Single women over 30: possibly forfeiting Motherhood for Med School?

Free2

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As I read the latest MD vs. PA thread, I realized the real reason I cannot make up my mind between the two is that deep down, I'm worried that by choosing the MD route, I'll be making my chances of having a family that much more unlikely. Perhaps I'm being a bit of an alarmist but at my age, you have to wonder about this kind of thing.

I will be 33 when I enroll in med school in the fall and about 41 when I'm done with it all. As you know, fertility starts really dropping at 35 and takes a real nose dive after 40. I wonder if I would have the time during medical school to actually meet someone, date, get married, and start a family. I mean, how easy is it to actually date when you're busy 80 hours a week? I already see my dates' eyes glaze over when I mention I want to go to med school. It's actually quite interesting to watch them - first they take a big breath, and then the eye glaze. oh well. I imagine that women don't react that way when the guys they are dating say they want to go to med school. Just my guess, of course. :)

Many women with kids have answered questions about having kids while in med school. Usually, however, those are women who are married already or who already have children. But what about those of us who are older, in our 30's, who don't have a spouse or children?

Do any of you women in your 30's wonder have any thoughts on this?
 
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I sure do..everyday I ponder if I'm making the right decision,especially when your girlfriends and relatives are in relationships, married, expecting there first born.
I look at it this way, according to society, we should've been married with child latest 30, so, the pressure is off and the disappointment is over. All is left is a feeling of "whatever will be will be..as we know not what tomorrow will bring.That thought by itself makes me realize that I'm not going to miss anything by going to med school. The biggest mistake both of us could make is to rely on a wish and prayer for Mr.Right when the other part of our happiness(med school)is left deferred. In the end, wouldn't you rather wake up to having a purpose to help mankind, or, live with the hope of having a purpose one day. When you embody a glow of fulfillment that's when folks become drawn to you. You know what they say about a dream deferred? Hope this helps stir you onto your destiny.
 

Deepa100

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I was in your shoes. I prioritized. I wanted to have a child. So, I made it a priority to find the right person, get married and have kids. Only after all that was done, I applied to med school. My kid will be 6 by the time I start residency. My husband always knew I was a high-strung person. He did not mind. He thought it was cool. Med school can wait, biological clock won't.


As I read the latest MD vs. PA thread, I realized the real reason I cannot make up my mind between the two is that deep down, I'm worried that by choosing the MD route, I'll be making my chances of having a family that much more unlikely. Perhaps I'm being a bit of an alarmist but at my age, you have to wonder about this kind of thing.

I will be 33 when I enroll in med school in the fall and about 41 when I'm done with it all. As you know, fertility starts really dropping at 35 and takes a real nose dive after 40. I wonder if I would have the time during medical school to actually meet someone, date, get married, and start a family. I mean, how easy is it to actually date when you're busy 80 hours a week? I already see my dates' eyes glaze over when I mention I want to go to med school. It's actually quite interesting to watch them - first they take a big breath, and then the eye glaze. oh well. I imagine that women don't react that way when the guys they are dating say they want to go to med school. Just my guess, of course. :)

Many women with kids have answered questions about having kids while in med school. Usually, however, those are women who are married already or who already have children. But what about those of us who are older, in our 30's, who don't have a spouse or children?

Do any of you women in your 30's wonder have any thoughts on this?
 

millepora

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There is threads all over the place, with people stating that a nice chunk of their class is dating. If you want someone with the same ambitions, and is going through the exact same situation as you. What better place to meet someone?

Speaking from experience, my father went through medical school when I was young. During that time in my life I felt like he was never there. It was financially a wreck, and I felt like we were living at the rock bottom level of poverty. If my mother would have been the one in his place, it might have been worse.

Btw, I vote to apply to medical school, and put the kids on the back burner. I personally don't see a point of rushing to find someone (as possibly settling), just so they can fill your dream of motherhood.
 

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If you are in your 30s, the issues of meeting someone and reproducing are going to be there regardless of medical school and certainly medical school doesn't rule out marriage and children. The myth is that you have to "give up" having a family and family life if you pursue medicine. Every vocation out there will require sacrifice of "family-time" and medicine in today's climate is no better or worse. I have plenty of colleagues who have been able to have their family and have a great medical career. Their children are not neglected or starving for affection.

If you look at medicine as "forfeiting" anything of importance to your life, then you need to look at other careers. There are very few careers out there that will enable you to stay home as many women of the 1950s were able to do. The only one that comes to mind right now is editing/writing. In today's world, it's not medicine OR family but medicine AND family if the family is important to you.

If you think your family as a reason to "give up" on medicine and it's truly your calling, then you may find that you resent your family at some point which is totally unnecessary as family life and medicine are quite compatible.
 
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Deepa100

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In my case, we are not broke, thanks to my successful previous career. I also have a spouse willing to support us. So, I guess it depends.

Like I said before, decide what's more important for you. It is different for everyone.
There is threads all over the place, with people stating that a nice chunk of their class is dating. If you want someone with the same ambitions, and is going through the exact same situation as you. What better place to meet someone?

Speaking from experience, my father went through medical school when I was young. During that time in my life I felt like he was never there. It was financially a wreck, and I felt like we were living at the rock bottom level of poverty. If my mother would have been the one in his place, it might have been worse.

Btw, I vote to apply to medical school, and put the kids on the back burner. I personally don't see a point of rushing to find someone (as possibly settling), just so they can fill your dream of motherhood.
 
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I'm not really the best person to ask since I'm neither in med school yet nor am I even female haha, but...I remember when I interviewed last year I met a girl in her first year of med school with 2 young kids. she said she was able to spend lots of time with them.

I guess she'll find out when her kids are older if she actually spent enough time with them....that's something she won't know until she asks her grown-up kids how they felt about the whole situation.

anyways, I say go to med school! if you keep waiting, why do you even want to become a doctor? like you said, it takes 7+ years to even become a practicing doctor. if you wait till you're 40, what's the point if you're already in your late 40s before you start practicing? you can certainly do med school and residency while you're pregnant. it has definitely been done before, many times...
 

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I think there's a continuum we're on, where one extreme would be the women who are happy and functional and mentally healthy with not only child-bearing and -rearing on their plate but can also keep a marriage healthy, and also keep a difficult high-paying career healthy. The other extreme would be those of us who have to work really hard at not losing our minds when the ducks aren't lined up. While we might be exceptional at doing one thing at a time, being massively-multitasked and overscheduled and underfunded in multiple aspects of our lives tends to aim us at the psych ward. For any woman figuring this out, it doesn't matter, not even a tiny little bit, if some anecdote of a woman is thriving, if you're not at a similar spot on that continuum.

For me, being a physician and a parent at the same time has never been a viable option. When I went for medicine at 38, I was single and childless, and still thinking about having kids (certainly I'd adopt). But I've been around the block a few times, and I know a little bit about what makes me tick, and I'm just never going to be anywhere near the Suzy Does It All So Well end of the continuum. I specifically, deliberately put aside any remaining intention to have my own family. For me it would be absolutely miserable to do both - I'd feel like I suck at everything. So, on top of being in med training and staying healthy, I'm a really good aunt and neighbor, and a decent girlfriend, and I like having a dog, and that's my limit. If over the last 4 years this decision to not have a family had felt uncomfortable, then I'd have had to give up medicine.

I can only imagine what it's like to have to be figuring all this out when you don't know for sure what you want, but you have a husband who wants kids, a mother and mother-in-law wanting grandkids, and you're not quite wizened enough to know for sure what you'll be good at and what's going to make you happy.

Best of luck to you.
 

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What a tough dilemma.

Let me just say this- I have seen many women get married and have children in med school and in residency. If you pick a family friendly field like family med, psych, pathology, derm, etc. you will have virtually no problem balancing it all. especially if you make it a priority to have a family while you're in med school. the first two years actually aren't that time intensive- you can do most of your studying from home.

