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Child Bearing Age

Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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7/11/2016 3:40:48 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
When I was in college, a Human Sexuality class taught us how useful it was for women (biologically speaking) to have children at a young age. The optimal age for human child bearing is probably between 16 and 22 years old. Women in their early 20s are least likely to have developed chronic health problems that would put them or their babies at risk, and they have the lowest rates of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infertility.

Yet Western society has made it very unfavorable to have children this early in life.

First off, people want to "enjoy their youth" and put off having children until they've experienced a myriad of lovers and sexual partners; after they've settled down with 1 partner after marriage (which is being delayed until later in life); until after they've finished college and have began to establish their career; and maybe even had a few trips to Burning Man. The point is, many young people (and their parents) expect them to wait to have children until they've accomplished or experienced XYZ, despite the fact that biology says we should be getting pregnant much sooner.

What do you think about this: is this a good or bad thing for society?

Why is it so important for people to "enjoy their youth" now and accomplish so much before having kids, when it was far more common for young people to have babies a few decades ago? It's also interesting to note that people get pregnant younger in rural areas. People in cities and more educated people wait longer. Should society start encouraging women to get pregnant younger and try to shift social norms, expectations and behaviors? Why or why not?
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Vox_Veritas
Posts: 7,060
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7/11/2016 3:57:29 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/11/2016 3:40:48 PM, Danielle wrote:
When I was in college, a Human Sexuality class taught us how useful it was for women (biologically speaking) to have children at a young age. The optimal age for human child bearing is probably between 16 and 22 years old. Women in their early 20s are least likely to have developed chronic health problems that would put them or their babies at risk, and they have the lowest rates of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infertility.

Yet Western society has made it very unfavorable to have children this early in life.

First off, people want to "enjoy their youth" and put off having children until they've experienced a myriad of lovers and sexual partners; after they've settled down with 1 partner after marriage (which is being delayed until later in life); until after they've finished college and have began to establish their career; and maybe even had a few trips to Burning Man. The point is, many young people (and their parents) expect them to wait to have children until they've accomplished or experienced XYZ, despite the fact that biology says we should be getting pregnant much sooner.

What do you think about this: is this a good or bad thing for society?

Why is it so important for people to "enjoy their youth" now and accomplish so much before having kids, when it was far more common for young people to have babies a few decades ago? It's also interesting to note that people get pregnant younger in rural areas. People in cities and more educated people wait longer. Should society start encouraging women to get pregnant younger and try to shift social norms, expectations and behaviors? Why or why not?

The idea is that when you have kids, that's the end of your "free" days. Ask any mother, and she will tell you that once you have kids, you won't be able to do a lot of the stuff that you did prior to becoming a mother.
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Vox_Veritas
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7/11/2016 4:16:10 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
When you're "young and free", you go to late night parties, get drunk, have sex with a random stranger, wake up the next day half-dressed in a strange bed with no recollection of the events of last night, and then claim that you were raped.
Whenever you're a mother, you cannot leave your child at home alone for more than five minutes, even when your child is asleep. Unless you were to hire a babysitter, that obviously rules out late night parties for you.
Likewise, you can't cuss at home because your child might hear you. You can't drink or get high at home. Much of your income now goes to feeding and clothing your child. You can't afford to go homeless because then your child would be homeless. You have to hire a babysitter if you are to be a single working mother, and that can be expensive. Furthermore, young single mothers typically make minimum wage, so your finances will always be stretched then.
You have to watch your kid 24/7 to make sure he/she doesn't try to stick his finger in an electrical outlet or touch a hot stove. You have to deal with huge tantrums and screaming fits. You have to put up with a young child peeing and pooping on floors, which is to say nothing of changing diapers.

Given all this (and more), wouldn't it make sense to enjoy your youth before becoming a mother?
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Udel
Posts: 103
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7/12/2016 12:27:27 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
I think it's okay that people are having kids later in life because we're living to be a lot older. Hopefully science and technology will continue to assist older women have healthy babies. I think it's better that we are not rushing into marriage and taking the time to enjoy ourselves first.
rross
Posts: 2,772
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7/12/2016 12:35:14 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
Idk. I've always heard that it's better to have kids a bit older than that. For instance, this paper says 27-29 is the age of lowest risk. That's social factors as well though maybe. obviously social and financial support makes a big difference to infant well-being.

