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Baby rabies is definitely not biological

Posted by yurble 
Baby rabies is definitely not biological
November 03, 2018
The article where this text was found is an infertile woman who is rather more self-aware than most, and therefore didn't seem particularly snark-worthy, but also not worth reading. However, I found it interesting that she referenced some scientific studies which show that baby rabies is not biological, but is based on social factors (something CFers are well aware of, but which the mainstream seems ignorant of). The interesting parts:

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Surprisingly, it seems not. Research by Gary and Sandra Brase at Kansas State University has found that "baby fever" - a physical and emotional craving to have children - is a real phenomenon. But this desire to reproduce doesn't appear to be innate.

In her book The Maternal Instinct, Professor Maria Vicedo-Castello reviewed the history of scientific views about maternal instinct and concluded that "there is no scientific evidence to claim that there is a maternal instinct that automatically gives women the desire to have children". If we were biologically programmed to procreate, everyone would feel this longing - and lots of people don't.

Exactly why some women desire children and others don't remains unclear, but it seems to be influenced by a combination of external factors rather than evolutionary instinct. The Brases found that being around babies appeared to have a profound impact for many women - setting off an emotional trigger that tells our brains that now would be a good time to have one of our own. Others have argued that baby fever is a learned desire, shaped by social and cultural expectations that are so deeply ingrained they feel innate.
Re: Baby rabies is definitely not biological
November 04, 2018
Makes sense. Gene survival only requires us to have a sex drive and to bond with offspring. There’s no need for a desire for offspring per se.
Re: Baby rabies is definitely not biological
November 04, 2018
A lot goes into making women want kids, just like a lot goes into making them not want kids. Some of it is nature, but most I think is nurture, and there is no built-in craving for children or "biological clock" like a lot of people seem to think. What's scary is so many women out there who think they want to have kids who don't realize that it's not what they themselves want - it's what they've been conditioned to think they want. You'd make a good mother, you're not a real woman without kids, no man will want you if you won't bear his children, your parents need some grandbabies, a woman's entire purpose is to be a mother, you get the point. That's a lot of fucking pressure! Some women may not grow up with such pressure while others learn to see through the bullshit, but many others are heavily influenced by it to the point where they seem to think their whole existence hinges on their fertility.

It's kind of funny too because sometimes the reason one woman wants kids will be the exact same reason another woman doesn't want them. Reasons like, "I had a bad childhood" or "I want to take care of someone" or "I want a little me" can be the driving force behind a desire to reproduce as well as a desire not to.

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Article
My rational side knows that I don’t need a child to give my life purpose.

Goddamn, I wish more women would understand this. While baby rabies is real, it's no different than any other type of "fever" when someone really wants something. You yearn for it, you dream about it, you may even pour all your money into trying to get it, destroy relationships over it, and completely immerse yourself into the pursuit of it to the point of wrecking anything else in your life that matters. People go to those lengths to try to make kids all the time.

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Article
My grief is not because a life without children is inherently inferior, but because it’s the loss of a future that I deeply wanted, that represented happiness and belonging.

This is a much more rational reason for being depressed over being unable to have kids rather than the belief that infertility makes a woman sub-human.
Re: Baby rabies is definitely not biological
November 04, 2018
The woman who suggests in the article that a life without reproducing is an inferior one, can go fuck herself. I am more than just a walking uterus. If she feels that way about herself, then fine. She needs help. For the rest of us? Not everyone needs a kid in order to feel normal. I'm no less or no more than someone who decides to have a litter of brats. She should stay off the internet, and get some counselling.

I know she says that it isn't really, but it sounds like that is something she's mulled over. Otherwise, why would she even write that?
Re: Baby rabies is definitely not biological
November 07, 2018
Yep, I completely agree.
The whole baby rabies thing is just another form of peer pressure and female oppression, that's all.
Most women, especially from religious backgrounds, basically get brainwashed into believing all this "inferiority without a kid"- and "having a kid is the only acceptable normality"-crap.
Unfortunately, not many of those, that don't actually want kids by their own free will, are strong enough to look past the social dogma and bingoes and stand their ground. Therefore, these people don't get rid of the twisted brainwashing that kids are "ultimate happiness" and fall for the trap, although their intuition tells them not to go down that path. And what perplexes me personally, these sheeple seem to fail to see the disadvantages of kids, although they are out there, plain to see. They only see it after sprogging, when there's no way back. And then they either live in denial and keep up the moo-act or, rarely, admit openly that their "choice" sucks. What a sad existence.

Good thing, that the childfree choice is nowadays much more accepted and possible than in the past.