I'd say the hardest part of your dilemma will be meeting someone. Med school will make it harder, but not impossible. It takes up a lot of time, but I have seen lots of classmates date people and get married in spite of our hectic schedules. some date within the med school bubble, some don't.

If you can be happy doing something else, I'd do something else... PA is a great route if you want to work with a surgical field but don't want to sacrifice so much of your life to become a surgeon. I know lots of people who love a certain aspect of medicine, such as surgery, and working in a clinic is torture for them. So their long, hard road of becoming a surgeon is going to make it harder to marry and have a family vs. doing a family friendly specialty with much more flexible hours. What I'm trying to say is, the choices don't end with just medical school ;)

If you chose to spend a few more years trying to find Mr.Right and having a baby, I don't think you'd have anything to lose. I don't know if you've seen mommd.com, but there are TONS of women who went back to med school later in life, after having babies, who are now physicians or in-training.

good luck to you!
 

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Speaking from experience, my father went through medical school when I was young. During that time in my life I felt like he was never there. It was financially a wreck, and I felt like we were living at the rock bottom level of poverty. If my mother would have been the one in his place, it might have been worse.
I did have a mom going through med school when I was young, and I had the opposite experience - although she certainly missed some things, I never felt like I missed out on having a mom, and have always been incredibly proud of her. On the whole, it was such a good experience that I'm planning on doing something similar. I think it just depends on the family and the circumstances.

To the OP - one thing about being in med school is that you'll be meeting men who most likely WON'T be scared off by your being in med school, since they're there too! Not that it's a sure way to meet a mate, but you wouldn't know that you'd meet someone for sure regardless. The same would probably go for PA school as well.

Good luck :)
 

student1799

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I will be 33 when I enroll in med school in the fall and about 41 when I'm done with it all. As you know, fertility starts really dropping at 35 and takes a real nose dive after 40. I wonder if I would have the time during medical school to actually meet someone, date, get married, and start a family. I mean, how easy is it to actually date when you're busy 80 hours a week?
I'm 46, have 2 kids in middle school, and I'll be starting med school this summer. While my situation isn't exactly what you described, I think I might have some perspective to offer, since I had both kids in my 30's while working full-time in a very demanding profession (Wall Street). True, it isn't nearly as hard as being a doctor, but it's up there.

My biggest advice to you would be: Slow down and take a deep breath. You're really worried about 3 different things here:

1. Meeting someone.
2. Having kid(s).
3. Raising said kid(s).

Moreover (unless you really want to go out on a limb and be a single parent), these activities must be accomplished sequentially; that is, if you don't find a partner, the rest of the list becomes irrelevant. So we're really most concerned with issue #1.

On this subject, I very much agree with njbmd, who says, "If you are in your 30s, the issues of meeting someone and reproducing are going to be there regardless of medical school [...]." Personally, I think the best way to handle this is to live the best life you know how, to go after the goals and dreams you think are important, and not think too much about meeting someone. Things have a way of happening when you least expect them. And if you are doing what you love and fully engaged with life, I think you'll be a much more interesting, genuine and compelling person than if you try to conform to the expectations of some unknown ideal person you haven't even met yet.

That is how it worked out for me. I had concluded in my college years that I was likely to have a great deal of difficulty ever finding the "right" person for me [OK, I was stupid], so I decided that I was going to have a fulfilling and meaningful life as a single person. I threw myself into my career and other interests, hardly thought about dating at all, and ended up meeting the love of my life in a totally unexpected way: a training class to prepare for a Wall Street licensing exam. (We celebrated our 20th anniversary a few months ago.) And BTW, we were both working 80 hours a week at the time, and continued to do so for a few years after that. By the time we had our kids, things had calmed down quite a bit, but we still were working pretty heavy schedules (about 50 hours a week).

I really wouldn't worry too much about the fertility issues you cited. Having children in the 30's is becoming pretty much the norm for educated professional women in big cities, and most can do it without reproductive tecnology. But if you should need it, that technology can accomplish pretty amazing things these days.

I think the most important thing to ask yourself is: what do YOU really want to do with your life? Does being a doctor seem like the coolest, most interesting thing you could possibly do, even though you know that it will require a lot of hard work and sacrifice? If the answer is yes, then go to med school, be the best doctor and person you possibly can, and the rest should take care of itself. If not, you need to keep searching until you find a path that will truly make you happy.
 

QofQuimica

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But what about those of us who are older, in our 30's, who don't have a spouse or children?

Do any of you women in your 30's wonder have any thoughts on this?
All of life involves choices. There is a finite number of hours in a day or week, and despite what DrMidlife implied, *no one* can have it all. Those of you who have taken physics should not be given pause by the concept that if you put more time and energy into one thing, other things will necessarily receive less of your time and energy. The good news though is that you *will* have enough time during med school to do whatever is most important to you. Extra time is easier to come by at some points in med school than others, but you can and will always make time for whatever you value most. Ok, so if you really want to be married with a child, maybe you will not graduate medical school being inducted into AOA with a 250+ Step 1. But maybe that doesn't matter to you, in the same way that having a family doesn't matter to some other people who devote more of their time and energy to excelling in medical school or other extracurricular pursuits. What it all comes down to is that you will spend a total of four years in medical school. How you make best use of that time is in large part up to you.
 

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I was in your shoes. I prioritized. I wanted to have a child. So, I made it a priority to find the right person, get married and have kids. Only after all that was done, I applied to med school. My kid will be 6 by the time I start residency. My husband always knew I was a high-strung person. He did not mind. He thought it was cool. Med school can wait, biological clock won't.

That's not exactly the advice I've ever heard. Most people do not tell young girls to have kids *first* and then go back to school.

In fact, I've noticed that those who prioritize having kids *before* under going something as rigorous and time consuming as medicine usually do not end up doing med school. They find family friendly alternatives like nursing/PA etc.

Congrats that you were able to make it, but telling girls to have families before starting med school will probably see a dramatic drop in females attending med school. Of all the parents in our class, I think I've met maybe one or two who were mothers. Most were fathers. But I give props to the moms who are brave enough to take on this adventure! :thumbup:

It's never easy to juggle med school and parenthood, but I would strongly recommend----unless there are extenuating circumstances----to do med school before kids. I just think it's far easier on your kids, your family and your grades. Again, I admire those that can handle kids and school....but my personal observations has been that attending school before starting a family is far easier for the woman.
 

Revilla

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Why not get through med school and residency and then adopt a child if you haven't found the right person and/or you feel you can't have one naturally?

I'm also an older student starting med school this summer, but I have a significant other. My fiance and I plan to adopt once I'm out of my intern year.
 

QofQuimica

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I'm also an older student starting med school this summer, but I have a significant other. My fiance and I plan to adopt once I'm out of my intern year.
Adopting would be my choice as well if I was married to someone who wanted kids. I've never been all that gung ho about having my own children at any time. A couple of hours into the first day of my OB/gyn rotation, I *knew* I would never have my own children. I think the miracle of childbirth traumatized me even more than the mother, maybe since I had a much better view of what was going on. :scared:
 

DrMidlife

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Me? I'm just wondering how I handle giving the opposite response if it comes up in interviews. (Yeah, they're not supposed to ask. But still.) I've noticed that a lot of people get wigged out by women who've never wanted children. Is that common enough in medicine for people to be ok with it?

And if it does come up, do you give the tin-sounding, "I love children, particularly my godchildren, but that's never been my calling"? Or do you give the more truthful personality-infused answer like: "I love children, but that's never been the path for me. I love my godchildren very, very much, but babysitting them a few times a month confirmed it. I don't know how those of you with kids do it. Particularly when they're two."
Interviewers are typically not stupid enough to bring it up. If there's any hinting around or implication, I recommend ignoring it. The worst thing to do, in my opinion, is to directly talk about it. If you state an intention to have children, then your (more cynical) interviewers are thinking about residency and the young mothers who burdened their colleagues by having outside responsibilities. If you state an intention to not have children, nobody will believe you. We don't yet live in a world where the reality of medical training is on board with the reality of ovarian fortitude.

