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Advertising is all about the money and doesn't really reflect the values of individuals so much as it reflect what advertisers want from consumers. I have a love-hate attitude toward marketing. I find the psychology behind it absolutely fascinating (if extremely manipulative and somewhat evil) while simultaneously being horrified at how well it often works. Marketing tells us what to think and far too often we blindly agree.

True, and that's why I specified that these were ads for attractions and events, which tend toward more of an announcement of what's available than an ad for a consumer product might. Farmer's markets, malls, historical sites. My boss does some advertising, and despite knowing me he gets stuck in the "family friendly" thought process. Once I had to stop him from calling a river "family oriented".  How exactly does a river orient itself around the needs of canoeing families, it's a river!  He ended up saying it was fun for all ages instead.

I was just thinking that if pushed, people might be surprised at their actual reasons for believing that baby-making is a given. Reasons that wouldn't be the first that come to mind on the topic, more what they would think if they, well, actually stopped and thought about it.

This is a really good thought, and just as valid a question for parents to answer as non-parents. I think a lot of it has to do simply with the rather recent availability of effective contraception and independence for women (it's been less than 100 years since we gained the right to vote in the US).  My own mother is only a few years older than the birth control pill. Even with effective contraception there are accidental pregnancies, both of my sisters have had pregnancies while on BC.

Society still hasn't caught up to these developments in a lot of ways. Being just a generation removed from those whose choice in the matter was little more than non-existent, it's not surprising people don't really give their assumptions much thought.

When I was a little girl there was never any indication that it was a choice. My sisters and I were given dolls to play with. All the adult women in my world were mothers, or if they were young teachers expected to be. In school sex ed classes birth control was used to prevent pregnancy until you're ready.  Anything interesting or worldly was "something to tell your kids about".

Having not had a very strong religious background, I know my assumptions were cultural.

I'm mostly just speculating. I have no stake in this and it's not my experience so any opinion I have is purely speculative. I can waste days on end contemplating people's motivations based on their behaviors and actions. It's a good way to avoid the homework I should be doing as well, so I best get back at it.

You do have a stake though! Your opinions and experience are just as valid as mine here. What assumptions regarding parenthood have you grown up with? Do you have kids?  If you do, what were your reasons? If not, what is your plan, and the reasons behind it?  (I suppose we might need a new thread!)

To have kids or not is one of the most important decisions of our lives, and affects every aspect. Raising kids is a huge commitment of time, energy, emotion, and money. It's also permanent[1], unless you screw up royally and get your kids taken away. For a woman there are permanent changes to your body, and - although it's less common - there is a risk of death with pregnancy. Your relationships with your partner (marital happiness takes a deep downturn while children are in the home, and swings back up once they leave), family, friends, and coworkers will be different depending on your choice. Where you live will be influenced by school districts, and how many bedrooms you need. Even the car you buy will be influenced. Kids will bring home lots more germs to get you sick with more colds etc., and you'll have less leave time from work (assuming work) because some will have been used to take care of sick kids instead of sick you.

 1. I'm assuming parenting here, not giving it up for adoption.
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Jag GREAT post! October 24, 2013, 03:02:51 PM