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YYW
Posts: 36,233
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7/12/2016 3:46:40 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/11/2016 3:40:48 PM, Danielle wrote:
When I was in college, a Human Sexuality class taught us how useful it was for women (biologically speaking) to have children at a young age. The optimal age for human child bearing is probably between 16 and 22 years old. Women in their early 20s are least likely to have developed chronic health problems that would put them or their babies at risk, and they have the lowest rates of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infertility.

Yet Western society has made it very unfavorable to have children this early in life.

First off, people want to "enjoy their youth" and put off having children until they've experienced a myriad of lovers and sexual partners; after they've settled down with 1 partner after marriage (which is being delayed until later in life); until after they've finished college and have began to establish their career; and maybe even had a few trips to Burning Man. The point is, many young people (and their parents) expect them to wait to have children until they've accomplished or experienced XYZ, despite the fact that biology says we should be getting pregnant much sooner.

What do you think about this: is this a good or bad thing for society?

Why is it so important for people to "enjoy their youth" now and accomplish so much before having kids, when it was far more common for young people to have babies a few decades ago? It's also interesting to note that people get pregnant younger in rural areas. People in cities and more educated people wait longer. Should society start encouraging women to get pregnant younger and try to shift social norms, expectations and behaviors? Why or why not?

This is the second really excellent thread you've created, and I am glad to see you back. You're awesome, Dani.

Moving beyond that though... idk. It's really hard to be a girl in this day and age, and even as a guy I can--and do--acknowledge that. You've got all these mixed signals as to what's expected of you, and those conflicts are totally screwy.

On the one hand you've got to be pretty, but if you're too pretty then you're a slut. You are supposed to have a lot of sex (the whole enjoy your youth argument is just modern day carpe diem), but never talk about it except when you do and then only in limited contexts, but you're either a prude or a slut and sometimes both at the same time depending on the group you're with.

And women can be so mean to one another. Ugly girls are mean to pretty girls because they're jealous of them, or threatened, or both. Pretty girls are mean to ugly girls because it's about maintaining power in the social strata. They're very competitive over men, and that is to say nothing about the workplace which is a mixture of "it's a man's world" realities in some places with the social pressure to "shatter the glass ceiling" while you're expected to work full time, while having a full social life, while maintaining a family with 2.3 kids and a dog, and all while staying perfectly fit and finding time to shop and do "girl" things. That is to say nothing about the level of time that's required to do hair, makeup, etc.

And if you're a late teenager or a 20 something you're seeing all of this--especially if you're in your first internship or entry level job--and you're confused about what you want to be and what you want to do... it's hard.

So idk... Idk if adding something else to the list of pressures is ok, but I am worried about not having a stable growth rate for the population. Don't want to end up like Japan.
missbailey8
Posts: 1,872
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7/12/2016 4:30:48 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/11/2016 3:40:48 PM, Danielle wrote:
When I was in college, a Human Sexuality class taught us how useful it was for women (biologically speaking) to have children at a young age. The optimal age for human child bearing is probably between 16 and 22 years old. Women in their early 20s are least likely to have developed chronic health problems that would put them or their babies at risk, and they have the lowest rates of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infertility.

Yet Western society has made it very unfavorable to have children this early in life.

First off, people want to "enjoy their youth" and put off having children until they've experienced a myriad of lovers and sexual partners; after they've settled down with 1 partner after marriage (which is being delayed until later in life); until after they've finished college and have began to establish their career; and maybe even had a few trips to Burning Man. The point is, many young people (and their parents) expect them to wait to have children until they've accomplished or experienced XYZ, despite the fact that biology says we should be getting pregnant much sooner.

What do you think about this: is this a good or bad thing for society?

Why is it so important for people to "enjoy their youth" now and accomplish so much before having kids, when it was far more common for young people to have babies a few decades ago? It's also interesting to note that people get pregnant younger in rural areas. People in cities and more educated people wait longer. Should society start encouraging women to get pregnant younger and try to shift social norms, expectations and behaviors? Why or why not?

I think it's really up to the woman to decide. If she wants to be "free" and wait to have a kid then that's up to her. If she doesn't, then that's okay too. No one should be ashamed for when they decide to have a child.

