Barn och lycka

Det finns de som menar att livets mål och mening är barnafödande. Professor Arthur Brooks påpekar dock följande i sin nya bok Gross National Happiness:

On the surface, it looks as though kids make people a bit happier: Adults with one or two kids are about 3 percentage points more likely to say they are happy than childless adults. But this gap is an illusion created by the fact that many happiness-causing things are also correlated with whether one has kids — marriage, age, religion, politics, and so forth. When we correct for these things, the relationship between kids and happiness actually reverses itself, and we see that children make people unhappy. If two adults in 2004 were the same in age, sex, income, marital status, education, race, religion, and politics — but one had kids and the other did not — the parent would be about 7 percentage points less likely to report being very happy. The more children you have, on average, the unhappier you get — up to a point. The average happiness of adults — correcting for all the factors mentioned above — falls as more children are added to the family.

Så visst kan man eftersträva barn – men man ska vara medveten om att det inte verkar vara någon bra metod för att öka lyckan i livet. Nu tror jag i och för sig att barn i de flesta fall kommer till pga. en biologisk drift som inte så lätt låter sig påverkas av rationella kalkyler (av hur lycka eller andra målvariabler bäst uppnås). Men kanske kan man få inspiration av Camille Paglia att låta sig påverkas och att trotsa naturen.