Back in September I posted on a newly released research publication on GenXers by The Center for Work Life Policy, part of which reported that over 40% of women ages 41-45 did not have children, and by age 40, 36% of Gen X men also don’t have children. Researchers explained this trend as potentially a “creeping non-choice” which I challenged. A comment came in that…
..got me thinking further about the reasons why more GenXers might choose to not have kids. First, check out this guy’s comment:
“Like many of our cohort I was a latchkey kid, and did not experience the Leave It To Beaveresque “wonder years” of previous generations. Fresh out of school thrust into cubeland, struggling to find a niche underneath the yuppie, later, grey ceiling. The whole arrangement lead to intense cynicism and pessimism about my own future.
As luck (or whatever) would have it, I ended up reasonably OK career wise. However, the cynical bent led to me seeing many things that really turned me off about child rearing as it came to exist post 1980s – helicopter parenting, trophy children, the long arm of the state, etc, etc, etc. The whole thing became more and more of a turn off the older I got.
I lucked out, marrying another like minded soul. And there you have it.”
The research indicates that the reasons many GenXers don’t have kids has to do with “career ambition and economic challenges.” This comment made me wonder about additional factors that might be more touchy to talk about, like how they were parented.
Generally speaking, some childfree of all adult ages say that a reason they chose to not have kids had to do with how they were raised, and they did not want to repeat it. Overall, though it does not top the chart of reasons. I wonder if GenX would be more likely to list this as a reason than say, older generations?
What about the reason having to do with all that goes with parenting today, where –to almost the opposite of latchkey–I wonder–do more GenXers than generations before feel this way? How about generations who came after the X generation?
Would I love to see research on this….Meanwhile, what do you think?