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.
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