Why DINK? Summarize the reasons why people voluntarily choose not to have children.

Humans are the rainbow of the mind. Different people have different experiences and expectations. The same goes for the DINK (Double Income, No Kids) group. Different people have different reasons for choosing to be childfree. This article will provide a rough summary and analysis of the various reasons why people choose to be childfree. Of course, since it is impossible for me to understand every life situation and every soul, it is also impossible to make this summary comprehensive and exhaustive.

Overall, we can categorize these different reasons into two main categories: external reasons and internal reasons. External reasons involve the country, society, the earth, and even the entire universe. Internal reasons involve personal circumstances, family situations, economic and health conditions, and the realization of life ideals and values. Of course, many external and internal reasons are often intertwined, but this article will not attempt to analyze these complex interconnections. It will only provide a simple description from different perspectives.

External Reasons#

This may not be the worst of times, but it is far from the best of times. We all live in this era, carried by the waves of the times, experiencing ups and downs, each with our own perspectives and ideas. From my observations, the external reasons why people choose to be childfree can be summarized into the following categories (some reasons may overlap, but with different emphasis):

  • Pessimism about the future of human society. This can be considered the most significant external reason. In the eyes of many people, the present and the next few decades are a "backward" era with great uncertainty. With the support of modern technology, the power of authority and capital has been further strengthened, which further enhances the sense of uncertainty felt by ordinary people. Some people may even lose their sense of security in the face of this uncertainty. After all, there have been numerous social tragedies in history, and human lives have often been treated as cannon fodder. In this situation, having children is naturally not within their consideration. After all, why would someone bring their child into a world that they see as increasingly bad?
  • The state of the earth is not good. Human activities in the past few centuries have had a significant impact on the Earth's ecosystem, to the extent that some scholars have proposed the establishment of a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene. Despite the great destructive power of humans on the Earth's ecology, humans are still part of this ecosystem. Humans are destroying their own living environment while destroying the ecology. Climate change, loss of biodiversity, and the crisis of pollution and waste have become the biggest threats facing humanity. These problems have already had practical impacts on human life, including food crises, epidemics, frequent floods and droughts, and birth defects, among others. In this situation, many people believe that it is unwise to bring a child into this world, as no one knows to what extent the Earth's environment will continue to deteriorate.
  • There are already enough people in the world. According to the United Nations, the world's population is projected to exceed 9 billion by 2040, an increase of 1.4 billion from the current 7.6 billion. The large population and the luxurious lifestyles of some people are testing the Earth's capacity to provide. The report also predicts that among these 9 billion people, 2 billion will be living in poverty. Therefore, it is natural for some people to believe that not having children is a more suitable choice for the Earth and humanity as a whole. Someone has to consider the Earth as a mother.
  • Class stratification and widening wealth gap. This is an era where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, such as in China, where the top 1% of the population owns one-third of the country's wealth. It is increasingly difficult for the poor to achieve social mobility through their own efforts, as most people are not naturally talented. In this context, some people naturally reject having children, as even if they do, their children are likely to continue to be trapped in the same social class and continue to serve the privileged and wealthy.
  • Aging population in China. According to reports, China will enter an ultra-aging society by 2040, with only 2.5 working-age adults to support one elderly person. If someone knows from the beginning that their child will face tremendous pressure when they grow up, they will surely think twice before having children.
  • Turbulent international situation. Many people have a feeling that the possibility of war is increasing. If this possibility becomes a reality, a large number of young people will die on the battlefield, and no one would want their child to be one of them. It seems better to not have children from the beginning than to endure the pain of losing a child. Even if extreme situations like war do not occur, economic decline is already inevitable.
  • Religious or moral factors. On the one hand, some religions restrict the reproductive activities of their followers; on the other hand, some followers voluntarily give up reproduction. Leaving aside traditional religions such as Buddhism, there are now new religions or schools of thought that oppose reproduction. For example, Antinatalism argues that it is immoral to give birth to a child without their consent, and those who support this idea naturally choose not to have children. The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement believes that humans are a harmful species and should achieve self-extinction by ceasing to reproduce.

Internal Reasons#

Bertrand Russell once wrote a short essay titled "Why I Live" that many people have read during their student days. In it, he wrote, "The three passions that have governed my life are the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish."

For the rest of us, the passions that govern our lives may be different, and having children is not necessarily a mandatory choice. Some people's lives are not governed by passions but by something even more difficult to resist or resist.

