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U.S. Fertility Plummets And ‘Otherhood’ Is At An All Time High


U.S. Fertility Plummets And ‘Otherhood’ Is At An All Time High. Image courtesy of jezebel.com

More women are opting for ‘Otherhood‘, the decision to not have children leaving the American’s birth rate at an all time low. Just 3,953,000 babies were born between July 2012 and July 2013, reportedly the lowest number since 1998.

A 2010 census reported 47 % of women ages 15 to 44 have no children, a 12% increase since 1976. Teen births alone are down tremendously with a reported 274,641 births alone last year. What has caused the dramatic drop in birth rates?

Best Selling author, 45 year old Melanie Notkin introduced the term ‘Otherhood’, which is the title of her book. She sheds light on the group of women who have decided not to have children for various reasons. These reasons range from waiting for ‘Mr. Right’, to having some infertility shortcomings. Also some women just don’t want children.

She pin points the media’s role in criticizing women and portraying them negatively on screens saying, “I have never said no to a man who proposed to me with whom I was madly in love because I had a conference call to take.”

The U.S. has an overall rate of 1.86 births per woman, the lowest since 1986. It’s also a 1 percent decrease since 2012 and has put America on course with other nations in Western Europe.

“If you’re single with no kids, you’re desperate, you’re in the house, you’re living with your parents, you’re overweight, or you’re not a pretty girl. It’s just very negative and in most cases, that’s not the case,” said 35 year old Kitty Bradshaw, who is single without children.

Some women admitted to failing to make marriage a priority as their reason for not having children. Others believed they had more time to put it off.

Bradshaw, who is reportedly looking for a husband said, “I also listened to the old saying ‘Don’t go looking. it’ll come’. So I didn’t go looking and it never came.”

Women in their early 20s have also decided against having children just yet or at all. The number of births from women in their early 20s dropped to a record low of 81.2 per 1,000 women. The numbers were calculated in 2013 and decreased from the previous year.

Author of ‘Two is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice’, Laura Scott claims the top reason for this decision is due to young couple’s being happy with their life currently. Many of them do not wish to take on the responsibility of having children and prefer to travel at freewill.

There has been a decrease in teen births as well, ages 15-19 have dropped dramatically since 1991. It experienced a 10 percent decline since 2012.

U.S. Fertility Plummets And ‘Otherhood’ Is At An All Time High


About Melissa Jackson

BA in Print Journalism w/ a minor in Child & Family Development/ full time POET and sponge. I love learning :) follow me @honeybjackson