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The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World [Kindle Edition]

Laura Carroll
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

In the movie The Matrix, the character Morpheus offers two pills to Neo—if he takes the blue pill, he will go on with life as he has before, believing what he has always believed. If he takes the red pill, he will find out what the “matrix” really is, and many of his earlier beliefs will be shattered. When it comes to taking a hard look at a specific set of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction that has driven our society for generations, The Baby Matrix is the red pill.

We commonly think our desire to have children boils down to our biological wiring, but author Laura Carroll says it's much more than that. Unlike other books on parenthood, The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World takes a serious look at powerful social and cultural influences that drive the desire for the parenthood experience, and lays out why we need to be very aware of these influences to make the most informed decisions about parenthood.

The Baby Matrix looks at long-held beliefs about parenthood and reproduction, and unravels why we believe what we believe. It lays out:
-the historical origins of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction
-why many of these beliefs no longer work for society or were never true in the first place
-why we continue to believe them anyway
-the prices society pays as a result

The Baby Matrix shows us how we got here, brings to light what is true, which includes knowing about the powerful influence of “pronatalism,” and explains why society can no longer afford to leave pronatalism unquestioned.

“This is not a book about convincing people not to have children,” says Carroll. “I want people to be very aware of the long-held social and cultural pressures, and be able to free themselves from those pressures when making parenthood choices. This will result in more people making the best decisions for themselves, will foster a society in which those who are best suited to become parents are the ones who have children and one that knows what it means to bring a child into the world today.”

This book will make you examine your own intentions and beliefs, will rile you, and might just change your mind. Whether you are already a parent, want to become a parent, are still making up your mind, or know you don’t want children, you’ll never think about parenthood in the same way.

The Baby Matrix is a must-read for anyone interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology, parenting issues, environmentalism, and social justice. But most of all, it’s for anyone, parent or not, who reveres the truth and wants the best for themselves, their families, and our world.

Editorial Reviews


"The Baby Matrix articulately and systematically challenges the multiple conscious and unconscious assumptions that go into the insistent 'pronatal' view of our American culture. Carroll details seven assumptions that make up this ongoing pronatal bias and summarizes relevant research from the last twenty years thereby effectively drawing the reader in to actually 'think' about each assumption.

Describing seven post-pronatal assumptions she then brings the reader toward seeing a society in which every adult would have the psychological freedom to find her/his way to creating a fulfilling adult identity that would not by necessity include parenthood. She lays out a clear roadmap for those in childbearing years to think through their decision to be or not to be a parent and offers compelling reasons why in fact not every adult 'should' become a parent.

This is a needed book for the twenty first century because we need to not only focus on individual and national identities, but, we must also begin to address the responsibilities we have as world citizens to our entire planet and its diminishing resources. Read this book." 
-- Mardy S. Ireland, Ph.D., author of Reconceiving Women: Separating Motherhood From Female Identity

What readers are saying about The Baby Matrix:
"...well-researched and compelling book that makes readers reflect on what they have been brought up to believe - no matter whether they are single, married, or with/without children."

"...Her book reshapes the myths and offers a new way of looking at parenthood and reproduction."

"This book should be required reading for everyone thinking about having kids."

"An eye-opener is an understatement."

About the Author

In addition to writing nonfiction books, Laura has worked over the last 15 years as a business and litigation psychology consultant and used her expertise in behavioral sciences, psychology, and communications to advise business, legal, and nonprofit professionals on their communications strategies and goals.

Laura is a seasoned leader of personal and professional development seminars, and has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show. She has been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics.

She is also the author of Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, and Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out.

In addition to her author site, lauracarroll dot com, find Laura at her nonfiction book review site, LiveTrue Books, and her top blog, La Vie Childfree.

Product Details

  • File Size: 829 KB
  • Print Length: 188 pages
  • Publisher: LiveTrue Books (May 17, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0081HSF3S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,215 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shifting My Paradigm August 1, 2012
I am a mother raising two boys and I grew up with most of the parenting assumptions that this books addresses. The world population is a subject our family speaks about, since we are concerned about how our world can handle the 7 billion we've got, much less the almost 3 billion more projected by 2050. That's the macrocosm, the author of "The Baby Matrix" mostly addresses the microcosm of choice and the "pronatalism" assumptions many of us (myself included) unconsciously absorb and live by. Assumptions like how we are destined to pro-create; will be adept at parenting; will find our ultimate fulfillment through children; and ultimately raise these children to want to take care of us when we're elderly.

This highly informative and evolved book questions these and many more assumptions and offers interesting alternative options that need to be part of the local, national and international conversation. There are concrete facts throughout this well researched book as well as suggestions on how to examine the question of parenting and if it is the best personal choice, debunking the myth that it is "selfish" not to have children. Because I already chose my path to become a parent, I wasn't sure how I would benefit from this read, however I see now the importance of it. Now I can become a more conscious world citizen and mother, no longer thoughtlessly proliferating some of these pronatal assumptions like "When you're a father someday...", or "I can't wait to have grandchildren one day!", etc.

After reading this paradigm shifting book, I am beginning to catch myself in my verbal messages and am becoming more thoughtful and open-minded.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
The Baby Matrix, by Dr Laura Carroll, is about pronatalism, or "the idea that parenthood and raising children should be the central focus of every person's adult life."