Here are some internal reasons at the personal level that I have summarized (excluding reasons for infertility due to illness or inability to find a partner):

  • The meaning of life. Why am I alive? This is a question that almost everyone contemplates at some point in their life. For some DINK individuals, having children is of no help in realizing the meaning of life and may even be an obstacle. For example, having children may conflict with their career aspirations and prevent them from balancing their own careers while raising children.
  • Childbirth is painful. "Childbirth is painful" is not an opinion, but a fact. Some DINK women do not want to endure this pain, and some DINK men do not want their partners to endure this pain. They can choose not to have children because of this.
  • Childbirth can harm the body. For women, childbirth is not only a painful process but can also be accompanied by postpartum complications, including postpartum depression, incontinence, hemorrhoids, deformities, etc.
  • Concerns about having unhealthy children. Having an unhealthy child is seen as an unacceptable hardship by many people. Although there are excellent prenatal testing technologies available now, it is still difficult to guarantee that a child will be healthy. Some people are unwilling to take such risks.
  • Unable to bear the pain of losing a child. Empathetic people may have experienced the unbearable pain of losing a child through social news or films and television. To avoid this risk, they choose to not have children.
  • It is easy to have a child, but difficult to raise and raise them well. For many families, the cost of raising a child is high, and it requires much more time and capital to raise a child who is well-rounded in morality, intelligence, physical fitness, and labor, and to excel in the competition with peers. If they cannot raise them well, it is better not to have them. This is a logical line of thought.
  • Having a child would mean giving up the preferred lifestyle. Having a child undoubtedly affects one's original lifestyle. Is it worth giving up one's desired lifestyle for the sake of having a child? Different people have different answers, but the answer for DINK individuals is obvious. Some people enjoy traveling, and some people prefer to live alone... they are not suitable for having offspring. Some may criticize this reasoning as purely selfish, but in reality, if a person sacrifices something important to them to raise a child who is not essential, it may not necessarily result in good parenting, as some people may transfer the pressures of life onto their children. In this case, not having children is actually a less selfish choice.
  • Not liking children. Some people simply cannot like children, and may even have hostility towards them. For such people, not having children is a responsible choice.
  • Childhood trauma. People often underestimate the impact of childhood trauma on individuals, but it does affect their decision-making regarding having children.
  • Environmentalism. Humans have a strong ability to pollute and exploit nature, and some people may choose not to have children based on environmental considerations.
  • Children can affect the relationship between spouses. Children come between parents and occupy their attention. For those who prefer their own world as a couple, having children is not necessarily a good thing.
  • Raising children is tiring and laborious. Many people's lives are already exhausting, and having a child would only add to the fatigue.
  • Having experienced unhappiness in the original family, which has led to a loss of confidence or desire to have children. Some people have experienced hardships and naturally do not want to continue this suffering by having children.
  • Raising a child is an unbearable responsibility. Raising a child is a huge responsibility, and some people are unwilling to bear it.
  • Having a child is not cost-effective. The input-output ratio of having a child is too low, and raising a child for old age is risky. Although there are indeed people who expect their children to support them in their old age from the beginning, this practice is seen as unethical by many people because it is planned exploitation of future generations.
  • Expressing protest. Some people express their opposition, protest, or denial of humanity, society, government, family, or even themselves by giving up having offspring. For example, feminists express their protest against a patriarchal society by giving up reproduction. Also, "This is our last generation, thank you!"
  • Artistic or philosophical expression. Some artists consider giving up offspring as a form of performance art. Some people believe that life has no meaning, and naturally, having children has no meaning. The detailed reasons can be very diverse. I have even come across reports about "castration enthusiasts."

Overall, the reasons why DINK individuals choose to be childfree are diverse and often a combination of multiple internal and external reasons. Due to the length of this article, it can only touch on some points and inevitably includes some of the author's own views. If you think there are any reasons I have missed or if you think my descriptions are inappropriate, please feel free to contact me.

Finally, a word that may be unrelated to the topic. Being childfree is a lifestyle, and there is no essential difference from other lifestyles. When someone chooses not to have children, they may lose some wonderful experiences in life, but on the other hand, those who choose to have children will also lose other wonderful experiences. As long as it does no harm to others, everyone's choices should be respected. DINK individuals are part of humanity, and they are neither nobler nor more humble. In one's lifetime, regardless of the life choices made, the most important thing is to have a clear conscience and not live in regret after making the choice. Regardless, everyone deserves to live the way they envision. With that, I extend my blessings to everyone who reads this.


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