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Re: Baby rabies is definitely not biological
November 07, 2018
The whole "baby fever/bio clock" is a social structure put into place to explain away the female sex drive. Hormones change as women get older, and one common effect is an uptick in sex drive. Since women are shamed about wanting and/or enjoying sexual activity, that increase in drive is somehow warped into a drive to have kids.

That's my theory, anyway.
Re: Baby rabies is definitely not biological
November 08, 2018
Interesting. I never wanted children; in fact, I remember even as a very small child aggressively NOT wanting them. I didn't like other kids, either. My sister was very good with children, but also never wanted any of her own, though she was older than I when she realized that (pre- or early teens, iirc). On the other hand, all three of our brothers have multiple children. We were all raised in an atmosphere that preached children are the most precious things on earth...that attitude stuck with my brothers, and was lost completely on the daughters.

I wouldn't say my mother had baby rabies, but she was pretty nuts about kids and would have had more than five if she could have.

My dad was happy enough to be a father as long as he didn't have to, you know, take care of them or anything (let's talk old school gender roles here).

So my family kind of screws with the nature vs. nurture discussion. Personally I feel like it's something intrinsic in me, not something I learned. But obviously, I don't know for sure.
Re: Baby rabies is definitely not biological
November 08, 2018
I think it's a combination of nature and nurture, just like a lot of other human habits.

My parents had three kids, but are getting zero grandkids. I think they were hoping for some, but none of us are interested. Fortunately my parents are pretty good at leaving us the hell alone when it comes to adult life choices. If they had any major sads about it, they kept it to themselves. Dad and I had one conversation about it a few years ago. He asked a few questions that were a little bingo-ey, but I knew it was coming from genuinely wanting to understand so I answered honestly. He hasn't mentioned it since. Mom's never really asked.

I get along great with both parents, had an excellent childhood. They did a good job. They raised us to plan ahead, think critically, be responsible, and generally contribute to the world. There wasn't a lot of talk about "when you have kids". It wasn't a religious household. Education was emphasized. I think all those things together shaped my eventual CF decision.
Re: Baby rabies is definitely not biological
November 09, 2018
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randomcfchick
I think it's a combination of nature and nurture, just like a lot of other human habits.

My parents had three kids, but are getting zero grandkids. I think they were hoping for some, but none of us are interested. Fortunately my parents are pretty good at leaving us the hell alone when it comes to adult life choices. If they had any major sads about it, they kept it to themselves. Dad and I had one conversation about it a few years ago. He asked a few questions that were a little bingo-ey, but I knew it was coming from genuinely wanting to understand so I answered honestly. He hasn't mentioned it since. Mom's never really asked.

I get along great with both parents, had an excellent childhood. They did a good job. They raised us to plan ahead, think critically, be responsible, and generally contribute to the world. There wasn't a lot of talk about "when you have kids". It wasn't a religious household. Education was emphasized. I think all those things together shaped my eventual CF decision.

Sounds like a great upbringing! I think my parents (well, my mom) would have been more pushy about it if my sister hadn't "broken them in" first, so to speak. She got a lot of bingos from family and friends but stood firm; by the time I came around and said I didn't want kids, they just sort of shrugged. I didn't start getting bingos until I was older, and it was almost always from outside the family.

My mother did tell me she wasn't disappointed that her daughters wouldn't be giving her grandkids, because her sons already had. She admitted she'd probably feel different if she had no grandoffspring. Glad my brothers could take one for the team that way. ;D
Re: Baby rabies is definitely not biological
November 09, 2018
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randomcfchick
The whole "baby fever/bio clock" is a social structure put into place to explain away the female sex drive. Hormones change as women get older, and one common effect is an uptick in sex drive. Since women are shamed about wanting and/or enjoying sexual activity, that increase in drive is somehow warped into a drive to have kids.

That's my theory, anyway.

I never thought about it that way, but I think it's good food for thought. Having lots of sex because you like sex makes you a whore, but having lots of sex in an effort to conceive is a totally honorable act. In the same vein, why do people go "awwww" when a couple says they're trying to have a child? They just admitted they're having unprotected sex, most likely in copious amounts too. If I went up to someone and said I was gonna go bareback because fuck it I'm horny, they'd think I was being gross and say "TMI."
Re: Baby rabies is definitely not biological
November 09, 2018
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Cambion
In the same vein, why do people go "awwww" when a couple says they're trying to have a child? They just admitted they're having unprotected sex, most likely in copious amounts too. If I went up to someone and said I was gonna go bareback because fuck it I'm horny, they'd think I was being gross and say "TMI."

I propose a social experiment where you work your vigorous unprotected sex life into every conversation possible, and if the person gets grossed out or offended, you tell them, "But we're trying to have a baby!" Then record* whether their attitude changes.

*Because Adam Savage.
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