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I offer free 30 minute telephone/Skype consultations for people wanting to find out more about coaching on the 'baby decision'. Email me at and assistant Laura will respond and arrange an appointment with you. Visit for more information about my coaching services.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Gender and the decision to have children or not

I found this interesting blog piece on a blog all about ecomomics. Basically, it points to a survey done which shows that there is different expectations on men and women in a relationship/marriage when it comes to the decision to have children or not. A survey asked the two questions:

'If the husband in a family wants children, but the wife decides that she does not want any children, is it all right for the wife to refuse to have children?' and

'If the wife in a family wants children, but the husband decides that he does not want any children, is it all right for the husband to refuse to have children?'

Survey says: 82% affirmed the wife's right to refuse, but only 61% affirmed the same right for husbands. Men and women are almost equally likely to have the same view with 83% of men (versus 81% of women) affirm women's right to refuse; 60% of men (versus 61% of women) affirm men's right to refuse.

The blogger asked the question why would there be such different expectations of men and women's duty in this matter?

My answer and that of some of the other posters is that the decision affects women disproportionately either way. A woman has to bear the brunt of carrying and having the child and will have to take on more child-caring during the first few months (maternity leave, b'feeding, etc).

Because a woman has limited fertility time available, she will also be serverely affected is her partner/husband says no. As a friend of mine pointed out, if her partner keeps saying he isn't ready yet, she is going to have to leave him as she only has about 6 more years of optimum fertility time left. Whereas, if he changes his mind, even at 60 years old, he can still find a younger woman to pro-create with!

On another matter, I wish I hadn't been put off studying economics in high school - it seemed so dry and boring. But over the past few years, I've been realising how important the subject is - how it applies to all aspects of our livses. Probably reading Freaknomics had something to do with this change of heart.

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