The childfree movement has strengthened in Russia, sociologists stated. According to polls, 6% of the country's population consciously refuses to reproduce. Is it worth expecting a wave of popularity of the movement, how its adherents justify their choice and why one should not be afraid of a decline in demographic indicators, the correspondents of the Moscow 24 TV channel found out.
The All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM) conducted a poll among 1,200 Russians in December. 6% of the respondents admitted that they do not want to have children at all. At the same time, as the authors of the study emphasized, 12 years ago, none of the respondents declared their adherence to the childfree movement (“free from children”).
"I am a reasonable man" Kirill Zenchev is going to get married, but does not think about children. His position upset his parents, who wanted grandchildren, but he was not going to continue the family in principle.
"Well, why should my family be continued? Why is it better or worse than others?" - says Cyril. He sees nothing wrong with choosing to live without his own children: "[This is] the same option as all other opportunities in life."
Helgus and Victoria Novye, active members of the Russian childfree community, explain their choice differently. By refusing to reproduce, they avoid problems in advance in case they decide to divorce. The 33-year-old man came to the idea of childfree, reflecting on the future after the divorce: "Problems begin there with alimony, with how often you will need to see the child." If there are no children, there will be no problems, he is sure.
His wife Victoria admits that, in principle, she has not been drawn to children since the time when she was little: "I somehow sat on the sidelines and read my books. And so far it has remained that way."
Tattoo artist Ekaterina Maslova also decided early to abandon procreation at the age of 15. Observing the everyday life of families with children, she realized that she did not want to live the same way. “I am a reasonable person. The brain, not physiology, regulates such moments,” Ekaterina told the Moscow 24 TV channel. The girl is sure that she will not change her mind.
They will change their minds Demographer Anatoly Vishnevsky doubts that the position of childfree adherents is so durable. He is sure that there is no tendency towards a massive rejection of procreation, on the contrary, fertility rates are even increasing.
People make this decision because they are afraid of divorce, financial difficulties, says psychologist Vladimir Fainzilburg. In his opinion, childfree supporters have no malice. "What kind of children can we talk about when we have a huge number of children living with one mother, with a Sunday dad at best?" - emphasizes the specialist.
In addition, people often consider themselves to be adherents of childfree because of the desire to join at least some subculture, noted Valery Elizarov, scientific director of the Center for the Study of Population Problems at the Faculty of Economics of Moscow State University: "You cannot get into another subculture - you get into this one."
All or nothing The head of the research department of VTsIOM Stepan Lvov stated: yes, childfree has appeared in Russia. At the same time, sociologists have identified a different trend: the number of Russians who want to have four children or more has doubled since 2005. "A tendency is emerging that the reproduction of the population will take place not at the expense of a large number of small families (one or two children), but at the expense of a greater number of children in large families," Lvov notes.
One example is the family of Anastasia Andrievskaya. She and her husband have three children. The woman gave birth to her first child at the age of 29. In an interview with the correspondents of the Moscow 24 TV channel, she admitted that she had never doubted whether she wanted to have children. Every time the maternal instinct works.
"A baby is born. At first you do not know how to swaddle, what to do with him. Then literally after a while, as if he had always done it," Anastasia admits. Now she is considering whether to have a fourth child.