Why Doesn't Gen Z Want Children?
Contemporary culture keeps us all straddling a strange, intermediate state
A new survey reveals that only 55% of Gen Z and millennials plan to have children. One in four of those surveyed, aged between 18 and 34, has ruled out parenthood entirely, with the most common reason cited being “wanting time for themselves”.
Why this increasing need for more “me time”? A likely reason is that young people are now navigating an era of “extended adolescence”.
In recent decades, various shifts, from the rising cost of living to the expansion of higher education, have led to both millennials and Gen Z reaching traditional milestones much later than their predecessors. Millennials are living at home, as well as delaying marriage and procreation, in record numbers. Meanwhile, members of Gen Z are less likely to have experienced adult activities like going on a date, working for pay, learning to drive, or having sex, compared to teens in the preceding five decades. Given that many young adults still feel like children themselves, it’s no surprise that they are delaying or rejecting parenthood, choosing instead to extend their “me time”.
Modern culture also continually facilitates and encourages this extended adolescence. In our materialistic and individual-centred age, the pursuit of personal desires and self-discovery is often valued above all else, with traditional bonds seen as constraints…
This is an excerpt from my latest piece for UnHerd. Continue reading here!
(I also spoke about this topic briefly on Times Radio Breakfast on Wednesday. You can listen on the app if you’re interested!)
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