Description from Amazon.com
Over 500 childless people responded to an author's query to share first-person accounts of child-free lives. The majority of responses came from women, 60 percent of whom were childless by choice. Combining their stories of nonreproduction with that of America's reproductive history, May's discussion of our country's reproductive trends is a cohesive picture of a place where children were, at first, an economic necessity. Later, Theodore Roosevelt favored eugenics when faced with "race suicide" in a country overrun by the "wrong" immigrants. The couple-centered childlessness of the 1920s eventually gave way to the patriotic baby boom of the postwar years. From the free love of the 1960s through the child-free 1970s, May brings us to the 1990s where childlessness is no longer considered pathological and her respondents freely admit nurturing their own "child within" in favor of the pain of bringing a new life into a ruined world. A fecund view of every aspect of childlessness, including sterility, infertility, and "designer genes" in a country that has moved from sex without children to children without sex. Patricia Hassler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
Chronicling astonishing shifts in public attitudes toward reproduction, from
the association of barrenness with the sin in colonial times, to the creation of
laws for compulsory sterilization in the early twentieth century, from the baby
craze of the 1950s, to the rise in voluntary childlessness in the 1990s, to the
increasing reliance on startling reproductive technologies today, Elaine Tyler
May reveals the intersection between public life and the most private part of
our lives--sexuality, procreation, and family.
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