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Archive for November, 2011

A new Australian study – of 50 women, mind you- has resulted in the headline claiming childless women are less healthy than women with children. The study did not distinguish between physical and mental health. The researchers are apparently now looking deeper into the reasons women are childless and to her credit, Dr. Melissa Graham,  the spokesperson for the study, conducted at Deakin University, had this to say about childlessness:

“Our previous research, along with that by others, with women who did not have children suggested that childlessness is perceived predominantly negatively and this may have consequences for the health of childless women.

“If childlessness was reframed as a natural and familiar way of being the apparent negative health consequences of being a childless woman may be addressed.

“Childlessness should be accepted as an appropriate outcome of adult life for women and motherhood should not be the only valued position.”

More information and context is needed. It’s not enough to lay down sparse facts resulting from miniscule studies. There is already so much non- and misunderstanding about childlessness in our culture, despite the fact that it is on the rise world-wide. Childless women go through a great deal of rationalizing, both internally and externally and it really is not fair. With all the everyday challenges life has to offer, this is a needless added one.

After all, there’s not only one way to live.

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Us “never-marrieds” are often at risk of being thought of as uncompromising or “picky,” but a recent Atlantic article explores one person’s thoughts on how she has finally (at 39) come to the conclusion that through not choosing to marry any of her boyfriends, she has actually chosen to be single. The article touches on how the recent recession has furthered the changing dynamic between the sexes and explores what life might be like in an all-female community.

But…

In her subsequent interviews on the article, she has tended to back off a bit from her stance and has admitted to ambivalence about being childless. Of course. There is always a shadow of protesting too much cast upon these types of public statements – lest a “modern spinster”/independent woman looks like she is actually choosing to be alone and lonely.

Loneliness is a byproduct of, well… life… but also single-dom, so I don’t know why there’s so much tabu around talking about it / admitting to it.

While I applaud people putting these topics up for discussion so we can, hopefully, get to a new understanding that (as I’ve said for years) there is not only one way to live, I do think that the author of this article might think a bit differently about her independent, childless life in years to come.

As well, I wish that the infertility industry would stop promising miracles. They are few and far between. Biology, after all, is biology and doesn’t change. Unless you have a good deal of money to burn, a fantastic physical and emotional constitution, and a direct link to the heaven’s above, no amount of technology can help a woman over 40 or esp. 45. That’s a fact.

I’d be interested in your thoughts on the article.

All the Single Ladies

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