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How to Be ChildlessA History and Philosophy of Life Without Children$
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Rachel Chrastil

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190918620

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190918620.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 November 2019

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Chapter:
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Source:
How to Be Childless
Author(s):

Rachel Chrastil

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190918620.003.0005

In the 1970s, after the baby boom hiatus, childlessness returned to prominence. By the 1970s, in contrast with previous centuries, the complex reasons that women ended up without children were openly reframed as the willful exercise of choice. The Pill, the rising importance of self-actualization, and economic opportunity costs all became explanations for the return of childlessness, although none of these are completely satisfactory. American child-free advocates began to argue that childlessness was not only an acceptable path but also a better choice than parenthood. Moral outrage characterized debates over childlessness in the 1970s.

Keywords:   childless, childlessness, voluntary childlessness, childless by choice, 1970s, the Pill, self-actualization, Second Demographic Transition

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