Oh boy. For starters, it's expensive. Really, really expensive. Second, depending on your background and values, the two just aren't comparable. Some people really want to experience pregnancy. For others, it's about blood. If nothing else, the whole DNA-as-secular-soul trope is so pervasive that most of us buy it simply because we don't even know it's there.

Third -- and here's the part that we should really focus on -- what about the birth mothers and birth families? Affluent Westerners seem to forget that adoption fundamentally relies on exploitation. These days, some of that exploitation is interracial, but it's increasingly international.

I smell a threadjack coming. I'll go start a new thread and edit in the location.
"fundamentally relies on exploitation" is awfully cynical. How about "has a really horrible element of exploitation." There's a dark side to everything. One dark side of adoption is exploited mothers. One dark side of fertility medicine is exploited children (hello J&K+8, octomom, etc). The only fundamental around reproductive issues, in my view, is that there are no absolutes. One woman's expensive and emotionally harrowing adoption nightmare might be another woman's life highpoint.
 

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I'm also very happy to have had my children first - they will be 6, 3 and 3 when I start med school. I think this is an option not often considered by ambitious young women, but if you are with an appropriate partner in your 20's, that's a great biological time to have kids.

I've now had a successful career in software (which I have done full time from home, with part-time childcare in support) for the last 9 years. I have assets and going to medical school will not be particularly financially taxing for us. I will be able to devote myself fully to med school now that the kids are sleeping through the night, and I feel happy that I was able to spend so much time with them in the younger years.

OP - in your position, I would probably go ahead and pursue medical school and see where your passion leads you. Imagine how you would feel if you postponed it and didn't end up meeting someone to have a family with. Good luck with your decision!!
 

DrMidlife

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So...I shouldn't bother applying to medical school because I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't?
I didn't say or think anything about applying or not applying. I made a recommendation about handling the interview. I thought that's what you were asking for.
 

Deepa100

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My advise was for thirty something women starting me school, not for young girls. You girls have all the time in the world to do whatever you want:) Besides, what I was saying was that OP needs to prioritize. Not follow what I did.

That's not exactly the advice I've ever heard. Most people do not tell young girls to have kids *first* and then go back to school.

In fact, I've noticed that those who prioritize having kids *before* under going something as rigorous and time consuming as medicine usually do not end up doing med school. They find family friendly alternatives like nursing/PA etc.

Congrats that you were able to make it, but telling girls to have families before starting med school will probably see a dramatic drop in females attending med school. Of all the parents in our class, I think I've met maybe one or two who were mothers. Most were fathers. But I give props to the moms who are brave enough to take on this adventure! :thumbup:

It's never easy to juggle med school and parenthood, but I would strongly recommend----unless there are extenuating circumstances----to do med school before kids. I just think it's far easier on your kids, your family and your grades. Again, I admire those that can handle kids and school....but my personal observations has been that attending school before starting a family is far easier for the woman.
 

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Adopting would be my choice as well if I was married to someone who wanted kids. I've never been all that gung ho about having my own children at any time. A couple of hours into the first day of my OB/gyn rotation, I *knew* I would never have my own children. I think the miracle of childbirth traumatized me even more than the mother, maybe since I had a much better view of what was going on. :scared:
Keep in mind that your SO also has a say in this. I think that the vast majority of people, especially males, want to have their own children. If I were in a situation where my SO couldn't have a child and I was really in love with her, I would at least use a surrogate mother to have a child. There are other options as well. Perhaps in a decade or two we can start to have artificially created babies. The creation of sperm from somatic genes has already been successful (but needs a lot more research to claim absolute success).

I find it very sad that people are willing to sacrifice their whole life for a career. What is the goal here anyway? Why do you have a career in the first place? I think a career is a means to an end. You have a career so that you can support your lifestyle. If all you have is your career and are going to not have a normal life because you have to work, I don't see the point of work. You are missing the forest for the trees. Can you really claim to have had a successful life after you become a mere doctor? Let's not forget, being a doctor is just another job. How do you think this sounds: "Should I forfeit having a family so that I can become a plumber?" I know that becoming a doctor is not same as becoming a plumber, but the question is silly nevertheless...

OP, if you didn't want to have children like some other posters here (and your SO agreed), then I'd say there is no problem here and you should go to medschool and forget about the rest. However, it is clear from your post that you do want to have a family. As such, you absolutely should. Just ask yourself - will you ever be happy if you end up not having children even if you do become a doctor? Do you know how many older successful people I know that are very unhappy? This one guy spent all his life trying to reach his dreams. He was into law. He never had time for anyone and now he is in his 50s, severely depressed, suicidal, and he often cries. However, he does own properties worth several millions. I know a lot about him b/c my gf is his ex from a couple of decades ago and they keep in touch once in a while. Just thinking about him makes me depressed and I want to do everything to not follow his path while I have time on my side.

So what are your choices here? Do you really think that you have to give up medschool to have a family? Of course not. Just look at all these people on SDN alone who have done it. If becoming an MD and having a child are both very important to you, then you can do this too. It might be hard for some time, but eventually you'll make it. As someone else mentioned here though, you first have to find that special person. That is not all that easy. If you are really busy now and don't have much time to socialize, you can hit some of the dating sites and have quick dates with many different people until you find someone that clicks. You have to be honest about your plans and make sure that the person will be willing to move with you to the location of your medschool. Given the right person, it shouldn't be that hard for you to upbring a child. Your SO can support you financially and timewise in terms of taking care of the child.

In the end, the decision is yours alone. Don't go by what others say. You still have a lot of time to build your life as you wish. I just know that if you decide to not have a family based on someone else's advice, you might likely regret that decision later and it will be too late.

I really wish you the best of luck and hope that it works out for you.;)
 

QofQuimica

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Keep in mind that your SO also has a say in this.
Damn, I *knew* I was forgetting something.

I think that the vast majority of people, especially males, want to have their own children. If I were in a situation where my SO couldn't have a child and I was really in love with her, I would at least use a surrogate mother to have a child.
Keep in mind that your SO also has a say in this. And she may say, "No freaking way."

There are other options as well. Perhaps in a decade or two we can start to have artificially created babies. The creation of sperm from somatic genes has already been successful (but needs a lot more research to claim absolute success).
I'm a huge fan of growing them in pods. They could stay in there until they were preschoolers, and then come out already walking and talking and toilet trained. Heck, we could probably even leave 'em in there until they turn 18, and then we would let them out and ship them straight off to college or the army or whatever.

I find it very sad that people are willing to sacrifice their whole life for a career.
Funny, I don't recall ever saying that I was sacrificing my whole life for a career. I *did* say that I never wanted kids, and I'm rather confused (and amused) that you interpreted that to mean that I view not having kids as a sacrifice, when in actuality, I don't want to sacrifice my whole life for having kids.

What is the goal here anyway? Why do you have a career in the first place? I think a career is a means to an end. You have a career so that you can support your lifestyle. If all you have is your career and are going to not have a normal life because you have to work, I don't see the point of work. You are missing the forest for the trees.
Maybe we're not all in the same forest. I *don't* see a career as a means to an end. My lifestyle is actually quite simple, and I have been supporting it on a grad/med student's stipend for many years. I certainly don't need to have *any* career, let alone be a physician, when a minimum wage job would more than support my lifestyle. I have a career because I am fortunate enough to live in a country and in an era where this is a possibility. In another time and place, my main option would have been to convert to Catholicism and become a nun. Or be a concubine. It's not hard to understand why most women throughout history chose to get married and be mothers given the available options.

Can you really claim to have had a successful life after you become a mere doctor?
Depends on how you define success, doesn't it?

Let's not forget, being a doctor is just another job. How do you think this sounds: "Should I forfeit having a family so that I can become a plumber?" I know that becoming a doctor is not same as becoming a plumber, but the question is silly nevertheless...
Your whole post is silly. So is my response. Really, the main thing I learned from your post is that you and I are not compatible as a couple. (Considering that we have already discussed your disdain for the entire population of AL ad nauseam, this is not a huge surprise.) In general, the whole exercise of extrapolating your own personal views to other people is fruitless. You and I have merely managed to prove the point that different people have different motivations and want different things out of life.
 

Excelsius

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Damn, I *knew* I was forgetting something.


Keep in mind that your SO also has a say in this. And she may say, "No freaking way."


I'm a huge fan of growing them in pods. They could stay in there until they were preschoolers, and then come out already walking and talking and toilet trained. Heck, we could probably even leave 'em in there until they turn 18, and then we would let them out and ship them straight off to college or the army or whatever.


Funny, I don't recall ever saying that I was sacrificing my whole life for a career. I *did* say that I never wanted kids, and I'm rather confused (and amused) that you interpreted that to mean that I view not having kids as a sacrifice, when in actuality, I don't want to sacrifice my whole life for having kids.


Maybe we're not all in the same forest. I *don't* see a career as a means to an end. My lifestyle is actually quite simple, and I have been supporting it on a grad/med student's stipend for many years. I certainly don't need to have *any* career, let alone be a physician, when a minimum wage job would more than support my lifestyle. I have a career because I am fortunate enough to live in a country and in an era where this is a possibility. In another time and place, my main option would have been to convert to Catholicism and become a nun. Or be a concubine. It's not hard to understand why most women throughout history chose to get married and be mothers given the available options.


Depends on how you define success, doesn't it?


Your whole post is silly. So is my response. Really, the main thing I learned from your post is that you and I are not compatible as a couple. (Considering that we have already discussed your disdain for the entire population of AL ad nauseam, this is not a huge surprise.) In general, the whole exercise of extrapolating your own personal views to other people is fruitless. You and I have merely managed to prove the point that different people have different motivations and want different things out of life.
:confused:

Maybe I should have split my post into two because the only thing that applied to you was the first paragraph. Everything else was for the OP. I wasn't talking to you. Like I said in my post, it is only a sacrifice if you want to have children and you don't do it for reason x or y, not because you don't want to. You say you didn't want to have any children, ergo, no sacrifice for you.

This thread is not really about some of the things your brought up, but since they refer to me, I must address one of them. You bring up AL again, yet I explained in the other thread that I have nothing against AL or any other state. I admitted that I have some prejudices about the Deep South in general and also said that they are likely unfounded since I don't know much about the recent history. I brought up this issue only in one post and the rest few of them were in response to you or others. How is that "ad nauseam"? I wasn't even referring to any specific state, just the overall concept and the history of the South. I accepted what some southerners said in that thread... Anyway, I hope that this doesn't come up again because what you say completely misrepresents my views.

I don't agree that most women in the past have married and had children because they didn't have other choices. Just like you advised me, you should also be careful to not project your views onto the majority. Most women have married and had children in the past for the very same reason they do to this day when they do have many other choices - it's called love. I would be willing to bet you that if you took a survey of any population of women almost anywhere in the world, the vast majority would say that they married and had children because they wanted to. We don't have to go that far. Just create a poll right here on SDN if you think I am wrong. Women who give up great careers for their family aren't rare either. No one forces them to do it.

I completely agree with your last sentence. I also addressed that point in my previous post. I think that you will agree with me that the op has completely different goals in life than you. She does want to have a child. This is why my response was geared towards her. It obviously does not apply to you because it would be inane to suggest that you have sacrificed something you didn't even want. I hope you can see that.

Well, as far as our compatibility goes, you might be right there too!:laugh: Nevertheless, I believe that the only way you can judge someone is by meeting him/her. There is so much room for miscommunication via a written medium that one can rarely get a good idea about a given screenname. Notice that we are not really disagreeing on anything. I never said that a woman "must" have a child. There are some women who have reasons for not having a child and it often requires an understanding SO to discuss the reason behind it. You can't force a fear away. You must work through it. Neither did I define success by having a child, which is why I said that if you love someone, a child is not going to make or break a relationship. I agree with Freud that in any relationship your SO must be number one, and the child second - that's how a strong family forms and remains. Too many couples here are doing "all for the children" and they end up divorcing.

Anyway, maybe you can understand a little better what I meant. I don't mind discussing any of these issues, but I think that when it comes to the personal matters, it would be much better to discuss them via PM. Good night.
 

QofQuimica

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:confused:

Maybe I should have split my post into two because the only thing that applied to you was the first paragraph. Everything else was for the OP.
You're right, splitting it up would have helped. Your intent wasn't clear, because the third paragraph in your post was the one that started with, "OP", and you quoted my post, suggesting that you were responding to me specifically in the first two paragraphs.

This thread is not really about some of the things your brought up, but since they refer to me, I must address one of them.
No, there is no purpose for which you "must address" it. It's already been plenty addressed, which was the whole point in bringing it up. My intent was to use this bias of yours as additional support for my contention that a romantic relationship between you and me would be star-crossed from the getgo.

Most women have married and had children in the past for the very same reason they do to this day when they do have many other choices - it's called love.
Jeesus, I don't even know where to begin on you with this one. Have you never taken a class in world history, or even general American history/the history of whatever country you came from??? Marrying for love is a relatively new idea. For the vast majority of Western history (and Eastern too), people did *not* get married for love. Marriage was akin to a business transaction, undertaken for purposes like joining families for political reasons and improving one's financial and social position (as well as for producing heirs). These rationales for marriage are how we inherited customs such as giving dowries and inheritance of property and titles according to patrilineal descent. Even today, there are cultures which have arranged marriages.

I would be willing to bet you that if you took a survey of any population of women almost anywhere in the world, the vast majority would say that they married and had children because they wanted to. We don't have to go that far. Just create a poll right here on SDN if you think I am wrong. Women who give up great careers for their family aren't rare either. No one forces them to do it.
A survey on SDN would prove nothing because of the sampling bias. Women who read SDN are disproportionately American, well-educated, of higher socioeconomic class, and liberal in their cultural views. How do you propose that I go about interviewing poor and oppressed women in places like Saudi Arabia or Somalia? I think it's also fair to assume that all women who are members of SDN are living in the 21st century, and we would therefore have difficulty soliciting views from the women who lived in the early 1900s, never mind women who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. Maybe you're building a time machine for me?

I do think you're right that we should stop having these exchanges. Arguing with you is like the intellectual equivalent of clubbing baby seals on the head. :(
 

QofQuimica

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bkz said:
:laugh: :clap: I'm sorry, I have no business posting in this thread, but this cracked me up. Excelsius I would suggest that before posting again in this thread, you think about the following questions:
1) Do I have a uterus?
2) Am I over 30?

I like reading this forum from time to time, and I would prefer that we younger pre-meds did not get a bad rap for making such posts.

I recognize that your advice was made with good intentions. However it's puzzling that you see a difference between your convictions about what a woman should do with her life, based on your desire to avoid turning into the man your girlfriend broke up with, and other people's convictions, based on equally legitimate reasons. Other people were giving advice based upon their experiences...if you want to share your opinions about what you think women should do, other forums are more appropriate.
There is no rule against reading the nontrad forum if you're a trad. Men, women, young, old, anyone can post in this thread. Especially if you agree with me. :p
 

Winter Lily

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I didn't say or think anything about applying or not applying. I made a recommendation about handling the interview. I thought that's what you were asking for.
Yeah, but you can't ignore a question in an interview. It's really, really bad form. If you go into an application process with that intention, you may as well not apply.
 

vasca

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I would however like to add that nobody will baby step you during calls as an intern. They expect you to have the same stamina as everyone 10 years younger than you. It's only fair that we get hazed the same. :rolleyes:

You may meet Mr. Right in med school either as a fellow student (but given mos of your peers will be a lot younger and less mature..), or maybe a superior. ;) Still some nice single attendings out there! Heck, you could go bonkers over than eccentric lab tech guy. I get along nicely with a lot of the lab and r-xay tech guys.

You can work pregnant, though you'll probably be less comfortable running around the place when the 9th month is close.
 

CogitoA1

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OP,

You're dealing with a lot of unknowns. I would say three things:
1) Being in medical school is not a bar to meeting the right person and developing a relationship;
2) If at some point you encounter what you feel to be a choice between time with your family, and time with your career, make it then. You don't have enough data on yourself, or your future situation, to make such a decision at the moment;
3) So, no excuses for not making efforts to meet someone. You have time and opportunity. Go to medical school, make time for social functions, do the legwork, get to a gym if you think it'll help, and go for it.

Now about this other discussion in here...

Jeesus, I don't even know where to begin on you with this one. Have you never taken a class in world history, or even general American history/the history of whatever country you came from??? Marrying for love is a relatively new idea. For the vast majority of Western history (and Eastern too), people did *not* get married for love. Marriage was akin to a business transaction, undertaken for purposes like joining families for political reasons and improving one's financial and social position (as well as for producing heirs). These rationales for marriage are how we inherited customs such as giving dowries and inheritance of property and titles according to patrilineal descent. Even today, there are cultures which have arranged marriages.
Without wading into the other dynamic in this thread, I'd express partial disagreement with this. The notion or sentiment of romantic love has been in existence for a long, long time. It's conceivably a "relatively new idea" in geologic terms. The actual practice of marriage has, as you have pointed out, when circumstances forced the matter, been subject to various pressures and forces, including among some classes political considerations. As those other forces and pressures waned in importance, however, romantic satisfaction rose. And unless you believe that human beings are capable of creating entirely new emotions in the course of history, romantic attachment and desire has been an enduring part of the human condition.

I think Excelsius's point was that, overall, men and women have a general desire for stable romantic companionship, and have had so throughout history. As with all desires, though, other circumstances and forces can require compromise, or complete unfulfillment, on the matter.

So, you are each partially correct.

A survey on SDN would prove nothing because of the sampling bias. Women who read SDN are disproportionately American, well-educated, of higher socioeconomic class, and liberal in their cultural views. How do you propose that I go about interviewing poor and oppressed women in places like Saudi Arabia or Somalia?
Yes, your point regarding the lack of liberty afforded to women in such countries is well taken.

But, looking to the larger issue, remember that your original point was that women only chose marriage historically because of a dearth of other options. So we would expect, then, if we limited our sample to women raised to be independent, with numerous options, that the proportion of women who desired marriage would be lower. If in fact the proportion is still quite high, then that would be a mark in favor of Excelsius's underlying contention that women generally prefer to have a marriage, even if he is incorrect in assuming that the PARTICULAR marriages in which oppressed women find themselves are desired by those women.
 

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Yeah, but you can't ignore a question in an interview. It's really, really bad form. If you go into an application process with that intention, you may as well not apply.
I was pregnant when I interviewed, it came up in a kind of casual sort of way, I side stepped the question both times, and I got in. You absolutely CAN ignore the question, or give a vague answer, and it's not bad form at all. If someone's asking those kinds of questions, THAT'S bad form.
 

BennieBlanco

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Marriage is a scary proposition for a dude.

This thread makes it scarier.
 

Excelsius

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You're right, splitting it up would have helped. Your intent wasn't clear, because the third paragraph in your post was the one that started with, "OP", and you quoted my post, suggesting that you were responding to me specifically in the first two paragraphs.


No, there is no purpose for which you "must address" it. It's already been plenty addressed, which was the whole point in bringing it up. My intent was to use this bias of yours as additional support for my contention that a romantic relationship between you and me would be star-crossed from the getgo.


Jeesus, I don't even know where to begin on you with this one. Have you never taken a class in world history, or even general American history/the history of whatever country you came from??? Marrying for love is a relatively new idea. For the vast majority of Western history (and Eastern too), people did *not* get married for love. Marriage was akin to a business transaction, undertaken for purposes like joining families for political reasons and improving one's financial and social position (as well as for producing heirs). These rationales for marriage are how we inherited customs such as giving dowries and inheritance of property and titles according to patrilineal descent. Even today, there are cultures which have arranged marriages.


A survey on SDN would prove nothing because of the sampling bias. Women who read SDN are disproportionately American, well-educated, of higher socioeconomic class, and liberal in their cultural views. How do you propose that I go about interviewing poor and oppressed women in places like Saudi Arabia or Somalia? I think it's also fair to assume that all women who are members of SDN are living in the 21st century, and we would therefore have difficulty soliciting views from the women who lived in the early 1900s, never mind women who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. Maybe you're building a time machine for me?

I do think you're right that we should stop having these exchanges. Arguing with you is like the intellectual equivalent of clubbing baby seals on the head. :(
CogitoA1 already gave an eloquent response to some of your comments. I will only add that I did not say that all women throughout history have married for love. Freud alone had some cases where the wife was accused of "hysteria" whereas in fact it was the result of unhappy marriage with no way out and/or a lot of sexual repressions...

You know, based on what I know about you and the things you have done in the past, I am somewhat surprised by some of the things you keep reiterating and arguing. You say this is an argument, but I am not even trying to argue with you. All I am saying is that we might have a different point of view on few things in life. Why then come out and try to argue that somehow my point of view is not right? Did I say anything to you about the morality of your opinions? No. The argument is very one sided because I don't particularly disagree with anything you say, but you are trying to find a point of dissent. Why is that? I mention about the prevalence of love in true relationships, and you bring up some country in the Middle East or Africa. Do you really think that adds anything to your argument at all? Or do you think that no one knows that there are some cultures who could kill a woman if she dances in public or mutilate her genitals as a "tradition"? If you believe in evolution, then if you go far enough, you might find that we were monkeys. Are you going to survey Neanderthal females about love to prove your point? How about mutilated women? Ironically, I can prove to you that the real sampling bias would be in your own suggested samples, not mine. Your reasons for bringing up these weak, dilapidated "arguments" seem to be just for the sake of the argument. I mean you come up with something that I don't disagree with, present it as if I do disagree with it, and then go on to argue and imply how your opinion is right and therefore I am lacking morality or intelligence!

Baby seals are helpless and vulnerable. If you are trying to proselytize me, a club is not going to help you. What you really need are rational arguments, open-mindedness, and not taking every said word out of context as an insult to your personal or cultural background. I am very open minded and don't have a problem admitting my mistake given good, logical arguments. It feels good to learn something new, even while being excoriated. Fool for the moment all the way! Still, I have yet to see anything of value in this thread. That doesn't incite my curiosity to enter a debate, even though apparently an occasional poster gets pretty worked up on the sidelines by a vicarious self-stimulation:thumbup:.

To the person who suggested that my advice is wrong or irrelevant because I don't have a uterus and I am not over 30 - no comment there! You deleted your own post for good a reason.

Some of the discussion here is reminiscent of 1.Old, dysfunctional couples arguing about nothing, 2. High school freshman drama. All is good. I take these about as personally as I take eschatology.

There is some tension in this thread. Some of it could be sexual too. I suggest a digression from digression and a distension:

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv94m_S3QDo[/YOUTUBE]
 
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I was pregnant when I interviewed, it came up in a kind of casual sort of way, I side stepped the question both times, and I got in. You absolutely CAN ignore the question, or give a vague answer, and it's not bad form at all. If someone's asking those kinds of questions, THAT'S bad form.
If this happens to you at your interview just say "I'm not pregnant, just a little chubby." Then start to cry a little bit.

They will feel so bad they will probably let you in right there...
 

Winter Lily

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If this happens to you at your interview just say "I'm not pregnant, just a little chubby." Then start to cry a little bit.

They will feel so bad they will probably let you in right there...
Brilliant! I wish I could have thought of that!

Also, this completely made my night. :D
 

QofQuimica

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Without wading into the other dynamic in this thread, I'd express partial disagreement with this. The notion or sentiment of romantic love has been in existence for a long, long time. It's conceivably a "relatively new idea" in geologic terms. The actual practice of marriage has, as you have pointed out, when circumstances forced the matter, been subject to various pressures and forces, including among some classes political considerations. As those other forces and pressures waned in importance, however, romantic satisfaction rose. And unless you believe that human beings are capable of creating entirely new emotions in the course of history, romantic attachment and desire has been an enduring part of the human condition.
No, I don't think that human beings created new emotions. I am saying that the driving reasons for why human beings get *married* has changed over time, and only recently has it been mainly for the purpose of romantic love. In other words, human beings have created new cultural mores over time, and romantic love being essential in marriage is one of them. The change didn't happen all that long ago. See for example, this paper, which describes a study where the authors found that women in the 1960s were more willing to get married for reasons other than romantic love compared to women in the 1980s. That's an attitudinal change in *one generation*.

I think Excelsius's point was that, overall, men and women have a general desire for stable romantic companionship, and have had so throughout history. As with all desires, though, other circumstances and forces can require compromise, or complete unfulfillment, on the matter.

So, you are each partially correct.
That wasn't what I took away from his post at all. And I'm not sure that I agree with this idea of people historically wanting "stable" romantic relationships, although I'll concede that *modern* people do want this. My point of contention is that romantic love was historically often found outside of marriage. In other words, you marry the person you have to marry, then have affairs on the side based on romantic love. (Let's face it, even in modern times when people marry more often for love, extramarital love affairs have that extra quality of romanticism that intramarital love lacks.)

But, looking to the larger issue, remember that your original point was that women only chose marriage historically because of a dearth of other options. So we would expect, then, if we limited our sample to women raised to be independent, with numerous options, that the proportion of women who desired marriage would be lower.
It *is* lower. Some stats based upon the US 2000 Census:

Marriage and Family

51% The percentage of women 15 years old and over in 2000 who were married and living with their spouse. Of the rest, 25 percent had never married, 10 percent were divorced, 2 percent were separated and 10 percent were widowed.

25.0 years The median age at first marriage for women in 1998, more than four years older than the 20.8 years just a generation ago (1970).

22% The proportion in 1998 of 30- to 34-year-old women who had never married triple the rate in 1970 (6 percent). Similarly, the proportion of never-married women increased from 5 percent to 14 percent for 35-to-39 year olds over the period.

15.3 million The number of women living alone in 1998, double the number in 1970 7.3 million.

9.8 million The number of single mothers in 1998, an increase of 6.4 million since 1970.

30.2 million The number of households in 1998 about 3 in 10 maintained by women with no husband present. In 1970, there were 13.4 million such households, about 2 in 10.

1.9 The average number of children women 40 to 44 years old in 1998 had by the end of their childbearing years. This contrasts sharply with women in 1976, who averaged 3.1 births.

19% The proportion of all women ages 40 to 44 who were childless in 1998, up from 10 percent in 1976. During the same time, those with four or more children declined from 36 percent to 10 percent.
So, American women are marrying later (or not at all), divorcing more frequently, becoming single mothers more frequently, having children later (if at all), and having fewer children when they do have them.

If in fact the proportion is still quite high, then that would be a mark in favor of Excelsius's underlying contention that women generally prefer to have a marriage, even if he is incorrect in assuming that the PARTICULAR marriages in which oppressed women find themselves are desired by those women.
That's a pretty ambiguous (and therefore unfair) standard to hold me to. First of all, how do you define "quite high?" Is the 51% of married American women "quite high?" Particularly when you compare it to statistics from even 30 years ago, I'd argue that it isn't. In addition, the circumstances and forces you mentioned before still operate. They may be less powerful, but they're still there. My guess is that the 51% would be even lower if there were no societal expectation whatsoever for women to get married.

You know, based on what I know about you and the things you have done in the past, I am somewhat surprised by some of the things you keep reiterating and arguing. You say this is an argument, but I am not even trying to argue with you.
I don't mean that kind of argument. I'm talking about having an argument in the logical sense, not in the personal sense. In other words, a debate, where you take up one position and I take up another one.

All I am saying is that we might have a different point of view on few things in life. Why then come out and try to argue that somehow my point of view is not right?
Well, if we have different points of view, then I must necessarily think that yours is wrong. :)

Did I say anything to you about the morality of your opinions? No.
No. Nor did I say anything to you about the morality of *your* opinions. Not sure what this has to do with anything. :confused:

The argument is very one sided because I don't particularly disagree with anything you say, but you are trying to find a point of dissent. Why is that?
Because we're having an argument. In other words, we're debating our points of view, because I *do* disagree with some things you say.

I mention about the prevalence of love in true relationships, and you bring up some country in the Middle East or Africa. Do you really think that adds anything to your argument at all? Or do you think that no one knows that there are some cultures who could kill a woman if she dances in public or mutilate her genitals as a "tradition"?
The reason I brought up other cultures is because you did. To quote your previous post (emphasis is mine):

Excelsius said:
I would be willing to bet you that if you took a survey of any population of women almost anywhere in the world, the vast majority would say that they married and had children because they wanted to.
If you wanted to limit the debate to American women, then why did you invite me to survey women almost anywhere in the world?

If you believe in evolution, then if you go far enough, you might find that we were monkeys.
Suggesting that we were ever monkeys shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what the theory of evolution says. According to evolutionary theory, monkeys are our far, far-removed cousins descended from a common ape ancestor; thus, we were *never* monkeys.

Are you going to survey Neanderthal females about love to prove your point? How about mutilated women?
My point is that I *can't* sample these women, and therefore I can't meet the conditions you outlined before (i.e., surveying any population of women almost anywhere in the world).

Ironically, I can prove to you that the real sampling bias would be in your own suggested samples, not mine.
Please do. I can't imagine how you could, but I'd enjoy seeing you prove me wrong.

Your reasons for bringing up these weak, dilapidated "arguments" seem to be just for the sake of the argument.
Well, yeah. I mean, the reason why you argue (debate) things is for the sake of the argument. It's not like I'm hoping to save the world through debate or something.

I mean you come up with something that I don't disagree with, present it as if I do disagree with it, and then go on to argue and imply how your opinion is right and therefore I am lacking morality or intelligence!
I'm not trying to make an argument where none exists; I genuinely don't think you agree with me. I certainly don't agree with you! Not sure why you concluded that I think you lack intelligence, although I do think you lack information (education). That's not the same thing. Suggesting that I think you lack morality is completely off base. Just because I disagree with your opinion doesn't mean I think you're an immoral person. :confused:

Baby seals are helpless and vulnerable. If you are trying to proselytize me, a club is not going to help you.
No, I'm not trying to proselytize you. I'm trying to say that sometimes I feel like I'm attacking a defenseless creature when I discuss things with you.

What you really need are rational arguments, open-mindedness, and not taking every said word out of context as an insult to your personal or cultural background.
I'd argue that my arguments *are* rational, and I am making some attempt to support them with evidence (although admittedly wiki is not the most reliable source out there). If you would do the same to help support your opinions, that would be awesome. Seriously. Whatever info you're using, link it to your posts so that I can read it too.

