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Why have kids of your own?

  1. Innate

    3 vote(s)
  2. Moral Responsibilty

    4 vote(s)
  3. Pass on your own gene

    18 vote(s)
  4. Accidental

    5 vote(s)
  5. Peer/family pressure

    2 vote(s)
  6. Someone to look after you when you're old

    3 vote(s)
  7. Investment

    2 vote(s)
  8. Ego Boost

    3 vote(s)
  9. Other

    12 vote(s)
  1. Dec 7, 2006 #1
    I am a bit young to completely know the answer to this question nor do I have kids but I wonder about it.

    Is it because
    1. You reach a certain age and innately really feel like having one (i.e. to love and care for a child)
    2. You think it's the 'right' thing to do and have the resources so you just do it
    3. You know that you are mortal but want a part of you to survive after you die so you decide to have a kid
    4. Usually by accident and instead of going on treatment you just let the baby grow
    5. Lots of other people your age are having it so you decide to have one also. Or pressure from family.
    6. You want someone to take care of you when you're sick and old
    7. Hope oneday your kids will be very succesful so treat it like an investment
    8. Have kids as a kind of way to show off and satisfy yourself so an ego boost
    9. Other

    Select your choices in the anonymous poll above.

    If 9. then please tell us what it is.

    A discussion of your choice would be good.

    Obviously there will be a multiple number of factors involved but which is usually the overridng one for a couple in a Western society?
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2006 #2


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    You must realize that everyone is going to have a different answer, and that no one can provide any overarching answer...

    Maybe you should just treat it as a poll.

    I suggest responders pick from the choices listed (including 'other'), and limit their responses to one sentence. Just a suggestion.


    8. Other - Had someone else' kids instead (step kids).
  4. Dec 7, 2006 #3
    A poll would be an efficient way of doing things.
  5. Dec 7, 2006 #4
    You forgot: "to have little rugrats to love", "egoboo", and "middle class accoutrement".

    Investment! That one cracks me up.
  6. Dec 7, 2006 #5
    I'd count "to have little rugrats to love" as innate as I am sure most people like this.

    What is "egoboo"?

    What is "middle class accoutrement"?

    Investment doesn't seem too outrageous as it seems like a good way of explaining why some (not wealthy nor very educated) parents push their kids so much and send them to private schools.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2006
  7. Dec 8, 2006 #6


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    You didn't mention "to get more grant money". It happens, quite often actually.
  8. Dec 8, 2006 #7
    "Innate" is much too vague to be a useful description.

    Ego boost.


    Meaning #3.

    Do you know of anyone who is actually paying back -- with interest at greater than the rate of inflation! -- what their parents spent on them?
  9. Dec 8, 2006 #8
    You mean money from the government? I guess that is like investment since you would expect to receive more than your scarifice to bring up the kids.
  10. Dec 8, 2006 #9
    True but I am trying to convey something that is independent of the society you live in. I added an example which is 'to love and care for a child'.

    They seem like geniune reasons. I probably should have added them although when I wrote 5. I had these things in mind but didn't spell it out.

    It's obviously a very different kind of investment. The people I know are mostly young adults so not one of them are doing it at the moment but you'd think some of the wealthy individuals would comfortably give their parents back more than what they spent on them. Although this is very rare offcourse. But if they do become very stably successful then parents are set for the rest of their life.

    I guess this option would be more attractive for poorer people as it would mean their kids can be less successful (hence more common) in order for their investment to be worthwhile. That could explain why people in poorer countries tend to have more kids.

    Although I could be very wrong with all this.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2006
  11. Dec 10, 2006 #10
    The popular vote is correct.
    While, the others may have something to do with it, on a purely animal level, the reason humans have sex is to have off spring with the same genes*, who will have off spring with the same genes*.

    *well, mixed genes.
  12. Dec 10, 2006 #11
    Humans are very different from animals because we have choice. Rationally, we have kids so that we can pass our genes down to the next generation. But is that the reason why we deliberately have kids?

    In choosing 3. you are saying that passing our genes so that someone like us can live after we die is what we want and what makes us most happy (more then the other options).
  13. Dec 11, 2006 #12


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    Is passing our genes on such a rational decision?
  14. Dec 11, 2006 #13
    After I made that post I realised that my use of the word 'rational' was not accurate.

    I tried to say, if we were biological robots and were programmed to reproduce than we do not have choice and if we have kids than the (logical, most objective) answer for us why we had kids would have to be 'so that we can pass on our genes'. The programmer could program some other answer but the most logical one, that recquires least amount of subjectivity or 'human factor' would have to be that one.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  15. Dec 11, 2006 #14


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    This sounds like your 'innate' option, i.e. we have kids because that's what we do. It is not a 'decision' we make.
  16. Dec 11, 2006 #15


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    Seems pretty accurate to me.
  17. Dec 12, 2006 #16
    I didn't mean innate in the most literal sense because we are not robots or unconscious animals. I like it to mean the innate 'want' to have kids is greater than the other factors we consciously think up. This results in us to consciously decide to have kids because we think the benefits (from satisfing our innate want) will outweigh the costs.

    All of the options are of this kind except for maybe investment as it is a more direct, quantitive measure of this kind of thinking, that is benefits outweigh costs.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2006
  18. Dec 12, 2006 #17


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    That's what I'm saying too.

    But it would be folly to pretend that we've overcome 3 billion years of evolution and now simply do things by conscious choice.
  19. Dec 12, 2006 #18

    Ever since the industrial revolution there are exponentially more choices then before so that makes us in a more of a position to choose, simply because we have much more options.

    I have a feeling I should have changed 'innate' to 'To love and care for a child' because innate is too vague and could cause misconceptions such as the willingness to have sexual intercourse which is not what I intend. Maybe the 'Accidental' option would fit this better. However, it is probably this single want that has driven human reproduction for most of the period of time of human evolution.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2006
  20. Jan 31, 2007 #19
    Another reason might be because you love your wife very much and want a human that is a hybrid of your favourate two people on earth, you and your wife. By doing that and raising up the child, you will learn a lot more of your wife and yourself. And also deepen your relationship with your wife. How common is this reason?
  21. Jan 31, 2007 #20


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    Unfortunately, people who 'want' a human tend to want to control them and I think that is bad. That's what pets are for.
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