• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Childlessness

  • By: Constance Hoenk Shapiro
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Childlessness, which refers to the reproductive state of never having had children, is of concern to individuals and couples as they make decisions about whether to have children. Historically, people gave birth to or adopted children with the expectation that those offspring would contribute to the work and economic livelihood of the family. In more recent times, as birth control and pregnancy termination became more available, whether and when to have children has become a significant family health choice for most people of reproductive age.

Childlessness can be grouped into several categories. The first category is those individuals who consider themselves to be voluntarily childless: women who never have had children and who desire to remain in that category.

The second category of childlessness belongs to those ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles