The Baby Matrix by Laura Carroll Plus Kindle Fire Giveaway

Welcome to Author Laura Carroll

Laura Carroll is the author of The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction will Create a Better World, Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, and Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out.
In addition to writing nonfiction books, she has worked over the last 15 years as a business and litigation psychology consultant and used her expertise in behavioral sciences, psychology, and communications to advise business, legal, and nonprofit professionals on their communications strategies and goals.
Laura is a seasoned leader of personal and professional development seminars, and has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show. She has been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics.
You’ll also find her online at her nonfiction book site, LiveTrue Books, and her top blog, La Vie Childfree.


Dispelling the Myths of Only Children

Imagine you have a child, and are not sure if you want to have another one. But you think you should because it’s best for a child to have a sibling, right? Wrong, say Bill McKibben and other experts. The bias against only children has an interesting history, and began in the late 1800s with psychologist Stanley Hall. He was the Victorian era’s “Dr. Spock.” He did a study of “peculiar and exceptional children” with 1,045 child subjects. “Peculiar and exceptional” was loosely defined from reasons that were psychological or physical. Forty-six out of the 1,045 (about 4 percent) were only children, which, according to him, was a “number entirely out of proportion to children generally.” He concluded that an only child is very likely to be peculiar and exceptional. Even though his study many that followed did not stand up to the rigors of good research, the idea stuck, and the conventional wisdom to this day has been that it isn’t good to have an only child.

Better studies to date say otherwise. Toni Falbo, a professor at the University of Texas and her colleague Denise Polit looked at past studies more closely. They analyzed 115 studies of only children in the U.S.across class and race from 1925 onward. The studies looked at adjustment, character, sociability, achievement, and intelligence variables. They found that only children “aren’t measurably different from other kids” except that they, “along with firstborns and people who have only one sibling, score higher in measures of intelligence and achievement.” They are no more likely to be lonely, shy, unpopular, selfish, or maladjusted than children with siblings. They also found that the “personalities of only children were indistinguishable from their peers with siblings.”  No published research can demonstrate any truth behind the stereotypes.

This needs to become more well-known so more people will consider having only one biological child. People need to see that it isn’t only all right to have one child, but it is also doing right by that child. As McKibbenargues, more single-child families are necessary so that they and their parents will be more likely to live in a sustainable world.

As the book The Baby Matrix argues, parents who want to have more than one biological child need to look harder at why they feel this way. Is it because they didn’t get the gender one or both parents wanted with first one? Now more than ever, it is important for those who think they want more than one child to answer what need are they filling for themselves, and why they would put themselves and what they want first, knowing the impact of bringing another child into the world. It’s also important for them to ask themselves if their need could be filled in a way other than a second biological child. For example, how about filling that need by parenting a child who is already here? The myths about adoption need to be tackled as well.

The Baby Matrix

Why does our society hold the belief that we are all destined to have children? Why do we believe that parenthood is the ultimate road to fulfillment in life? In The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World, author Laura Carroll answers these questions and more through an exploration of and critical look at the pervasiveness of “pronatalism” – the belief that having children should be the central focus of every adult’s life. Carroll examines the historical origins of pronatalism, the reasons why it has such a deep hold on societies even though most people remain unaware of it, and whether it makes sense – for individuals or for the world as a whole. She shows the ways in which pronatalism is perpetuated, scrutinizes seven major pronatalist assumptions that lead people to accept them without question, and offers alternative mindsets that reflect realities, true reproductive freedom and responsibility in today’s society. Whether you are already a parent, want to be a parent, or don’t want children, you will never think about parenthood in the same way. Investigating what few have had the courage to discuss, The Baby Matrix examines the negative effects of pronatalist beliefs, including how they dictate the “normal path” to adulthood, put unwarranted pressure on people to have biological children, and fail to foster a society in which those who are best suited to become parents are the ones who have children. Carroll also brings to light the impact that pronatalism has had on the world at large and will continue to have if its ubiquitous influence is not challenged. Citing compelling statistics, she shows how our belief that we can have as many children as we want is a serious threat in a world with finite resources. In the process, she brings into focus how every life brought into the world directly affects our survival. This manifesto makes the case for why it’s time for all of us to understand why we can no longer afford to leave pronatalist assumptions unquestioned. Without compromise, The Baby Matrix is a reality check for us all. Are we willing to hold on to beliefs that aren’t necessarily true … even to our detriment? This book will make you examine your own intentions and beliefs, will rile you, and might just change your mind. The Baby Matrix is a must-read for anyone interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology, parenting issues, environmentalism, and social justice. But most of all, it’s for anyone, parent or not, who reveres the truth and wants the best for themselves, their families, and our world.