Also, I do not think anything you are saying is an insult to my personal or cultural background. Good arguments (debates) are, by their very nature, impersonal and rational. (Note that this does not preclude them being heated, which is not the same thing!) I have my opinions. You have yours. You present your position and argue for it, and I do the same. Granted that discussing opinions with people may not change anyone's mind, but it often gives you something to think about, even if it only forces you to re-examine your own point of view and confirm that you still hold it.

As a point of curiosity, if you find no value in arguing with me, then why do you continue to do it?
 

Revilla

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Oh boy. For starters, it's expensive. Really, really expensive. Second, depending on your background and values, the two just aren't comparable. Some people really want to experience pregnancy. For others, it's about blood. If nothing else, the whole DNA-as-secular-soul trope is so pervasive that most of us buy it simply because we don't even know it's there.

Third -- and here's the part that we should really focus on -- what about the birth mothers and birth families? Affluent Westerners seem to forget that adoption fundamentally relies on exploitation. These days, some of that exploitation is interracial, but it's increasingly international.

I smell a threadjack coming. I'll go start a new thread and edit in the location.
I have a completely different view of adoption. Can it be exploitative? Yes. But when done with good intentions on both sides, it can be a beautiful thing. There are so many kids out there who need homes and parents to love them and support them, particularly siblings, who are sometimes separated in the process. I just can't see a negative side to adopting a child through a legal adoption, whether it's an infant or an older child.
 

Revilla

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I think this is a self-serving fantasy.
That's kind of harsh. Do you have intimate knowledge of or experience with the adoption process? Because if not, I don't think you can make such a statement.

There's just no evidence for it and it lets people who share the adoptive parents' status avoid the fact that they and/or their friends are exploiting a very vulerable group of people. Ask yourself this: how many American birthmothers willingly relinquish their children multiple times? After all, if relinquishing a child is so beautiful for the birth mother, then wouldn't you see it done multiple times?
Again, unless you've been through the process or have intimate knowledge of it, I don't think you can make such a statement. At least not with any credibility. There are birth mothers out there who got pregnant at 15 and don't WANT their baby. There are birth mothers who were raped and can't bring themselves to raise the child of their rapist. There are birth mothers who simply don't want to raise children. Why would you imply that every birth mother is somehow exploited or forced into giving her baby up for adoption? And for you to say there's no evidence for the wonderful things adoption can do, you're just plain wrong. There's no other way to say that. You're wrong. There's plenty of evidence that adoption works. Just ask any of the millions of adults who were adopted as children.

And even if she never gets another unintended pregnancy, wouldn't she want to eventually adopt a child herself? And why are there so many children who need homes? Isn't it because your or your friends children are coming because someone else can't afford children of their own?
A lot of times, mothers give their babies up for the reasons I mentioned above. They're not forced to. They CHOOSE to. Should we let those kids grow up in foster homes or an orphanage?

Birthmothers almost never willingly participate in adoption twice: the best available evidence domestically suggests that it's well under 1%. Overseas it varies by nation, but in the countries I'm familiar with, the numbers are the same. If they wind up with a second unintended pregnancy, they keep the child or have an abortion.
Those facts are so skewed, I'm surprised you want to pass them off as evidence of your argument. First, a 15-year-old who gets pregnant is likely to give the baby up. But when she gets pregnant again at 25, she's more likely to keep the baby. Second, a woman who's raped is likely to give the baby up. But when she gets pregnant again years later by her husband, she's likely to keep the baby. Deducing that adoption is a bad thing because women rarely give two babies up is faulty logic, IMO.

As for the last question, with international adoptions, it's because of our refusal to adequately address injustices stemming from colonialism and globalism. In domestic adoptions it's because of an punitive justice system and because of substance abuse programs just don't work. (In fact, European research suggests that psychological talk and group therapies are nothing more than placeboes. I find it odd that the American psychological establishment has such a stranglehold on research that you can't even ask the question here.)

I don't think Americans can really see things from birth mothers and birth family's perspectives, particularly in international adoptions, because America doesn't have the history of colonialism that Europe has. And because America has a different history with adoption and human trafficking than in Europe. As a result, most Americans can't really consider things from the birth mother and birth family's perspective. Adoption is hallowed ground for a few reasons. One has to do with the adoption industry's PR and lobbying. Because they work for the adoptive parents, better off the adoptive parents are, the better off they are. Second, relinquishing a child is about choosing not to be a mother -- which is very icky in a pro-natalist society like ours. And I suspect it's icky for the same reason why abortion is so inflammatory: both are about refusing motherhood.
Honestly, until I heard from you, I never considered adoption inflammatory and I still don't. I think your comments are incredibly cynical and not really rooted in objective research.

If you want to pursue an international adoption, do what the birth family really wants you do: bring her to America as your nanny. Whether you're in China or Ukraine, every birth mother says the same thing: "Why can't I get adopted too?" They're not kidding. And it's only fair.
This right here proves my point about your lack of research. Most of the babies adopted from China are girls. There's a reason for that and it has absolutely nothing to do with poverty or the birth mother wanting to "nanny."
 

Excelsius

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Not sure why you concluded that I think you lack intelligence, although I do think you lack information (education). That's not the same thing. Suggesting that I think you lack morality is completely off base. Just because I disagree with your opinion doesn't mean I think you're an immoral person.
...
I'm trying to say that sometimes I feel like I'm attacking a defenseless creature when I discuss things with you.
...
Just checking. Good then. Your intentions were not completely clear. I'll have to respond to your arguments later this week. Meanwhile, take a look at your last sentence about defenselessness. Can you guess why that is the case? I'll give you up to two tries.

Edit: I am also curious about the enantiomer of LSA by MP.
 
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CogitoA1

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Several observations:

(1) It doesn't matter how hard you try: by using and thinking in a certain language, you're forced to internalize your culture's definition of success. You can go to therapy on a daily basis, and it won't make an iota of difference. (Frankly, because I come from another culture and am familiar with the European experimental research on psychological therapies. But I digress.) Language may be open-textured and elastic, but not a loosely knit scarf made of rubber bands. At the end of the day, it's tied to -- and cannot overcome -- the concrete reality it's tied to. If your culture and/or family defines "success" as "being both a doctor and a mother" and you're none of the above, you'll see yourself as a failure -- particularly when they really do view you as a failure.
Well... I think your observation misses, or at the very least underemphasizes, the fact that a complex, diverse, modern culture can have many different criteria and definitions of success. I think that this is particularly so in American culture. What Americans do value, in all things, is achievement of one's goals, or at the very least an authentic and if necessary hard striving after those goals. As far as the goals themselves, we're fairly open to a wide range of possibilities. Motherhood and doctor, and either or both, are possibilities.

(2) Lawyers are a bad example. The legal profession fosters depression for a number of reasons, including the fact that it's obsessed with means/ends reasoning. The journey really does matter more than the destination.
Not quite sure what you mean when you say lawyers are obsessed with means/ends reasoning. Can you expand on this?
 

CogitoA1

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No, I don't think that human beings created new emotions. I am saying that the driving reasons for why human beings get *married* has changed over time, and only recently has it been mainly for the purpose of romantic love. In other words, human beings have created new cultural mores over time, and romantic love being essential in marriage is one of them. The change didn't happen all that long ago. See for example, this paper, which describes a study where the authors found that women in the 1960s were more willing to get married for reasons other than romantic love compared to women in the 1980s. That's an attitudinal change in *one generation*.
It's impossible to assess that study from the abstract. Assuming arguendo that it is true, the study doesn't quite make your point regarding whether women get married "mainly for romantic love." The study argues that more women today than in the 1960s view romantic love as a necessary condition to marriage. But the study did NOT argue that attitudes changed with respect to the desireability of romantic love in marriage, or that attitudes changed with respect to whether romantic love was the largest motivator towards marriage. That is, it may be that an equal proportion of women in both generations viewed romantic love as a desireable component of marriage, perhaps the most desireable component of marriage, but a lower proportion of women in the later generation were willing to get married--at least at the age surveyed--without it.

