Are couples who contracept more or less likely to own a 4-legged pet? What would you say?
I would say it is meaningless.
We are very open to life and have a cat ( + two gold fish, 1 parakette, 2 gerbils and 5 chickens,). Our best friends, who are also equally open to life, have no pets at all.
I actually agree with you OP… I have noticed this trend.
This is completely anecdotal but of my family and friends that are contracepting couples, most have a dog or cat which they consider “their baby” instead.
Why the question?
If you thought there might be a strong correlation (not a weak one) then it might be worth doing some proper research into a) finding if there is a strong correlation and b) Why?
My wife and I chose to get a Dog before we tried to have a baby. We got the Dog as soon as we got back from our honeymoon. we called her our “Practice Baby”. It then took us almost a year to conceive. - But we deliberately choose a dog that would be a good family pet, from a breed that had a reputation for being great with kids, and bred by a breeder who had 6 kids of their own.
There is no doubt in my mind, however, that there are some people who choose to avoid having kids (or are unable to) who attempt to fill that void by having pets. How significant their numbers are I would not like to comment on.
I would agree that the data is hard to come by, but anecdotal news reports and surveys, combined with Census information, gives this notion a solid basis for detailed and serious study.
A 2005 article from the Rocky Mountain News, as well as a 2012 article from WCNC from Charlotte, NC note this trend. However, neither article notes whether the people or groups mentioned are using artificial contraception.
The first article does note a disturbing trend from Census data that indicates the percentage of families with children under 18 would decline from 48% in 1995 to 41% by 2010, as well as some third-party data that supports similar declines.
It’s unfair to presume that all couples have the means to have and care for children. All heterosexual marriages have the potential, of course. Such a study should ask for demographic data that allows correlation of religion, income, marital status, and place of residence to gain hard data for this question to be fished out.
My guess, from my own anecdotal observations, is that this is a real trend, more so in the young than the old in increasing numbers.
I have never participated in contraception and we have always had a pet. This is a meanlingless question and implies that couples who participate in this would more likely have pets than not. It is unwise to make such assumptions about others. The better question is does contraception lead to more divorce of which there is evidence for.
On the other hand, a family in our parish that just had their 14th child also has two dogs. Another family with 8 children has a cat and a dog.
I don’t think you will find a statistical correlation.
If anything, I would expect it to go the other way. I have several work aquaintences that are dual income, no kids. They tend towards apartment\condo living in the more upscale parts of town. Most of those condo associations discourage or prohibit pets other than fish. They also have a lifestyle that involves travel vacations.
Those with larger families tend towards detached housing and having kids around provide more hands to help care for a pet. Vacations tend to be a bit more modest than flights off to resort islands.
The term is “DINKWAD” - urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dinkwad
True. Although both the articles you cited include quotations from persons who specifically say they “choose” pets over children.
Thanks for the info.
We use NFP and have three dogs. Yes, we consider them our kids. They are part of our family and honestly, I feel we should be allowed a tax deduction on at least one pet per household. That would be a helpful way to increase pet adoptions and help the homeless pet problem. We provide them food and shelter and all their medical bills are covered just like all our human babies will be when we have/adopt them.
Anyone who doesn’t understand that or thinks they are better than us b/c they have no pets and only humans is an idiot. Frankly, it is not very hard to have sex and get pregnant.
Although it does not specify whether contracepting is taking place, it seems implied by the National Center of Health Statistics and 1998 census that both couples choosing to remain childless was on the rise, and that “Childless couples are also more likely to have pets.”
Studies have also found childless couples are happier than those with kids. fyi.
Childless by choice? Or Childless by reason of genetics?
How can you determine by the loose data being thrown out to us?
If you are attempting to demonize a particular group and not a group through no fault of their own found themselves childless, shouldn’t you be very very careful to make sure you take the infertile population out of the equation?
The OP’s question implies that people adopt pets as “substitute” or “practice” children, and I’m sure there are people who, unfortunately, have this attitude.
Pets/companion animals are not children, and people who actually take this notion seriously have quite different motivations for adopting dogs or cats or other critters than they do for having children. My parents have always adored dogs, and when my brother and I were born, they already had a young beagle whom they loved (I would say) at least as much as they loved us. They have kept dogs ever since. I should add that my parents would never have dreamed of using artificial contraception.
Even if there is a statistical corellation between couples keeping pets and practising contraception - and there may well be - this does not imply that these two states of affairs arise from the same or even connected motivations; that, perhaps, there’s an underlying guilt for not having as many children as you possibly can, and maybe these couples feel that by taking care of another living thing, they are atoning for their lack of fecundity… :shrug:
If the OP meant to ask, “Do you think some people just prefer dogs/cats/rabbits/parrots etc to children,” then I’ll stick my hand up right away and say that I would take the company of a dog over that of a toddler any day of the week.
I’m not sure if this is the intent of the question, but some of the responses assume a false dichotomy, that contraception = no kids. In the general population (i.e. not just Catholics who follow the Church teaching on this) there are a lot of couples who both have kids and contracept. A lot of them have pets. A lot of them don’t.
Personally I have three kids 6 and under, and couldn’t imagine also caring for a pet right now. However when kids are a little older, having a pet could be great for them. I would tend toward a cat however - less work for us if the kids aren’t able (or willing) to help out. Also cats are useful for putting things in perspective. Like a constant reminder that you are not the center of the universe. Could be a good thing for kids to learn. (and parents too…)
There does seem to be a general assumption that the use of contraception equates to a lack of desire for children in general - which it does, for some, it has to be said. But not for all couples who use it. For some, it’s just a matter of spacing the children and having them when they are ready to nurture them. Yes, I know, a proper Catholic couple is supposed to be ready and willing to raise any number of children as and when they arrive, but for most couples, that’s just not a realistic option.
Be that as it may, I like your notion of pets putting things in perspective - but unfortunately, there are plenty of people for whom pets are even more of a fashion accessory than babies. There are a not-insignificant number of dogs and cats in shelters who were dumped by people who had children (planned or otherwise) and couldn’t cope, so decided the four-legged, furry being was the one who had to go. If more people realised that the world doesn’t revolve around humans, it would be a much better place.
Did you usually have lunch in the cafeteria, or do you walk to school? :shrug:
I think the article I cited was referring to people who choose to be childless.
Of course there are multiple reasons to have a pet, folks––including to have a pet for the kids. But as Sair pointed out, some people psychologically have them as children substitutes by choice.