (in Sept. 2023) include the following:
- “I was scared that I would miss out on the ‘motherhood’ experience” (just_nik)
- “because my in laws wanted grandkids and husband wanted one. I also…