You have all probably heard the phrase that women should have children before their ‘biological clock runs out’.
It's like you reach a certain age and suddenly society is on our back to get in on the baby craze and then surprise! You've got kids.
Quite frankly, we’re all sick of hearing it and it turns out that this ‘biological clock’ might just be a gosh darn myth everyone decides to shove down our throats.
To answer whether this ‘biological clock’ actually is a real thing, there are a whole tonne of different things to take into consideration and the answer really depends on who you ask… because the amount of opinions riding on the topic are like a never ending packet of Tim Tams.
Everyone has always told us that it’s hard for women to have a career and look after their children, because when their work life starts to step up to new levels it’s usually around the time they start to consider having children.
Despite many women saying they don’t want kids just yet, when the world is telling them their ‘biological clock’ is ticking down and will start to falter at around 35, they suddenly can have a complete change in opinion.
But is this sudden change of heart because of a) biology producing this urge, or b) a myth which causes mass panic among women as they grow older?
Biological clocks usually refer to our body’s natural sleep and waking rythms and this is how the majority of scientists use the term.
But the application of the term to the meaning of sudden obsession with having kids isn’t a professional, scientific term. It was actually coined rather recently by a newspaper columnist.
During the 70’s, when women were breaking free from the patriarchal ideas of families and going into the workforce, a columnist decided to write a piece on how the new career woman couldn’t exactly have it all; so, work and children.
Richard Cohen penned a column titled, ‘The Clock Is Ticking for the Career Woman’, emphasizing how women were facing a struggle to have both children and a career.
Now, if Richard had of been a scientist or a researcher with some hard hitting facts, or had he been quoting said researchers and scientists, he may have had some valid points. But he wasn’t and he didn’t. He was a columnist who decided to share his opinion with a panicked America and said panicked America took it to heart.
The popularity of this opinion has given way to endless studies to see whether there really is a hormonal urge to have kids which kicks in, and there has been little to no evidence to suggest it has concrete validity.
Therefore, this ‘biological clock’ does not exist.
But the term coined as ‘baby fever’ does.
Coined by scientists, it is a sudden drive to have children which is driven by the number of encounters men and women begin to have with them. Put more simply, when men and women reach their mid-thirties they are surrounded by more children as their friends are usually having babies.
Hence, this increase in interactions of course gives birth to more of a drive to have their own children.
For men, this ‘baby fever’ peaks in their 40’s, which is the SAME time everyone decides to profess women’s ‘biological clocks’ are about to run out.
Coincidence? We think not.
We’ve grown up believing women are the only ones to really lose their ability to create children as they grow older, but this isn’t true!
Studies have produced evidence that men also reach a certain age where their fertility declines. As men age, the quality and amount of their semen decreases significantly, but there is an increase in dangerous aspects like a higher risk of miscarriage and of having more genetic abnormalities.
This means that whether or not a couple can or cannot have a baby as they get older is NOT just a result of how old the mother is.
We can all kiss goodbye to the way in which we have all viewed the ‘biological clock’ as being physical change, when in reality it is an emotional state induced by the media and those around us.
It isn’t up to the media or the world to tell us when we should have children. It’s an important decision made solely between two people who are in love and who want nothing more than to bring a child into this world at the right time.