Blog Post

Scientists Say Having Children is a Bad Idea

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Two popular young scientists, Gregory Brown and Mitchell Moffitt, aka “Greg and Mitch” – who also happen to be a same-sex couple - produced a new video in which they put forth a list of scientific “facts” about why having children is a really bad idea for anyone who wants to be healthy and happy in this life.

Writing for The Stream, Liberty McArtor is reporting on the outrageous video entitled “Why You Shouldn’t Have Kids” which claims that “The worst decision you can ever make is to have a child, according to science.”

Brown and Moffit, who host a popular YouTube science show, list a variety of reasons why couples shouldn’t have children.

“Research shows that marital satisfaction plummets after your first child and 70 percent of couples experience a big slump in their love life,” Moffit says.

Sleep deprivation is another downside. “So in the first 2 years of your baby’s life survey data has found that you will lose six months of sleep,” Brown says.

They also cite economic reasons not to procreate. “If you’re a woman with a child you make three percent less than a woman that is childless,” Moffit tells us.

Having children also won't make you happier than those who choose not to. “Research shows that if you want to have children and have them, your life satisfaction can increase but no more than people who are childless by their own choice,” Moffit adds.

Brown then goes on to argue the “macro” level:

“Many scientists collectively agree that if you factor in fresh water and the amount of food available, the earth can really only hold about nine to 10 billion people. So a smaller family or no kids at all can help the threats of overpopulation such as mass starvations.”

Aside from the "macro" argument, which is debatable, most of the facts given by the couple are absolutely correct, but that doesn't mean they're right!

“The YouTubers’ facts aren’t wrong," McArtor writes. "Their premise is wrong. Their premise? That all these hardships will make you unhappy. If your idea of a happy life is one where you get to do what you want with zero restrictions or other people to consider, you shouldn’t have kids.”

However, if you apply this reasoning to other areas of life, then you ought not take college courses while juggling a part-time job to pay for them. Neither should you start exercising or attempting to eat healthy because adjusting to clean eating and regular work-outs can make you tired and cranky. Nor should you discuss finances with your significant other because disagreements about how to manage money is a leading cause for divorce.

In other words, anything in life worth having requires work - the kind that will test you, your character and your determination and require sacrifice and pain, McArtor writes.

“Should we avoid these things because of the temporary struggle and sacrifice they’ll cost? Sadly today, in a culture ruled by self-centered, instant gratification, the answer is becoming ‘yes’.”

And this “yes” is coming far too often when the subject of children is raised. People seem to find it much more acceptable to struggle and sacrifice for things that “stroke our own egos” like education, career and relationships. But when it comes to children, not so much.

“Suddenly material benefits are seen as more important than new human life. Suddenly a few extra hours of sleep are more compelling than the experience of loving someone as sacrificially as parents love their children.”

As McArtor rightly points out, this is the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches us about children. We are told that “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3).

Even though Moffit and Brown do advocate adoption of children who are already born, which is always good, this should not cancel out enthusiasm for bringing new children into the world.

“Yes, children are a sacrifice. Every parent will tell you that,” McArtor concludes. “But they’re also a reward, a blessing, a gift of God’s that makes our lives fuller, deeper, and more joyful.

The next time you hear someone making this misguided argument about child-rearing, remind them that the reason the old adage "no pain no gain" has stuck around this long is because it happens to be true.