A study of childlessness in Britain

Fiona McAllister with Lynda Clarke

This pioneering study - the first to look at voluntary childlessness in Britain for over a decade and the first to examine experiences outside marriage as well as within - looks at what it is like to choose childlessness.

In-depth interviews with voluntarily childless women and their partners challenge the popular stereotypes, giving insights into how people come to make the decision not to have children, and what the choice means for them. Examining why increasing numbers of people are choosing childlessness reveals some of the pressures and difficulties of reconciling society's expectations of material success and adult independence with the demands of parenthood and the needs of children.

The study concludes by setting out the implications of its findings for further research and future policy.