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The Baby Matrix articulately and systematically challenges the multiple conscious and unconscious assumptions that go into the insistent "pronatal" view of our American culture...a needed book for the 21st century." Read this book. -- Mardy Ireland, Ph.D., author of Reconceiving Women: Separating Motherhood From Female Identity
What readers are saying:
"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." "This book will challenge some beliefs about the life script."
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, you can find Laura at her nonfiction book review site, LiveTrue Books, and her top blog, La Vie Childfree.
Laura Carroll is a nonfiction writer, and is the author of The Baby Matrix, Families of Two, and Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out.
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 lauracarroll.com. She also is a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post.
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.Read more ›
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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