As someone who's chosen not to have children, I can tell you my decision wasn't easy. And it's been made a lot harder by the million movies and TV shows that tell me parenting is the only way to live a fulfilling life. Not to mention the friends and family who question whether I'm selfish and whether I'll turn into some bitter, lonely woman down the road.
So I really appreciated the perspective presented in this book.

Carroll gives a detailed overview of the key principles of pronatalism, and then explains why they are wrong and even harmful. For example:
* We have a biological instinct to have children.
* There's something wrong with you if you don't want children.
* The ultimate path to fulfillment in life is parenthood.
* We need children to be there for us when we get old.
The book raises some very simple questions and some very complex issues. Why do we think everyone should have children? Why are we so willing to limit access to birth control or family planning, when we're not even willing to have honest conversations about how many children are too many?

It isn't just that our pro-childbearing culture makes MY life difficult - there are bigger implications. When you think about the number of children who are raised by people who probably shouldn't be parents, and the impact that has for all of us, it's a pretty serious issue. Carroll isn't saying we should pick and choose who gets to have children (although she's at least willing to discuss the issue). But she does ask why NOT having children can't at least be presented as a valid choice.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pronatalistic realities... August 7, 2012

I come from a rather large family - some of my recent ancestors having as many as eighteen children, but just because I grew up with two siblings, tons of cousins, and a plethora of branches on my family tree does not mean that I am obligated to "go forth and multiply". Do not get me wrong, I love children, however, I do not currently desire to reproduce due to my career, and the fact that there are plenty of adoptable children who need homes and families. That said, I was very interested when I got the chance to read The Baby Matrix by Laura Carroll because she has similar viewpoints on the subject. The Earth may seem like an infinite resource at the constant disposal of the human race, but as the atmosphere weakens, the water, air, and ground become polluted, and precious fossil fuels are depleted, the planet becomes more unsustainable. Add in the world's current population of 7 billion, (9+ billion by 2050), and the macrocosm brings us even closer to resource depletion. This is why the idea of pronatalism is such a dangerous one, because children are brought up to glorify parenthood, and therefore, some decide to procreate selfishly. This does not mean that pronatalism is entirely bad, but if people continue to have children to the "nth degree", (4, 5, 6, 7...), then the economy, and eventually the world as a whole, will suffer because of it. Because of the pronatalism view, people like to assume that having a baby makes them a good parent, a happier person, and will lead to an old age where they are surrounded by doting, appreciative, and loving children; but that is certainly not true in all cases. I enjoy how The Baby Matrix questions these humanity-old practices and beliefs, allowing readers to get a real sense of reproductive responsibilities versus wants.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Please with purchase
Almost done reading it and I'm pleased with this buy.
Published 22 days ago by Anita Acosta
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Challenge to Knee-Jerk Acceptance of Cultural Dictates
Laura Carroll wrote a thought provoking treatise challenging many of the cultural-based pronatalist concepts most of us automatically and unwittingly accept and promote. Read more
Published 8 months ago by cindy parker
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for every childless person
It is funny how some books resonate so much with you that you feel as though you could have written it yourself. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Nina Steele
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not for everyone, childless or not.
I think this is a good introductory book for someone who might just be questioning the pronatal-bias and prejudices in our society. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Nicole Pellegrini
3.0 out of 5 stars I read the free first chapter. She has many valid points, but she's...
This book was recommended to me, so I read the free chapter on my kindle. I feel like she has a lot of valid arguments about just how ingrained in society the idea of having... Read more
Published 18 months ago by SoundGoddess
1.0 out of 5 stars Conspiracy Theory-ish
I thought that I was reading an objective book, but it turned out to be more like reading a conspiracy theory
Published 19 months ago by Vincent Bataoel
2.0 out of 5 stars Too radical, loses credibility
Some good ideas get lost in radical points of views and suggestions that weakens the credibility of the basics of overpopulation. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Patricia Miranda
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be Required Reading in School.
Pronatalism is still an unknown force in society. In my opinion, it should be! It's dangerous, not-so-subtle societal pressures which whisper to all,"Have a baby! Read more
Published 20 months ago by Marcia Drut-Davis
2.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy Research and Writting
I wanted to like this book. In fact, I looked forward to reading it. As a childfree 26 year old married woman, I am often asked when I am going to have children. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Nessa
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anybody thinking of becoming a parent
I read this book in about 24 hours. It was amazing. I always thought I wanted to be a mother, even though the idea of raising a child terrified me. Read more
Published 23 months ago by rhenium3
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More About the Author

Laura Carroll is a nonfiction writer. Her latest book, in collaboration with renowned conservationist Dave Foreman, is Man Swarm: How Overpopulation is Killing the Wild World.

Laura is also the author of The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World, and Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, which received international acclaim and paved the way for her to become an expert on the childfree choice. She is also the author of Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out, which has been used in college life planning courses.

In addition to writing nonfiction books, Laura works as a communications consultant, using her expertise in behavioral sciences, psychology, and communications to advise business, legal, and nonprofit professionals on their communications strategies and goals.

She is a seasoned public speaker, and has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show. She has been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics.

Find her at She is also a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post.

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