I am already struggling trying to put myself back out there, and now that I am in my 30's and am trying to date in that age range- I find that everyone is ready to have babies. I don't want to bear children. In the area I live in it is hard enough to find someone who will accept my atheism (and rare to find a fellow non-theist) and when I throw in the "maybe I would like to adopt older children some day- I don't want to bear my own"... I may have as well announced that I have a highly contagious communicable disease. Am I being unrealistic? Do I need to just give in and date men with children? Why does this all suck so bad?

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Anna, I tried the personals while living in SE Florida. I signed up on at least 6 sites through the years (gone only on 2 dates) and have found that if I eliminate religion from my possibles, I go from hundreds to a dozen, if I cut out 'want children', I cut that down to a dozen, and if I remove those who also don't already have children, then there's usually only 1 or 2 left.

My take on it is that when a women decides to make that sort of life choice, it's not only in the mind but in the body. Whereas a man can easily flip flop between yes or no, on a whim, depending on the last relationship. A man could procreate at a young age and then say never again or he can not procreate all his life then suddenly do it at age 90. There are no barriers for them, hence their words weigh very little in the scheme of things.

I knew since the age of 14 I did not want kids, every year I pleaded with my docs to sterilise me, but the patriarchal institution that medical associations are firmly believe in our destiny as procreative beings, because to medical people, life is the most important thing on earth, no matter under what conditions. IMO the medical community pushes the exact same value system as churches. I had to endure three abortions (while using pill-condoms-morning after pill in various combinations) before an exiled Northern doctor took me seriously in my quest to NOT procreate, at age 32.

In Canada, for a women to get sterilised, she must be have already had 2 children and be over 35.

I've known only 5 men who've had vasectomies. No matter what a man says "today" unless they practice what they preach in a PERMANENT (until a reversal surgery) I would not for a moment believe a word that comes out of their mouth on this topic. In today's women's lib society, a man bears almost no cost or responsibility for the consequences of their penis. It's all down to us, and us only.

Believe in actions, not words.

Maybe we could create a dating website for vasectomied and sterile men only, now that's something we could rely upon :)
Reply to TNT666's post : ''Anna, I tried........"

