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How to Be Childless – A History and Philosophy of Life Without Children - Oxford Scholarship Online
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How to Be Childless: A History and Philosophy of Life Without Children

Rachel Chrastil


Childless uncovers the voices and experiences of childless women from the past 500 years and puts them in conversation with research from a broad range of disciplines, from psychology to philosophy to sociology. It addresses two main questions: What are the pathways to childlessness, and how do childless individuals flourish? Eschewing two dominant narratives—that the childless are either barren and alone or that they are carefree and selfish—it views childless individuals as complicated human beings with nuanced life stories. The pathways to childlessness, so often labeled simply “choice” and ... More

Keywords: childless, childlessness, voluntary childlessness, childless by choice, history, United States, France, Britain, Germany

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190918620
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190918620.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rachel Chrastil, author
Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History, Xavier University

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