Some couples who don’t want children discuss the matter one time, others don’t discuss it at all according to a new study. Middlesex University’s Edina Kurdi will present her findings at the annual conference of the British Sociological Association. She conducted an online survey which had 75 female participants 35 years old or older, 40% of which said that they had either never discussed having children or had once early on. Nine of these participants did come and meet researchers in person as well. The question on the survey asking about the discussion around the decision not to have children was skipped by 12 participants. 63 answered the question. 23 said that it was only discussed once. Three of the women said the issue simply never came up. According to Kurdi one participant in the study said, “It only needed one brief discussion, along the lines of ‘I don’t want kids — do you?’ ‘Nope, me neither’. Then move onto something more interesting to talk about… and neither of us reconsidered our options. There was no need to.” Of the results, Kurdi stated that she was surprised by them, and found them interesting. Certainly they must have expected a more in depth discussion. But when two people are of the same mindset on something then why should they have to discuss it in greater detail?
Regarding this research Kurdi said, “Not having children is obviously a very important decision, and what was interesting from the research was the negligible amount of discussion that couples engaged in. Many are agreeing not to have children in one conversation, or in an unspoken way. One possible reason that couples did not need to talk about the issue much is that they could accurately sense their partner did not want children from their beliefs and lifestyle.” Kurdi’s research followed the reasons why couples decided not to have children and other people’s reaction to childless couples as well. According to this researcher, “Very little attention has been paid to the negotiations within romantic relations about not having a family, even though developed countries are facing a general decline in fertility combined with an accelerated rate of childlessness.” This is a serious issue affecting many countries. Japan is in a serious crisis that many Western European countries are facing too. There aren’t enough children born to support financially the aging population which will soon retire. South Korea will soon see this issue as well. Russia has instituted a “baby making” holiday in order to reverse the problem. In the U.S., we have waves of immigrants entering and so don’t have to worry so much. For more on this topic, read Two is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice by Laura S. Scott.