From fearing passing physical and mental health challenges on genetically to feeling economic instability, men explained why they would prefer to remain child-free.

By Maressa Brown
September 21, 2020
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With climate change and economic uncertainty continuing to loom over Americans' future, it's no surprise that more people are saying they would prefer not to procreate. In fact, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, about four in ten (37 percent) of child-free people under 50 said they don’t ever expect to become parents. And a recent Reddit thread aimed to pick the brains of men who fall into this camp, asking them to share the reasons they don't want kids.

Here are the top explanations.

Economic Insecurity

Quite a few Redditors pointed to financial concerns as the crux of their decision not to pursue fatherhood. "Absolutely do not like the direction the world is heading in," wrote InvalidUserFame. "Economic uncertainty, climate change, political instability, all these and more make me feel like I would not be leading a child into a better world than I grew up in. And there’s too many people on this damn planet anyway. And I’m not so arrogant to believe I would be depriving the world of my genetics by not reproducing."

Another, writing under the handle Kyle1906, shared, "I don't know what’s going to happen in the States in the coming years and would hate to have a child grow up in an economic clusterf*** era of time. Also, I can't afford a kid!"

NoOneShallPassHassan shared, "Love having the financial freedom of being childfree and am on track to retire early-ish as a result."

And AlwaystheNoob added discussed having "financial anxiety," writing, "I worry enough about paying my own bills and being able to retire some day. With even one kid, I'd worry about just being able to pay the bills—keep food on the table, a roof overhead, etc."

The State of the World

"The world is descending toward a second battle against authoritarianism in general and fascism in particular," wrote Jacob_Grayson. "And even if it were not there's a climate catastrophe that will land within the upcoming generation, because I cannot foresee myself having the financial wherewithal to raise one."

Yesterday_Frequent shared that climate change is a main concern for him, noting, "I have very little hope of things getting better and don't want to bring kids into this world."

They're Simply Not Interested in Raising a Child

Some men made the case that they shouldn't have to defend their position, as they noted that it's valid to just not want kids.

Ipakookapi shared, "I just don't? I knew I didn't want kids when I was a kid and didn't change my mind."

Voyeurism_Bot had a similar experience, sharing, "Prior to hearing the many good reasons to not have kids, my reaction to the thought of having kids has always been, 'What? No. Why?' And that has never changed. The more thought I put into it, the more reasons I've come up with. But my complete lack of desire to ever have kids predates all of them. I'm just not that person."

And OxtailPhoenix summed up their position by noting, "I have enough responsibilities in my life as it is. I like to enjoy my time off doing what makes me happy. I've put a lot of work into building a healthy work life balance."

All in all, the thread managed to stay a judgment-free zone. In fact, a commenter named Toke_Ivo who identified himself as a dad summed up the subject with a helpful reality check: "I can tell you that having kids is like having the world's best job... It's just unpaid and in addition to any other jobs you might have," he wrote. "If you're not 100 percent certain that you want that job, just stay away. You'll never hear one preachy word from me, if someone says they don't want kids. It's hard as f***, and if I didn't actually like it, I'm not sure how I would've coped with it."