2010: The year childfree went mainstream (thanks, Oprah!)

January 20, 2011 • Family Planning, United States, Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Joyce Johnson for this blog by Lisa Hymas of Grist on celebrity non-parents.

Childlessness is nothing new — for as long as we’ve had parents, we’ve had people who are not parents. Across centuries and cultures, at least 10 percent of women never have children, writes Elizabeth Gilbert.

But it is relatively new to have a cohort of people who are deliberate, outspoken, and even proud about being childless — or, as we prefer to say, childfree. We nonparents have traditionally been a quiet minority. And we’re still a minority — albeit a growing one, now about 20 percent in both the U.S. and the U.K. — but we’re no longer so quiet.

In 2010, the childfree started making some real noise. Get used to it; you’ll be hearing a lot more racket from us in the future. Here are some of the cultural signals and media moments that have rung out during the past year, putting the childfree lifestyle in the spotlight as never before.

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