To speak from the perspective of my mother, she had me when she was just 19. She didn't get much freedom because she was taking care of me and my brother while working in the Navy and acting as a single parent when my dad was deployed. She was only able to start college last year because she doesn't really have to worry about my brother and I anymore. It's only now at age 36 where she gets to experience the freedom of not having to worry about kids. (Or not having to worry as much.)
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RyuuKyuzo
Posts: 3,074
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7/12/2016 10:20:14 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
Women were dealt a sh*t hand in life. I could put off having kids for another decade and the only effect it would have is I'd be even wealthier by the time I started having them. For a woman my age to put off having kids equally long would pretty much mean they aren't going to have any kids at all, or at the very least, the kids would be much less healthy than they could have been.

Tbh, I think the idea of "enjoying your youth" at the expense of reaching major life markers is stupid. I was very preoccupied with "enjoying my youth" as a teenager, and looking back I regret it, because as accomplished as I am now, I could've been so much father along already if I just hadn't been so selfish and lazy -- but at least my laziness then only burdens me. Putting off children just because you want to "have fun" comes at their expense, primarily.

So as sorry as I feel for you women that you have to rush this chapter of your life much more than men do, suck it up and get it done. It's not a death sentence and, frankly, it's a much more fulfilling option than sleeping around and doing drugs, or whatever it is you kids do for fun these days.
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TheGreatAndPowerful
Posts: 3,012
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7/12/2016 12:56:28 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/11/2016 3:40:48 PM, Danielle wrote:

What do you think about this: is this a good or bad thing for society?

It has been hypothesized that the best practical and available measure for extending human lifespans in the long run is to encourage having kids later in life.

This makes sense (though I don't know if it is supported by actual science) in the sense that, evolution's primary concern is keeping us alive till we can bear children. Yes, the support of people beyond child-bearing age still provides a survival advantage, it is secondary.

Viable and healthy children that are born of older parents will themselves carry the genes to have viable and healthy children later in life. If trend continues, we would see a general increase in the overall life span of the human species.
Semiya
Posts: 405
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7/12/2016 1:04:42 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/11/2016 3:40:48 PM, Danielle wrote:
When I was in college, a Human Sexuality class taught us how useful it was for women (biologically speaking) to have children at a young age. The optimal age for human child bearing is probably between 16 and 22 years old. Women in their early 20s are least likely to have developed chronic health problems that would put them or their babies at risk, and they have the lowest rates of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infertility.

Yet Western society has made it very unfavorable to have children this early in life.

First off, people want to "enjoy their youth" and put off having children until they've experienced a myriad of lovers and sexual partners; after they've settled down with 1 partner after marriage (which is being delayed until later in life); until after they've finished college and have began to establish their career; and maybe even had a few trips to Burning Man. The point is, many young people (and their parents) expect them to wait to have children until they've accomplished or experienced XYZ, despite the fact that biology says we should be getting pregnant much sooner.

What do you think about this: is this a good or bad thing for society?

Why is it so important for people to "enjoy their youth" now and accomplish so much before having kids, when it was far more common for young people to have babies a few decades ago? It's also interesting to note that people get pregnant younger in rural areas. People in cities and more educated people wait longer. Should society start encouraging women to get pregnant younger and try to shift social norms, expectations and behaviors? Why or why not?

A lot of it is because lifespans are much longer now than they were in the past. Medicine and technology have greatly improved. As has education - many studies show a strong correlation between increased education and increase age for child bearing for women.

With that in mind, trying to change that norm would likely fail or backfire.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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7/13/2016 3:37:00 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/12/2016 3:46:40 AM, YYW wrote:
This is the second really excellent thread you've created, and I am glad to see you back. You're awesome, Dani.

Thanks! I enjoy your threads as well.

Moving beyond that though... idk. It's really hard to be a girl in this day and age, and even as a guy I can--and do--acknowledge that.

I can appreciate that, but quite honestly, I think it's harder to be a gay man than a woman. At least when it comes to dating and being taken seriously by society. Sex... definitely not lol. You guys got that covered.

And if you're a late teenager or a 20 something you're seeing all of this--especially if you're in your first internship or entry level job--and you're confused about what you want to be and what you want to do... it's hard.

Being in your late 20s is odd. I feel so much wiser, but kinda depressed that I didn't realize all this sh!t before. Live and Learn. Is there a latin phrase for that? We can at least make it a hashtag.

