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Two Things I’d Add to My Chat with Katie Couric

UPDATE: The show is scheduled to air on Monday, September 16. Woohoo! Yesterday I had the chance to fulfill one of my biggest professional goals – to discuss the contributions of sociological research in a broad-reaching, national forum. Ok, ok, the REAL goal was always to do this on Oprah. But then Oprah up and […]

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6 Things We Know About the Childfree: Summarizing the Research

Last week I posted a call for more sociology of the childfree. Then it occurred to me: why not share what we already know from the good research that has been conducted? Decisions about whether to have or rear children, as well as perceptions of people who choose not to parent, are linked to a variety of […]

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Research on the Decision Not to Parent

“Choosing to be Childfree: Research on the Decision Not to Parent,” in Sociology Compass. A review of literature featuring studies of the voluntarily childless. Identifies three main trends in studies of the childfree: 1) A focus on the pathways that adults take toward becoming childfree; 2) Studies that examine the unfounded stereotype that the childfree […]

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It’s a conscious decision

Presented at the 2012 meeting of the American Sociological Association. To date, much of the research on adults without children has either focused exclusively on women or has utilized a childless as opposed to a childfree framework, thus emphasizing an absence rather than the presence of a conscious decision not to have children. In this […]

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I get to be her playmate

Presented at the 2012 meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society. Based on interviews with 31 childfree adults (21 women, 10 men), in this paper I examine childfree people’s relationships with children. Specifically, I analyze the stories childfree people tell about the roles of children in their own lives, in the lives of others, and in […]

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Childfree Status as Gender Transgression?

A poster presented at the 2010 meeting of the National Council on Family Relations. Cultural norms centered on heteronormative binaries of gender (male/female), sexuality (heterosexual/homosexual), and family (biological/chosen) prescribe that adults couple with/marry individuals of the other sex AND that they rear children together. Thus choosing to remain childfree could be viewed as a form […]

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Does not having kids make me less of a woman?

Presented at the 2010 meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society. Based on interviews with 29 childfree adults (19 women, 10 men), in this paper I examine how the childfree simultaneously resist and reify gender norms. Specifically, I raise a macro-level concern that has not been explicitly considered in previous studies of the childfree: that the […]

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