blackstone

Amy Blackstone, professor of sociology at the University of Maine, will lead the lecture “Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence" in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

Editor's Note: In the original publication of this article, Amy Blackstone was incorrectly referred to as having been married twice and divorced. The article has been updated to reflect Blackstone's marriage of more than 25 years. The Iowa State Daily regrets this error.

The childfree movement and why people are a part of it will be discussed at a lecture Wednesday.

Amy Blackstone, professor of sociology at the University of Maine, will lead the lecture “Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence" at 7 p.m. in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

The lecture is free and encourages Iowa State students and community members to attend and learn about the culture and discrimination that surrounds not having children for women, men, gay and lesbian couples and transgender persons. It will also discuss the history of the childfree movement and its future. 

Blackstone is a professor of sociology at the University of Maine, where she researches childlessness and the childfree choice, childfree families, workplace harassment and civic engagement. Blackstone is the co-creator of the blog “We’re {Not} Having a Baby” and the author of the novel “Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence,” which will be the main feature of this lecture.

“The primary focus of the book is the lived experiences of childfree women and men today, set in historical and cultural context,” Blackstone said in an interview with medium.com last year following her novels publishing. “I also examine the social, economic and environmental impact of the childfree choice. There have been childfree people for much longer than many folks realize, but it is only in recent decades that we’ve come to see them and talk about the reality that parenthood is and should be a choice rather than an inevitability. Plenty of good research on the childfree choice precedes my own, but I think one thing that sets my book apart is its scope.”

Blackstone is a childfree woman and is no stranger to a wide range of negative responses when she informs people she doesn't have or want kids. Married for more than 25 years, Blackstone has felt plenty of backlash in part by significant others that desired children unlike herself, as many have faced when choosing a childfree lifestyle.

She is not alone. More people than ever are choosing to forgo parenthood, which is still widely viewed as taboo in many cultures, despite it being a personal choice or preference. Blackstone has been studying the childfree choice since 2008, but the movement has existed long before then.

To learn more, Blackstone's book is available for purchase on many platforms, including by ebook at GoogleBooks or at her lecture tomorrow evening, which will discuss the novel.

This lecture is provided in part thanks to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Human Sciences, Ames Public Library Friends Foundation, Women and Gender Studies, the University Library, Psychology and Sociology Departments and the Committee on Lectures funded by Student Government.

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