So idk... Idk if adding something else to the list of pressures is ok, but I am worried about not having a stable growth rate for the population. Don't want to end up like Japan.

I think we're gonna be like Japan at some point when the whole virtual reality thing gets more popular here. Some would say a declining birth rate isn't the worst thing in the world. Personally I'd love to be able to freeze my eggs, but while I've got white privilege... I ain't got that much privilege. I'm not spending thousands of dollars on that. But at the same time, I don't want my kids coming out genetically inferior by waiting too long. I dunno. Bought a house recently so I'm running out of excuses to delay, and I don't think my real reasoning would go over well (like how will I smoke weed freely with babies running around?). I think I'm ready but definitely worry about kids ruining my lifestyle and making me poor. Bye bye my beloved travel. Have you seen how much diapers cost? Ugh.
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Chloe8
Posts: 2,576
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7/19/2016 9:55:04 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/11/2016 3:40:48 PM, Danielle wrote:
When I was in college, a Human Sexuality class taught us how useful it was for women (biologically speaking) to have children at a young age. The optimal age for human child bearing is probably between 16 and 22 years old. Women in their early 20s are least likely to have developed chronic health problems that would put them or their babies at risk, and they have the lowest rates of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infertility.

Yet Western society has made it very unfavorable to have children this early in life.

First off, people want to "enjoy their youth" and put off having children until they've experienced a myriad of lovers and sexual partners; after they've settled down with 1 partner after marriage (which is being delayed until later in life); until after they've finished college and have began to establish their career; and maybe even had a few trips to Burning Man. The point is, many young people (and their parents) expect them to wait to have children until they've accomplished or experienced XYZ, despite the fact that biology says we should be getting pregnant much sooner.

What do you think about this: is this a good or bad thing for society?

Why is it so important for people to "enjoy their youth" now and accomplish so much before having kids, when it was far more common for young people to have babies a few decades ago? It's also interesting to note that people get pregnant younger in rural areas. People in cities and more educated people wait longer. Should society start encouraging women to get pregnant younger and try to shift social norms, expectations and behaviors? Why or why not?

Biologically it's healthier to have babies at 16 to 22 but the majority of women that age are not in a stable enough relationship to start a family, are not mature enough and do not have sufficient resources to support children. I think it's best to leave it up to the individual when deciding when to have children. People should not be pressurized by society or the government and should do what suits them best. However it's important in my opinion to ensure you are mature enough, accept the demands of parenthood and its life changing effects, have sufficient resources to support a child and can provide a suitable family environment before having children. If in doubt wait, don't rush into it. There is plenty of time.
ShaneMcG
Posts: 19
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8/1/2016 5:13:20 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/11/2016 3:40:48 PM, Danielle wrote:
When I was in college, a Human Sexuality class taught us how useful it was for women (biologically speaking) to have children at a young age. The optimal age for human child bearing is probably between 16 and 22 years old. Women in their early 20s are least likely to have developed chronic health problems that would put them or their babies at risk, and they have the lowest rates of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infertility.

Yet Western society has made it very unfavorable to have children this early in life.

First off, people want to "enjoy their youth" and put off having children until they've experienced a myriad of lovers and sexual partners; after they've settled down with 1 partner after marriage (which is being delayed until later in life); until after they've finished college and have began to establish their career; and maybe even had a few trips to Burning Man. The point is, many young people (and their parents) expect them to wait to have children until they've accomplished or experienced XYZ, despite the fact that biology says we should be getting pregnant much sooner.

What do you think about this: is this a good or bad thing for society?

Why is it so important for people to "enjoy their youth" now and accomplish so much before having kids, when it was far more common for young people to have babies a few decades ago? It's also interesting to note that people get pregnant younger in rural areas. People in cities and more educated people wait longer. Should society start encouraging women to get pregnant younger and try to shift social norms, expectations and behaviors? Why or why not?

Biologically that may be the optimal age, but there are many other factors in the welfare of a child - and the mother, like financial stability and emotional well-being. Now that so many women have careers and are going to college, it may not be possible for them to have children that young - even if they don't care about "enjoying their youth."

