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The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World Paperback – May 17, 2012
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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, over the last 15 years Laura has 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.
Her most recent book, Man Swarm: How Overpopulation is Killing the Wild World, was in collaboration with renowned conservationist, Dave Foreman. 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 central page, you can find Laura at lauracarroll.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
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. I wish "The Baby Matrix" could be made available in every high school in America so that a thoughtful conversation would get started before it's too late for this next generation. I love being a parent, but it certainly isn't for everyone, and I applaud those out there who find other ways to fulfill their destinies. I highly recommend this book for any age or stage.
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. Why can't we start asking people "if" they want children rather than "when" they're going to start having them? Why can't we start valuing population control at least as much as we value reproduction?
And why can't we at least acknowledge that people who aren't having children might be doing something positive for the world? I'm not going to pretend overpopulation is why I don't have children. But I do feel good about not adding to the numbers, and I also feel good that my husband and I can share one small car. I'm no saint -- but it would be nice if our culture didn't make me feel like a freak of nature.
Carroll proposes that we change the assumption that everyone should have children, and that your life is meaningless if you don't have them.
There are a handful of books out there written for those of us who don't want children. This is the really rare book about not having children that is written for everyone else. Now I just wish everyone else would actually read it.
Note: The reviewer received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, but the author had no input in the content of this review. The full review of this book can be found at The Book Stop.