I would have guessed that you were a male from the picture of the frog [ perhaps a male viewing himself as a 'frog' / undiscovered "prince' waiting to be transformed by the kiss of a decent maiden ??? (of the 'Cinderella' character type/in contrast to her step sisters characters] ...and I would have been wrong.
It never really crossed my mind as a consideration, as I was responding to your statements, which are nither 'male' or 'female'.
In your favor, I would tentitively conclude that you have a healthier attitude about sex than the average female...how much more I can't really say.....and you really are aware about some of the facts of reality which make men different from women... [there ARE, in fact, differences]..like being able to procreate their entire life, in principle [& no, that is NOT some vast conspiracal strategem created by men for ulterior motives] ....it arose NOT by Design but thru evolution. One needs to have a sense of history here.... Effective birth control is [absolutely ] an extremely recent development ....prior to that; 'indiscriminate' sex almost always lead to ' indiscriminate ' babies , & no society could or did allow that. ''Marriage'' as a cultural institution evolved PRIMARILY as a means of protection /support for the next generation/ one's offspring/consequence of engaging in sexual relations. Denying those facts for purposes of supporting an idealogical agenda does not make them any less true. They merely expose the rampant irrationality of those denying them.
Perhaps the biggest {& most destructive} threat to maintaining a relationship is the abuse of sexual relations where one party {NON 'consciously'} utilizes sex as a strategm/ [maneuvers] / reward/punishment system to manipulate the other party as a form of control. there are several excellent books dealing with this topic. The bogus assertion/ claim that a man is being 'controlling' because he is NOT agreeing to allow the female to have her way 100% of the time is laughable, at best....& tragically all to common. as the ignorance of men as to what is really going on helps perpetuate this destructive meme. This is another example of destructive behavior unconsciously engaged in by individuals who self deludingly believe they are behaving as rational enlightened nonthiests. What a joke !!!!! This topic itself would be another book to cover/defend in depth.
The statement that men bear almost no costs or responsibility for the consequences of their penises is also patently absurd...if anything .the opposite is true. See Esther Villars's [PhD] book: "The MANIPULATED MAN" (70s). also see Dr Warren Farell's works, especially: ''THE MYTH OF MALE POWER'' & ''WHY MEN ARE THE WAY THEY ARE (& WOMEN)''
There are men forced at gunpoint [figuratively speaking ] to pay so-called [in name] ''child support'' for children that are NOT genetically theirs [originally conned into believing]'.
It is the abuse of sexual relations used in carrot/stick manipulation of men which essentially TRAINS many men to unconsciously engage in the behaviors you object to...who's NOT taking responsibility here ????
I know of absolutely NO 14 yr olds with enough WISDOM & knowledge of the world & reality to make irreversible critical life decisions, immune from further evaluation resulting from new data/evidence/circumstances.... This is NOT an example of rational behavior, either....but the substitution of ''feelings''/&nonrational whims/vows/etc. for rational thought. See Nathanial Brandons works on this topic & the concept of [one's] psycho- epistemology.
By the way, I will agree there is alot of destructive behavior engaged in by SOME men. I probably detest them more than you, as they give us all a bad name, so it affesct me indirectly. I personally DO love women.... but will not tolerate their B.S. & self delusions/ narcissism/etc. Evidently , ALL women believe themselves to be at the far right of the bell curve; and most men to be at the other extreme....; They all delusionally imagine themselves to be ''princesses'' ''DESERVING'' Mr Prince charming, who should ''Worship'' them as goddesses & grovel on their knees at their feet. This is effectively their unstated [mostly unconsious] attitude, as evidenced by their ACTUAL behavior & statements & psychological maneuvers & strategems. which they are, to the most part, UNaware of....yet they imagine their behavior is ''rational'' ??? & they wonder why man after man declines to remain ????????
GET some real insight ! [Adressed to the audience at large, not necessarily you personally] Start with Berne's ''GAMES PEOPLE PLAY'' [nonconsciously]
A couple of facts you got wrong... about pre-colonial fecundity and marriages.

Precolonial fecundity was much lower than modern religion induced fecundity. When Columbus arrived here, 'indian' women had not given birth fifteen times! Nor had African women. There were a couple of components at work that made pre-colonial fecundity less than modern catholic (Sperm song in Life of Brian).

1. Food availability: Throughout human history, food availability has known cycles. In seasons and years where food is scarcer, women get skinnier. When women go below 18% fat, we have amenorrhea, we do not menstruate. This was nature's way of population control. It had been forgotten by modern science until female athletes 'suffered' amenorrhea and osteoporosis due to extremely low fat %age. This is a relatively new area of study in endocrinology and reproductive biology. Modern science has gone down several wrong paths due to christian religious preconceptions about the way the world should turn. But we are in a phase of self corrections.

2. Fecundity modifiers: Pre-colonial women DID have tools to modify fecundity. They knew which herbs to ingest to either reduce fecundity and/or cause abortions.

3. Lactational amenorrhea: This form of contraception occurs when a mother does not wean her baby. Religions sempiternal hate of natural body functions and body parts has caused women to stop nursing beyond a couple of months. In the pre-colonial world, nursing could endure sometimes til age 5, if food availability was lacking, but often at least til age 1-3. In the first 6 months of complete lactation, risk of pregnancy is lesser than most known forms of contraception, beyond 6 months, it compares to condom efficiency.

On Marriage: A single man being united to a single woman, exclusively, for life, is a completely modern tradition (compared to all of human evolution). This modern form of marriage is NOT a way of protecting a family unit, marriage is a control tool over women which begath with modern religions.

I unfortunately can't point you to my sources, cuz I did all these readings and studies in my late 20s-early30s and these books I do not have access to today.

