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Why people have so many children?

  1. Apr 23, 2010 #1
    I don't understand why someone in the first world would want more than 1-2 children. Even now, some people prefer to have more than 3 children.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2010 #2


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    Why not?

    Some people want 0 children; some want 1; some want 2; some want more. As with many things, a multiplicity of views seems best to me. No The Giver for me, thanks.
  4. Apr 23, 2010 #3


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    Some people picture their future with a large family.
  5. Apr 23, 2010 #4


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    You have to consider a person's religious beliefs, as that can be a reason why people have large families. Also, a person's life experience might make them want more children (or none). I have three children because my mom, her father, and myself were all only children and I wanted to expand my family. Being an only child is not all that it is cracked up to be! I can imagine someone who has annoying siblings might decide to not have any children.
  6. Apr 23, 2010 #5


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    Ah, life experiences are definitely a big reason! I went the other way from you. Growing up, I had 7 brothers and 1 sister, so I chose to have one child. A nice, quiet, calm household :smile:.
  7. Apr 23, 2010 #6
    Personally, I don't understand how they deal with the big mess (3-6 small children all crying at once, imagine the headache), how they manage to dedicate appropriate amount of time to each child, and how they get time to take care of children while having other responsibilities like work. Also add paying the mortgages while one partner is off of work every other month.

    I would prefer 2.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  8. Apr 23, 2010 #7
    My dream! :biggrin:

    (I only had one sibling it was kind of ok, but once heard from a only one child friend that it is bit boring to be the only child in the house)
  9. Apr 23, 2010 #8


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    While one partner is off work every other month?

    It used to be only one parent worked, and the other stayed home to raise the kids. What's wrong with that strategy?
  10. Apr 23, 2010 #9
    The less kids you have the less child support you gotta pay.
  11. Apr 23, 2010 #10
    People are naïve and like to believe that having children comes down to what it's in their mind, rather than nappies, annoying 'no' phases, puberty, and then leaving your home in a fight, and finally either not speaking to you again, or putting you away in a home.

    And consequently, in their naïvety, they also believe it, because they believe what they like to believe.

    Also, the more you have, the more they'll practically pull each other apart.

    Also, the more obvious answer is that we would have died if we hadn't some irrational need to breed, therefore evolution selected upon those irrational enough to breed.

    I understand ever less why people want children in the third world by the way.
  12. Apr 23, 2010 #11


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    I grew up in the 60-70's and at that time there was a movement here called "Zero Population Growth". It really had an impact on me. For the first time I realized how much the population was destroying the earth.

    I decided to have no children, but my second husband insisted on having children, but I refused to have more than the two that was environmentally sound.

    No one "needs" children. More than two per couple is not considered ecologically sustainable.
  13. Apr 23, 2010 #12
    The thing that tended to be wrong with that strategy was the economic disadvantage, and therefore power inequity disadvantage, one parent wound up having. In an ideal world, it's a great strategy for raising children. In reality, the cost is awfully high on the parent that stays home.

    I understand that, not so very long ago, children didn't all make it to adulthood, so people needed to have more than one or two to ensure some reasonable rate of family survival.

    As a kid from a two-child family -- which two children could not manage to get along through childhood and all through adulthood -- it strikes me now that it would be kind of nice to have at least one more sibling to count on. My sister died when she was 45 and that leaves me alone to contend with my aging parents. They go, and I'm pretty much entirely alone out here. One other sibling would have been handy.
  14. Apr 23, 2010 #13
    To slightly twist the topic by the way. I see a lot of people saying that abortion is unethical, but how ethical is it to create sentient life?

    Especially if it's sentient life you have a certain control over in this society that some'd say borders in slavery.
  15. Apr 23, 2010 #14
    Evo, I saw this author interviewed on The Daily Show last night. His research in his new book are pretty interesting and flip that whole over-populating the world notion on its head. Fascinating how entire social revolutions can happen so quickly and not in ways we'd anticipated. I remember hearing all the same stuff as you did about population growth when I was a kid.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  16. Apr 23, 2010 #15
    1) Everyone deserves a life outside their family. Staying home is just wrong because all you have in your life is your family to take care of when there is a big world beyond your family
    2) It would only work if one partner is making sufficient money
  17. Apr 23, 2010 #16


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    They are not naive (at least not generally). People have children knowing it will be challenging. Few people who have had children say they regret it.

    After food, water and shelter, there aren't a lot of things more imperative and more of a right than having offspring.
  18. Apr 23, 2010 #17
    Not to others though, often enough to their own children.

    It's called the outward façade of a functioning family. Mum was always just a bit more patient with me when people were visiting.

    Besides, how many people that consciously stayed childless you think regretted it? Extra vacation in Spain together, no stress that your child isn't going to pass this year, no babysitters, the good life indeed.
  19. Apr 23, 2010 #18
  20. Apr 23, 2010 #19


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    Well an amazing thing happens when you have a child. It's like magic - you just want to spend time with your kid - talk, sing, play. Really, it's an incredible transformation.

    In those formative years when my daughter was a small child, I found I had not the slightest interest in anything but my family. It wasn't wrong at all, your life is long and your kids are young for such a short time.
  21. Apr 23, 2010 #20
    Amazing isn't it? How your neurology is wired to make you love a person you don't even know simply because you have subconsciously determined that this individual is highly likely to share the most of your genetic code. Even worse, you subconsciously make yourself feel what is surely just pulling favours out of the principle of selfish genes is some-how a 'beautiful' thing, that you're willing to place one human being ahead of another simply because you've subconsciously determined that person shares more of those selfish genes of yours, magnificent, and highly depressing, not any less interesting.
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