Having spent the last 7 years in college, I knew very few college students who had children, and of those that did, the majority of them had a spouse who either had already graduated or who had dropped out to provide for their child. It's hard enough these days to financially support one adult (or one couple) while going to college, and most people find it impossible to also support a child.

It's also very hard to have a career as a woman when you have children that young. Many workplaces still have not adapted enough to make that a possibility - meaning, they don't provide enough maternity leave or family leave. If missing a day's work means not being able to pay rent, then you can't afford to stay at home with a sick kid without family leave. But the more you work your way up in your career and the more financially stable you become, the easier it is to either find a position with sufficient maternal and family leave or be able to afford to take time off for your kid.

Another problem is finding someone to have a child with. High school sweethearts work out in some cases, but not all. My parents married and had kids young, but then found out that they weren't happy with each other and eventually divorced. A bad marriage affects the well-being of both the parents and the children. That being said, my grandparents were high school sweethearts and they've been happily married for over 50 years.

I guess my point is that rather than pushing for people to have kids earlier or later, maybe we should encourage them to have kids when it makes sense with their lives. As other people have pointed out, science and technology have advanced enough that we don't have to worry as much about having children at a later age. We should definitely teach students about reproduction (including the optimal age), but I don't think we should necessarily encourage a specific time-frame by which to do things. People have different priorities, lifestyles, and needs.

Also, concerning your note about rural vs. urban places: Abstinence-only sex ed has been linked to higher rates of teen pregnancy, and you often find abstinence-only sex ed in rural areas. This could be an explanation for that connection.
Robkwoods
Posts: 570
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8/2/2016 2:41:21 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/11/2016 3:40:48 PM, Danielle wrote:
When I was in college, a Human Sexuality class taught us how useful it was for women (biologically speaking) to have children at a young age. The optimal age for human child bearing is probably between 16 and 22 years old. Women in their early 20s are least likely to have developed chronic health problems that would put them or their babies at risk, and they have the lowest rates of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infertility.

Yet Western society has made it very unfavorable to have children this early in life.

First off, people want to "enjoy their youth" and put off having children until they've experienced a myriad of lovers and sexual partners; after they've settled down with 1 partner after marriage (which is being delayed until later in life); until after they've finished college and have began to establish their career; and maybe even had a few trips to Burning Man. The point is, many young people (and their parents) expect them to wait to have children until they've accomplished or experienced XYZ, despite the fact that biology says we should be getting pregnant much sooner.

What do you think about this: is this a good or bad thing for society?

Why is it so important for people to "enjoy their youth" now and accomplish so much before having kids, when it was far more common for young people to have babies a few decades ago? It's also interesting to note that people get pregnant younger in rural areas. People in cities and more educated people wait longer. Should society start encouraging women to get pregnant younger and try to shift social norms, expectations and behaviors? Why or why not?

Yes biologically speaking that is true. Our generation was told we could have it all, and we took full advantage of it. This of course has worked out terribly. I believe the previous generation understood once you picked a path you stuck with it and you made the best of it, because the most important thing was the next generation. We however are terribly short-sighted and narcissistic.

Here is a recent conversation I had
Her: I have a master's in international affairs
Me: Oh cool, what can you do with that.
Her: Pretty Much anything
Me: Why did you need the degree then?
Her: ...
Saying college is required to be successful is hogwash. It has only led to a prolonging of adolescence. 4 more years of high school; I think most, who didn't get a technical degree, can attest to this. One of the tenets of Marxism is population control. You do this by breaking down the family, which was accomplished by the extension of adolescence. This is the idea of "enjoy your youth"

We convinced women their biological functions are bad and being in the kitchen was the worst possible thing. We told women the most important thing they could achieve in life was a career. They were told they were just like men, obviously this is untrue. I have to seen a few surveys showing that women are more unhappy than ever, and men for that matter too. I am not particularly fond of surveys, so the amount of women taking SSRIs is pretty telling. If you want to shift societal to norms, the patriarchy has to return. Not Islamic Patriarchy. Christian Patriarchy, where the man is the head of the household. In general this is the ideal arrangement, there are always exceptions.
Robkwoods
Posts: 570
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8/2/2016 3:18:40 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Here is my summer reading list:
Staying Married in a Degenerate Age
Return to Modesty
What Our Mothers Didn't Tell us
Premarital Sex in America
The Flipside of Feminism
Manning Up