The New Parent Trap

Why are first-world demographics crumbling? Most people blame economics, urban living and feminism. Maybe, but it is hard to deny that Reynolds has a point here:

eight in a minivan 1-001Parenting was always hard work, of course. But aside from the economic payoffs, parents used to get a lot of social benefits, too. But in recent decades, a collection of parenting “experts” and safety-fascist types have extinguished some of the benefits while raising the costs, to the point where what’s amazing isn’t that people are having fewer kids, but that people are having kids at all.

…when she was a newlywed…you weren’t seen as fully a member of the adult world until you had kids. Nowadays to have kids means something closer to an expulsion from the adult world. People in the suburbs buy SUVs instead of minivans…because the SUVs lack the minivan’s close association with low-prestige activities like parenting…Why should kayaking be more prestigious than parenting? Because parenting isn’t prestigious in our society. If it were, childless people would drive minivans just to partake of the aura.

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