Why have children?

As someone who’s never particularly wanted children, the review of this book is really interesting, indicating that it’s not just a personal choice, but an ethical and moral one…

Philosopher Christine Overall is right to establish at the start of this book – part of a series called Basic Questions in Bioethics – that whether or not to have a child is, or should be, a matter of choice. That, as she says, has been true since the advent of the Pill – and indeed since the days of Marie Stopes, who pioneered accessible contraception. Childbirth is no longer something that just happens. And it is a serious choice. To have a child is a life-changing commitment that is irreversible. Yet in even the quite recent past, although some couples deliberately decided that they ought not to have any children, either because of their chances of passing on genetic illness or because of their chosen nomadic life, for the most part the question of whether or not to have children did not usually seem to be a matter of moral choice. But these days, when we are all ecologists, there are hardly any choices that are without moral implications: there are virtuous and vicious paths in choosing what we eat, what we wear and how we get about. Society has become deadly earnest, and little can be thought of as private, or merely a question of taste.

Read full review.

By admin

Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst  (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.

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