Indeed, it may even be that the women surveyed in the 1960s believed that romantic love is something that could grow within a marriage, and so their attitude about pre-marital romantic love was less about the importance of romantic love to marriage, and more a view as to how and when romantic love develops. Given, perhaps, more limited opportunities, or greater obstacles to, knowing their potential marital partners intimately pre-marriage, they believed that they could also rely on an observed potential for romantic love in selecting a husband.

That wasn't what I took away from his post at all. And I'm not sure that I agree with this idea of people historically wanting "stable" romantic relationships, although I'll concede that *modern* people do want this. My point of contention is that romantic love was historically often found outside of marriage. In other words, you marry the person you have to marry, then have affairs on the side based on romantic love. (Let's face it, even in modern times when people marry more often for love, extramarital love affairs have that extra quality of romanticism that intramarital love lacks.)
Well... but if we look at popular expressions of what is viewed to be the ideal marriage from the last 400 years, or more, it involves romantic love. In practice, I agree with you. People married early, without sufficient time to fully know one another, and without the option of divorce; and so it stands to reason that a large proportion, to find romantic love, eventually had to seek outside the marriage. But that wasn't the ideal or the desired outcome.

It *is* lower. Some stats based upon the US 2000 Census:

So, American women are marrying later (or not at all), divorcing more frequently, becoming single mothers more frequently, having children later (if at all), and having fewer children when they do have them.
Just to be clear, the "it" in your sentence refers to the "proportion of women who desire marriage." But in relying on the statistics you offered, you're again conflating what is DESIRED with what happens in practice. American women ARE marrying later, and a lower proportion--apparently--get married. That doesn't necessarily tell us anything about what is desired though.

Even so, 78% of American women aged 30-34 either are or have been married. 86% of American women aged 35-39 either are or have been married. That's an extremely high proportion. If we polled those women who did NOT get married, I wonder how many would say that, but for the lack of X, they would have preferred to get married.

Now, I'd also like to be clear. I'm not saying that all women desire marriage. And I'm not saying that marriage is a necessary component of happiness. I'm simply commenting on, generally, what is desired.
 

QofQuimica

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Just checking. Good then. Your intentions were not completely clear. I'll have to respond to your arguments later this week. Meanwhile, take a look at your last sentence about defenselessness. Can you guess why that is the case? I'll give you up to two tries.
1) I really am attacking you (true, in the sense that I am attacking your ideas)
2) You really are defenseless (possibly true, we'll see what you come up with)
3) Both of the above.

I'm inclined to go for #3. My apologies for overshooting my number of chances. ;)

Edit: I am also curious about the enantiomer of LSA by MP.
Sorry, I'm not sure what you're asking here. (I'm assuming you're talking to me still!) Are you asking about the possibility of differentiating enantiomers by melting point? No, they would have the same MP.

It's impossible to assess that study from the abstract. Assuming arguendo that it is true, the study doesn't quite make your point regarding whether women get married "mainly for romantic love." The study argues that more women today than in the 1960s view romantic love as a necessary condition to marriage. But the study did NOT argue that attitudes changed with respect to the desireability of romantic love in marriage, or that attitudes changed with respect to whether romantic love was the largest motivator towards marriage. That is, it may be that an equal proportion of women in both generations viewed romantic love as a desireable component of marriage, perhaps the most desireable component of marriage, but a lower proportion of women in the later generation were willing to get married--at least at the age surveyed--without it.

Indeed, it may even be that the women surveyed in the 1960s believed that romantic love is something that could grow within a marriage, and so their attitude about pre-marital romantic love was less about the importance of romantic love to marriage, and more a view as to how and when romantic love develops. Given, perhaps, more limited opportunities, or greater obstacles to, knowing their potential marital partners intimately pre-marriage, they believed that they could also rely on an observed potential for romantic love in selecting a husband.

Well... but if we look at popular expressions of what is viewed to be the ideal marriage from the last 400 years, or more, it involves romantic love. In practice, I agree with you. People married early, without sufficient time to fully know one another, and without the option of divorce; and so it stands to reason that a large proportion, to find romantic love, eventually had to seek outside the marriage. But that wasn't the ideal or the desired outcome.

Just to be clear, the "it" in your sentence refers to the "proportion of women who desire marriage." But in relying on the statistics you offered, you're again conflating what is DESIRED with what happens in practice. American women ARE marrying later, and a lower proportion--apparently--get married. That doesn't necessarily tell us anything about what is desired though.

Even so, 78% of American women aged 30-34 either are or have been married. 86% of American women aged 35-39 either are or have been married. That's an extremely high proportion. If we polled those women who did NOT get married, I wonder how many would say that, but for the lack of X, they would have preferred to get married.

Now, I'd also like to be clear. I'm not saying that all women desire marriage. And I'm not saying that marriage is a necessary component of happiness. I'm simply commenting on, generally, what is desired.
Again, you are holding me to an unreasonable standard of evidence while providing none of your own. Short of someone conducting a study specifically asking women now and in previous eras whether they view romantic love as important/necessary/nice to have but not necessary/not very important/irrelevant in an "ideal" marriage, our only choice is to use a proxy endpoint of some type to infer their views. Concerning the stats quoted, I am indeed using the number of women who get/stay married and have children as my proxy for the number who would like to get married and/or have children. No doubt you are correct that there are some who don't marry who would have liked to marry. But conversely, there will also be some who do marry when they would rather not have.

I would make the same argument in favor of using women's reports of their willingness to marry without the requirement of romantic love in the study I quoted. I would further argue that the study *does* support my assertion that cultural views on romantic love indeed change over time. Never mind that in the past, people married younger and didn't know one another well; if they were in arranged marriages, they might well not have known each other *at all* before their wedding day. As you've pointed out, they could still have wished they could marry someone they loved, although it's hard to have these wishes if the concept of romantic love doesn't really exist in your society period.

The thought has occurred to me that we may not mean the same thing by "romantic love." This guy, who appears to be some kind of lecturer at UMN, is getting at the definition I'm arguing for (second part on definition, and my apologies in advance for the shameless plugs for his book in various parts of his essay.)

You keep going back to this point of what is desired by women regarding romantic love and marriage. But I don't think that you, Cogito, have any way to know what women desire from marriage beyond possibly extrapolating from your own feelings about love and marriage (or those reported by your acquaintances). In other words, do you have a proxy that you think gets at what women desire better than the ones I have proposed? And (assuming you're a guy), if you do really know what women desire, you're way ahead of 99.9999999999% of your compatriots. :p
 

Revilla

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Winter Lily, you make some decent points. It's a pity you can't express them in a respectful way. As a general rule, I don't engage with people who make incorrect assumptions and presume to think they know more than everyone else about a topic. Now go ahead and have the last word.
 

Nanon

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Winter Lily, you make some decent points. It's a pity you can't express them in a respectful way. As a general rule, I don't engage with people who make incorrect assumptions and presume to think they know more than everyone else about a topic. Now go ahead and have the last word.
:thumbup:
 

Winter Lily

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Winter Lily, you make some decent points. It's a pity you can't express them in a respectful way. As a general rule, I don't engage with people who make incorrect assumptions and presume to think they know more than everyone else about a topic. Now go ahead and have the last word.
Where were my assumptions incorrect? And where did I "presume" to know more than "everyone else"? If my knowledge or arguments are wrong, it should be pretty easy for you, with your self-proclaimed expertise in adoption issues, to demonstrate it, no?

The problem is that you can't come up with legitimate responses to my argument, so you feel like it's ok to come up with a holier-than-thou ad hom. Hypocrisy much?

Frankly, some people and some ideas just don't deserve respect. And when people demonstrate hypocrisy and ignorance, they fall squarely in that category.
 
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