Of course one can find a book to defend any position, but the one point I emphasize in my readings is the LONG term, not only the last thousands of years, and certainly not the last couple of hundred years. I am a biologist. My masters degree studied the sexual differentiation of amphibians according to temperature. Hence my avatar. I love frogs, but frogs don't copulate, I'm happy humans have sex. :)
I never made any comments or addressed in my discussion pre-colonial fecundity[vs 'religion induced fecundity.], nor did I address the existence of factors affecting fecundity which you mention [Of which I AM well aware of & made no statements contradicting them]....hence it is nonsensical to assert I got them wrong.
though it is true that SOME herbal remedies have been shown to have efficacious properties ; the facts are that most are entirely worthless if not downright dangerous.[ in many instances; it is the placebo effect at work & our natural tendency towards health that bring about the effects, NOT the herbs..... granted even partial relief is often better than none. & certainly abortifacants became available & necessary due to the FAILURE of the alleged herbal [or other remedies such as crocodile dung] pregnancy preventers.
Lactational amenorrhea is irrelevant in preventing a first/teenage pregnancy which IS exactly that: a PREGNANCY. All of these points do NOT address anything I said. Nor did I address the ''modern form of marriage'' as you discussed. I mentioned neither monogamy or polygamy or polyandry; nor divorce or its lack., nor did I mention anywhere ''the family unit''. These are all straw men [& rhetorical maneuvers]
You have yet to accurately discuss one single fact I made which yiu assert ''I got wrong".
I suspect that in many of your readings[[& indeed in some of your classes !] ; you've picked up extremist gender feminist CRAP ; & again, I refer you to Christina Hoff Sommers book ''WHO STOLE FEMINISM ? '' , where she ''shows how these extremists have propped up their arguments with highly questionable ...'research' , presenting inflammatory & often inaccurate information & stifling any semblance of free & open scrutiny; whose ''findings' are utilized to perpetuate a view of women as victims of the 'patriarchy' '' . I challenge you to read this book & others Ive mentioned.
In most marriage ceremonies; BOTH Parties become Each other's ''Property'' it is NOT one sided... each had different roles/ responsibilities.
As Esther Villar [hired to do a study by NOW in the early 70s] pointed out in her BooK "THE MANIPULATED MAN", it is the man who generally gets the poorer end of the deal [addressing modern western culture, especially in America & the modern woman]" modern women generally view/treat men in the same fashion as farmers to their draft animals....''men are treated primarily as work horses.''[ or 'wallets' ] The gender feminists attacked her results, And HER; including actually spitting on her & asking her to leave the country!
Who is exploiting whom ????? Both sexes [should] enjoy sex, yet who utilizes it for manipulative ends ??? .....'' How dare you disagree with me !! or put any of your wants above my demands.''..../etc...''.You're not getting any til you comply with all MY demands'' not necessarily consciously stated ...but what is actually going on in the interpersonal dynamics. of many couples
The idea that one can find a book to defend any position is the essence of nonrational discourse...its a prime example of rhetorical chicanery. As a parallel: there are so-called arguments purporting to demonstrate the existence of god. They are ALL invalid arguments , irrespective of the fact that some may be ''persuaded'' [conned] by them [as they don't have the skills to find the holes in those arguments.
I mention the books to this end: "i'm explicitly stating ; ''don't take my word for it!'' ..rather, examine the evidence and arguments of these well respected/documented/experienced/knowledgeable authors....for yourself.'' I personally have 9+ years of college studies in several fields; starting with a double engineering major... later adding several others incl digital logic design, mech engineering & robotics; the equivalent of a major in philosophy [I refused to take a 2nd year of French & instead took a minor in linguistics/semantics] & the equivalent of minors in psychology , anthropology, military science & religious studies... Many of these courses were at the graduate level.;... as far as my Formal education goes;
I have independently studied/researched many other fields incl music theory [Have an unfinished dissertation here] & most of my reading / television is in keeping up with developments in most branches of science.
I've taught math at the college level, was a lifeguard for 7 years & am qualified in three separate branches in the military/[army] In a nutshell, I try to LIVE the Rennaissance ideal; & consider Leonardo daVinci as one of my mentors...[ he was also left handed & we both can` do mirror writing ]
My discussions of ''Marriage'' from anthropological research is not limited to socalled modern marriage AND never was. All 4 now!
PS you have never addressed many of the points I made.
pfew! got that off your chest didn't you! :)
Dear TNT666;

