Fecundophobia: The Growing Fear of Children and Fertile Women

Good article by Molly Hemingway.


This issue has bugged me a lot over the years.

That article tells it like it is. And pulls no punches on the disturbing parts about abortion - even under clearly selfish motivations of the parents. Those are no “hard cases” they’re talking about.

I’d love to see the word “fecundophobia” become as ubiquitous in the common vocabulary as the word “homophobia” has become.

Interesting article.

This is not news to me though. I am baffled at how Americans or other westerners view sex in general. For such people, pregnancy is almost a taboo. Who knew that by having sex you could get pregnant!? Sex isn’t just “having a good time” as so many Americans seem to think; it is the whole reason why God allowed us to reproduce. That’s why when a man and woman “come together” some results are expected; this is common biology. It’s why we are still here, as well as all our animal friends.

I’m amused by the fact that all life on Earth is driven to biologically reproduce, but we now have human beings that want our species to “voluntarily” go extinct, as well as the fact that we systematically murder our unborn children.

We should not be fearing having children. If anything, we should fear the fact that whole societies now don’t want to have children.

Great article. I couldn’t believe the question to the NFL player basically saying you can’t be a good parent to 7 kids.

I remember when we told people we were expecting number 4 congrats was almost immediately followed by so this is the last one right? Now that we are expecting number 6 people just roll their eyes at the weirdos. Even one of my best friends says that people can have 0, 1, 2, 3 or 10 kids. It seems after 3 that you lose the ability to count (e.g. intelligent people don’t have more than 3 kids, and even that is pushing it).

We often hear about both overt and subtle discrimination against homosexuals, women, etc. but implying that women that have children are brainless is okay. Despite knowing doctors and scientists of every stripe with large families there is a fairly pervasive attitude that having large families is the domain of backwoods bumpkins that are either religious zealots (liberals think they’re the same thing) or that we have no clue what causes pregnancy. Since less than 3% of couples have 5 or more children shouldn’t we be a protected class and newscasters fired when making jokes about minorities. :smiley:

Don’t get me wrong, people should decide how many children is right for them. That being said there is certainly an undercurrent of distast and fear from a good segment of the population when having children is seen as “wasting your life.”

I think I’m going to have to add fecundophobia to my lexicon.

So true. Many of the global financial problems are linked in one way or another to reduced population growth and aging poulations.

I wonder if I will live to see the financial collapse of western societies as the financial engines stall under the weight of those who choose to let future generations bear the burden while never providing for the renewal of society.

It’s a sad testimony to what our “advanced” society has become. I always remember that old scriptural quote about looking “for where your treasure is–for there you’ll find your heart”. I am in my 60’s–have 5 living children and lost one during pregnancy. I can honestly say that when you reach my age, you realize that the only single thing that you really send on into the future are your children. The Queen of England will one day die too and end up in a plot of earth 6 ’ deep–just like me. My kids are truly my only gift to the future. All my life, I’ve been reminded that whenever I had money problems or had to work harder than someone else (which was frequently), that my "decision"to have such a large family was to blame. Maybe so. I think it’s a sad testimony to our society though that so many people judge their success in life based on fewer kids and newer i-phones than the other way around. We are losing our ability as a society to separate the wheat from the chaffe of life.

There is much truth in this. Japan has falling population, China has a severe male/female imbalance, and an ageing population. But the global population question is complex. Most western countries reproduce at less than replacement level, yet at a global level, the prevalent scientific view seems to be that the globe is overpopulated. It is far from clear what the “optimal” global fertility rate would be. The population cannot grow on earth forever!

Actually, our planet is far, far from over populated. We could fit everyone on Earth in Texas with about 100sqft per person, and have the whole rest of the planet to use for agriculture / other stuff. Our problem is in distribution of resources. Some places have better resources than others, and that, along with unstable leadership and war, creates the third world countries we have today; not the fact that those countries have more people than they can support.

Now, I’ll agree that certain areas are overpopulated (India, the urban centers of China, Japan), but as a whole, humanity is far from facing an overpopulation problem.

Do you have a link for that claim? I’ve heard it before on here and I can’t wrap my head around it.:confused:

I’m from Texas. PLEASE DON’T SEND THEM ALL TO TEXAS! We’re still getting over that last hurricane where they basically ran a sewer pipe from New Orleans to the Houston Astro Dome and shipped us half of La. We just got that building torn down within the last couple of years infact–it was unsalvageable after they got done with it! LOL!:eek::eek:

I think the problem is also that in these times, people can’t conceive how a couple could have such a big family and pay for it all themselves. They look at big families and wonder how much the government is giving them. Stupid, I know.

