The Daily Mail has perfected the art of trolling with its incendiary headlines, and today is no different. The article, "Childless couples have higher risk of dying prematurely but adopting may reduce chances of an early death," has an equally hilarious accompanying stock photo of a happily smug family, and refers to having children as "life-fulfillment" that could "extend your years." And among possible risks of early death for sad, selfish childless people are "risky behaviors" like drinking, drugs, depression, psychiatric illness, and physical illness linked to infertility.
Of course, the study—conducted at Aarhus University in Denmark—from which the statements are culled isn't as simple as that. First of all, the research was based entirely on analyzing data from couples who actually wanted a child and were doing IVF treatments, not people who either choose to be childless or aren't actively seeking to conceive. And their findings, that "mortality rates are higher in the childless," were based on "data from population registers in Denmark on births and deaths, assisted conception (IVF) procedures, hospital admissions, psychiatric service contacts, and labour market statistics for the period from 1994 to 2008."
But the study clearly isn't representative of the general public. First of all, those who seek medical treatment to have a baby have already established that having children is a major priority in life, so if they don't reach that goal, it could be understandably defeating and lead to depression. But if you don't particularly want a child, you don't need to go out and get one just to add a few more years onto your life expectancy. Obviously.
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