there are formlas in theory of probability & statistics that deal with issues of success/failure rate of contraceptive methods [other than sterilization] to wit, as an example: if the success rate is , lets say: 95%, then there will be a point [# of acts/ days/ instances/ 'episodes/ whatever] where the probability of pregnancy reaches > than 50%..... it really is a question of when? not if. I don't imagine you disagreeing with that point {someone else can give us the calculations if they'ld like}
This is part of the observation that especially, in the past, ''SEX lead to BABIES ''[pregnancy]
I will agree that a more mature/ responsible / careful individual can lower the odds significantly. [ vs younger women/ 'maidens/ adolescents/teens], closer to 0.
NO I AM NOT AN ABSTAINANCE ONLY supporter.!!!! Just reporting on the facts of reality.
Nice that you have a background in Biology.... General systems Theory is an outgrowth of developmental biology ! A4N.

No argument there. I just like to emphasize that before modern religions came along, females were NOT popping out babies like the Irish catholics in the "Life of Brian". I emphasize this because a lot of atheists I speak to think that family planning is a 20th century invention. It's only 'new' to these 2 millenia, since men took over religion and medicine. It's not true of the overall history of the human species.

Many atheists I've conversed with tend to consider "progress" from the middle ages only, or even the last 2 centuries, and forget that humanity was thriving before the dark ages, we were just less numerous and less destructive.
That's a movie in the making!!
Dear Anna
Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner; would has preferred you had called to discuss your questions at length. As I stated, I had NEVER replied to any blogs before.....yours was the first. [ Been home fighting severe respiratory infection.... 5th round of antibotics since New Years]
I DO ABSOLUTELY HATE TYPING --- as it is such a communication bottleneck.

Anyway, I got involved in several controversies with some of your respondents, as you are aware.
There seem to be a few illusions that you hold [see Berne's works as to precise usage of that term] about 'life', which are quite common, by the way. I will address the 1st with a question : where did you learn to believe that life was '' SUPPOSED '' to be '' EASY '' ??? ... life has its challenges & some people do get lucky /win the lottery / etc. ..... but you can NOT '' expect it or worse ''DEMAND '' it from life. Its called ''lady luck'' / good (or Mis-) fortune...

Yes, it is tough being an atheist I still get HATE mail from my mother to this day, as just ONE example.
I addressed the counter -productivity of having a long laundry list of DEMANDS as to what qualities a man "SHOULD" have [interestingly: by females who give NO justification as to why they 'believe' that they personally '' DESERVE '' such a man.; .....or what qualities they have, as a fair 'exchange' for lack of a better term]
treating mere [irresponsible /irrational] opinions as if they were facts is also highly counterproductive...
[ask for details / examples]
See works BY Dr. Albert Ellis on ''RATIONAL -EMOTIVE THERAPY '' for an excellent discussion on what this entails.[ ''the Albert Ellis Reader'' 3 parts: I) Sex, Love, & Marriage; II) Rational Self Help;
III Rational Living in an Irrational Society ; see especially ch 16: ;A dictionary of rational- emotive feelings & behaviors] This is another MUST READ (better; MUST STUDY & DIGEST) !! book for all adults. learn about ''musterbation'' & other themes/ self defeating behaviors..
See also ''the Winner's Notebook '' by (?) T. Issac Reuben(?)
Ellis also authored ''the Case Against religiosity, 1983
....Why are you so adamant that a man NOT happen to have an existing genetic descendant ...effectively 'demonizing' him, as far as your intersts go ??????????

AND, if there are so few 'good' men out 'there', then perhaps you all should rationally consider 'sharing' the 'good' ones ?? ? food for thought !!! See articles by Ellis : ''The Case for [rational] Polygamy''' [NOT the Morman or muslum variety !!!!!] & the ''Case for Sexual Liberty''. & ''Group Marriage: A Possible Alternative?'' Read Reflect Reason. Don't prejudge... EXAMINE the arguments.

