TED Conversations

Jimena Duque

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Are women and men completely and unequivocally free to choose whether to have children or not?

I am curious to know if there is still some pressure and persuasion exercised by families and society in terms of marriage and procreation.

Is religion an influence when it comes time to make the choice?

Is there a stigma associated with women and men that opt not to have children?

I am hoping to hear about your personal experiences not so much about the research or the data available.

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    Mar 16 2011: Whether or not we are free to choose is often a function of location and means. Women without access to birth control and who live in areas where rape squads are a political reality are unlikely to have much choice while North American women generally are more able to choose. I have always been deeply grateful that my choice to become a mother was a joyful voluntary one.
    Then there are issues of cultural expectations and most people's desire to belong. There are also issues of horomonal drives.
    You have posed an interesting question that is really complex.

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