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Old 03-15-2010, 06:15 PM
Status: "am I the only sane one in this crazy world?" (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: Griffin, Georgia
659 posts, read 997,321 times
Reputation: 554
Default Is "you must have kids" a Southern thing?

As someone who has never lived outside the South, I've always wondered about the attitudes and culture of other regions. One thing I have noticed is that you are "expected" to want to have kids or there is something wrong with you, also if you are a woman you are expected to be married by 25 (apologies for the exaggerations and all) I don't see why people can't get any gratification for adopting/sponsoring/fostering children as much as if theyd had their own. I think caring about the needy children that are already here instead of pursuing some Darwinian need to breed is a great thing. (look at how many needy children are in Haiti or Chile right now.) Do Northern people think "you HAVE to have kids and get married real young" this prevelently? What about other regions? I hear that the midwest has some pretty provincial ideas, but Ive never been there. Thanks.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Home of the best seafood
619 posts, read 767,679 times
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I have no idea, but i'm 29 w/o children and don't plan on having any.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
403 posts, read 1,000,641 times
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I think you are sterotyping.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,459 posts, read 3,884,032 times
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It may be a small-town thing, or a certain-people-you-know thing. Not everything that happens in the South happens because it's in the South. I don't know if it happens as often Up North as it does in the South, because the only time I lived Up North for any period of time I was at a very very Catholic college, and we were expected to have children only after marriage and then great bunches of them.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
24,713 posts, read 15,922,754 times
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You can't put this into the South column. Before feminism and even after many people thought a woman was not fulfilled unless she married and had kids. It is more a product of times and generations and not geography. Also only childrebn were regarded as oddities.

Now single women are more accepted, couples are more free to announce they don't plan to have kids and no one bats an eye at only children.

Still some backwards people in the South and all over think a woman is an old maid if she is not married by age 25. How sad.....I have raised my 3 daughters to know they can have full and happy lives without being married or without kids. I just want them to follow their own course and contribute more than they take.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:10 AM
 
41,751 posts, read 46,377,789 times
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Although many have accused the OP of stereotyping, it's statistically true that age of marriage and having children is a regional thing. Northeastern people marry older than the rest of the country. The South has the lowest percentage of unmarried couple households (meaning marriage is prefered over 'living together' in the South.) Interestingly, the South has the highest percentage of births to unmarried mothers. That might be due to less abortions because of religious beliefs.

Quote:
Estimated Median Age at First Marriage (MAFM) and Coupled Households
The estimated median age at first marriage (MAFM) in the United States for 2000-2003 was 27 and 25 years old for men and women respectively. The MAFM for men and women was higher than the national averages in the Northeast.i The MAFM for men and women was lower than the national averages in the Midwest, West and South. States in the West and Midwest had a higher percentage of married couples compared with the national average (50.6 percent). Scattered states in the West and the South had a lower percentage of married couples as compared with the national average. States in the West, and a few states in the Northeast had a higher percentage of unmarried partner households than the national average. Most states in the South had a lower percentage of unmarried partner households compared with the national average.

Indicators of Marriage and Fertility in the United States from the American Community Survey: 2000 to 2003
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:14 AM
 
Location: Texas
27,843 posts, read 22,406,959 times
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It's a worldwide thing.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:21 AM
 
41,751 posts, read 46,377,789 times
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Here's more proof that the South marries younger than the Northeast:

Quote:
Census data on teenage marriage, from 1998, showed that only 1 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds had ever been married. But the rates were higher among 18- and 19-year-olds — 6.5 percent for white women, 13.4 percent for Hispanic women — and they vary by region, with higher rates in the South and lower rates in the Northeast. Experts say that teenage marriage tends to be more common in religious and immigrant families, particularly among Hispanics, and more common in so-called red states like Alaska.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/04/fa...4marriage.html
Quote:
The percentage of young adults (ages 20-24) who were married in 2006 varies by region, from 9.3% in the Northeast to 41.6% in the South.

http://nahic.ucsf.edu/downloads/Demographics08.pdf
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:13 AM
 
2,019 posts, read 2,505,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc2sweet4ne1 View Post
I think you are sterotyping.
I don't think the OP was stereotyping; they were simply relating their experience and were curious what others see in their environment.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:36 AM
 
4,775 posts, read 7,568,001 times
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I know where I grew up in Oklahoma it was common for teens to get pregnant, and often get married, whether pregnant or not. A lot of kids never even graduated high school. Getting married seemed like so much more fun to them. I moved away as a teenager and came back for a visit at the age of 18, and was astonished at how many people would ask me, "are you married?" and I'd respond, "no", and they'd then ask "divorced?" and by then I was gaping. Where I live in the northeast, people marry much later. I married at 23, and even that was considered young. If I were going to ask an 18 year old here a personal question, I'd ask what college they went to, not if they were married or divorced. I agree it's often regional.
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