Again what stands out is that you had those questions in the first place. Call to continue.... or show up at next annual convention in N.J. in april to discuss further [life member #28/ ameriican atheists]
All 4 Now
Brian- I just needed some empathy. I had refused to date for the last 5 years, I forgot how difficult it is. It's not suppose to be easy, but I forgot how hard it is.........Especially when I throw in I'm an atheist how wants to remain devoid of children- and I live in a very religious area. That was my inspiration for the post. To not feel all alone and to receive some understanding. FYI thanks everyone- my mission was accomplished:)
dear Anna
Needed ? or wanted ? ...... 5 yrs is a huge chunk of your most valuable asset [time] to consciously avoid intimacy [ unless, of course you collect ''dates'' in the manner of a beer can collection ...(?).] Please remember that I'm talking to a wider audience here: You:Plural.
To get a really good perspective on the rampant irrationality governig most adults lives[ esp in the areas or love/sex/intimacy see the works of Dr Eric Berne [who had some incredible insights in the area of social psychiatry , of which most humans are quite ignorant & thus necessarily NONinsightful into both other's & his/her own behavior. [A. I. : areas of Irationality / or Ignorance].. see both bestseller ''Games People Play'' & ''What Do You Say After you Say Hello ?''. & '' Sex in Human Loving''
Absolutely see ''The Albert Ellis Reader'' [esp sect on Rational living in an irrational society.]
.....of course by ''see'' I mean Digest !! Read/ Rreflect Reason/ Research/ Reread/ Regurgitate ..... [separate any nuggets of insight making sure you don't throw out the baby with the bath water]
Absolutely read well the books mentioned in my other posts [''Who Stole Feminism ?'' , ''Why Men are the Way They Are (& Women)'' , as well as The MYTH of Male Power.; ....... I can assure you that I am absolutetly dedicated to getting EVERY male [esp single atheist males] I can to read these works in the interest in combatting ignorance/ irrationality/ & lack of insight into human behavior., as well as exposing the dozens of destructive & dishonest MYTHS spread by the opposite sex of either persuasion: gender feminists or ultra traditionalists , used in the manipulation of men
see also ''Put Offs & Come Ons'' & a whole series of similiar works ''games 'X' Play'' ;['X' being: the opposite sex/ THERAPISTS/ children/ etc by [i believe] Chapman.
Berne does & excellent job in showing how many women use psychological maneuvers, strategems & destructive games in ''arranging ' circunstances so that they can ''prove'' to themselves [for ex] that ''All men are bastards'' in the lifelong pursuit of avoidance of real intimacy.....
Another policy I am popularizing is the refusal to get sucked into playing the game of ''mind reader/ing'' where a woman refuses to ''say what she means & mean what she says'' & ''DEMANDS''' that you be successful in guiessing properly or be severly 'punishen' if you fail....... [to 'read'her mind] Adults do not have time for this childish B.S..... I.O W s: absolutely take things / other's statements/ literally, AS AS SOP [certainly ask for feedback if the meaning is legitimately in doubt, - such as do to ambiguities in word meanings/ etc.] Misunderstandings are then primarily the responsibility of the individual or the person playing word /guessing games.
As a corollary , as the saying goes: "BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR..... YOU MIGHT GET IT !!!!!".........[also] Bluffs CAN be called !
Again, why do you demonize men who have had children in the Past ? You haven't answered this question yet.\
absolutely! Unfortunately, there haven't been enough studies on this matter yet. Statistics seem confounding, given the little we have. There is evidence that adopted children fare (in the fiscal and family sense) just as well as biological offspring. Yet there is also pretty clear evidence that non-biological offspring are more often at the receiving end of infanticide.

As for these unwanted children in the real world, I've read of instances (was it in Freakanomics? of countries removing access to abortion seeing a drastic rise in crime 15 years later, as if unwanted children, unloved children, turn to crime in greater numbers than wanted children.

Begs the question, is there a difference in representation among atheists of wanted vs unwanted children? Hmmm... I was unwanted. And considering the amount of anger I felt when I was having difficulty finding abortion services years ago, I can imagine the rage and hopelessness of other mothers who did not want their children... From what I read of ancient civilisations, women did used know how to abort pregnancies.

My personal take on the 'push' of marriage IS that it was satellite males' (in the biological definition) way of insuring themselves a share of procreation. And contrary to Ditter's implication, I have never been 'coerced' into my feminism, and never read male 'demonisation' books. My formative years were spent reading male oriented fantasy/action novels :). My feminism is something I hold from deep within and from a less than honourable father...



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