Well, Alaska is 2.5-3x larger than Texas so how about we send them there instead? :smiley:

I suspect that they are quoting numbers from the Over Population is a Myth website or similar. It’s easy enough to calculate.

So there are roughly 7.119 billion people in the world and Texas is 268,580 sq miles. To make the math easy we can use a uniform density of 26,500 people per sq mile.

So we have 26,500 people/27,878,400 sq ft = ~ 1,050 sq ft per person.

Now how does that population density compare to the largest US cities? It is roughly 5% lower population density than New York City at approximately 27,500/sq mile.

If you took the contiguous land area of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, and Colorado (646,437 sq miles) and made one Chicago style mega city (11,868/sq mile), all the world’s population could fit in an area covering roughly 1.3% of the Earth’s land area. Obviously not all land is created equally, so how much arable land would be left is up for debate.

Not saying you’d want to, but just to give you a perspective.

Maybe we should ditch the Texas example - 100 square feet?! :eek: That’s a 10-foot square. Sure, a person could stand in it, but live, cook, eat, sleep, go potty, etc.? It would be like living in a 3rd world country.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I totally don’t buy the overpopulation alarmists’ propaganda. But maybe we should come up with a more realistic and convincing statistic - like say a quarter-acre per family or something - who wants to do the math?

It’s actually more like a 40x26 ft area, but still very packed. Your available area thing was close though. It’s more something like .48 acres of arable land per person, but not a bad guestimation. :thumbsup:

So if I calculated the land data from World Bank correctly about 10.7% of the earth’s land area is arable (i.e. suitable for crops). Divide the available crop land by 7.119 billion and each person would get a half acre to grow crops.

If I remember correctly an acre is enough to sustain 4 - 10 people depending on the crops and farming techniques. That assumes they don’t consume large amounts of meat (maybe a chicken or two a month, cows take more area to “grow” for the same amount of nutrition).

A half acre each likely would not support 7 billion people eating like Americans do, but a reasonable diet could likely support more than twice the current world population. That assumes access to water and discounts social ills from shoving people too close together.

The fact that we use the overpopulation idea to scare people into not wanting children or having few children ignores the real issues at hand.

If governments or smart politicians provided their own populations with sewage systems, water treatment plants (for recycling waste water), effective housing (not “shack” or slum conditions), clean toilets, environmental regulations (not dumping industrial waste in rivers, protection from foreign oil companies, regulations for landfills and where to put garbage, etc.), food (preferably not GMO’s; and jobs for people to effectively grow enough produce), training programs (such as to train local doctors), we would not be talking about “overpopulation.” But as long as there are greedy and careless people in power, this will never happen large-scale.

By reducing our population, these problems would not go away. To think that poverty wouldn’t exist because there are less people is ludicrous. I don’t see how they connect. There are plenty of people who are low income/poverty that don’t have children or don’t have children to support them. What we should be doing is helping the people in the here and now, coming up with solutions that can affect both the present and the future. Unfortunately, we don’t see many people doing this. It’s just easier to point the finger and say that we need to reduce our population (abortion, as far as I’m aware, does NOT reduce population).

That’s my whole take on it.

Yes, I am constantly amazed at the unstated assumption that two children is the absolute maximum allowable! This at a time when our demographics are such that we NEED a lot more children just for economic prosperity.

It’s no wonder that Teresa Bloomingdale’s books have gone out of print.

I don’t have a link, but i do have math!

Current world population : 7.046 billion (I just googled world current world population and this is the number Google gave me, so I’m going to run with it.)

Total square footage of Texas:

267,339 sq. miles
1 sq mile = 27,878,400 sq. ft.

7,452,983,577,600 sq. ft.

7,452,983,577,600 / 7,046,000,000 = 1057.76 sq. ft… so I was actually off by an order of magnitude.

Yep. Most people don’t understand economies of scale either. Each child cost me less in aggregate. We also have less waste per person (rarely do we throw any food out).

Many people also assume that they have to pay for college and 10,000 extracurricular activities for each kids. Well when you have a bunch of kids they entertain themselves for free (two families of 4-6 kids = great pickup games in the park). And college? Well at least one of my two oldest plans to go into a trade (welding, machinist, electrician). Since we are losing many skilled trades people several places in my area are paying people during their training and apprenticeships. He figures, make 30k while learning and then make 40-50k+ in 4 years or spend 100k on a degree to work at Target. No brainer in his mind. Will it work out that way? maybe, maybe not, but at least he is looking further than the next semester.

Much of it comes down to fear of what might be rather than just trusting in God. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know I will always have a loving family there by my side.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.