According to the article, new US census data reveals that fewer children are being born in the States, a problem that's also contributing to ageing populations across Western Europe. The reason for the decline? It seems that fewer women are choosing to get themselves bloody pregnant. As a result, family sizes are declining:
'The findings also highlight the shrinking of the average American family. In 1976, women on average had 3.1 children, but that figure had fallen by 2006 to 1.9 children. That is below the level of fertility needed to ensure a stable population - 2.1 children per woman is known in demographic jargon as "replacement-level fertility".'
Is it just me, or does anyone else spot anything strange about this? Either we've moved into some kind of futuristic women-only society without my noticing, or the Guardian is suggesting that the decision to have children and raise a family is the responsibility of women and women alone. There's not a single mention of fathers anywhere in the whole article. It's almost as if men were entirely irrelevant to the whole process of creating and nurturing new life.
Which raises the question: what are men actually for? A question perhaps best answered by this comment from the BBC's Have Your Say site, preserved for posterity by the chaps at Speak You're Branes:
Mothers are far better at dealing with housework & crying babies & screaming kids…& all at the same time as well.
Fathers, & males in general, are IMO more likely to crack under the pressure and/or more likely abuse babies & children left in their care in one way or another…and that includes verbal abuse & also sex abuse.
Generally speaking, nowadays I wouldn’t trust men to discipline small young child unchecked, while considering that many men are now on or dealing in drugs.
So there you go - women are for having babies, while men are for bringing home the crack at the end of a hard day's drug dealing.