Climate change and its impact on reproductive choices

Climate change and its impact on reproductive choices

Reproductive Impact

Jade S. Sasser has been studying reproductive choices in the context of climate change for 25 years. Her latest book, “Climate Anxiety and the Kid Question,” explores how climate change affects decisions about having children, especially among marginalized groups.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sasser asked if bringing children into a warming world is morally, ethically, or practically sound. She also wondered if factors like race and socioeconomic status influence who decides to have kids. Sasser cautions that her work does not attempt to predict future trends.

“We’re at the beginning of witnessing what could be a significant trend,” she said. One compelling finding was that women of color were the most likely to have at least one child less than they wanted because of climate change. “No other group in that survey responded that way,” Sasser noted.

Studies have found that Hispanic Americans were five times as likely to experience climate change anxiety compared to white Americans.

Climate anxiety influences reproductive decisions.

Black Americans were twice as likely to have feelings about reproduction and climate change.

“There is a really large assumption that we don’t experience climate anxiety,” said Sasser, who is African American. “And we do. How could we not?

We experience most of the climate impacts first and worst.

Sasser hopes her work can help fill a void in the public’s awareness of climate anxiety in communities of color. “Every single thing I was reading just didn’t include us in the discussion,” she said. “I found myself in conversations with people who were not people of color, and they said, ‘Well, I think people of color are just more resilient and don’t feel climate anxiety.

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And this doesn’t factor into their reproductive lives.’ That’s just simply not true. But how would we know that without the research to tell us?”

Sasser’s research illuminates how climate anxiety and reproductive choices are intricately connected, particularly among marginalized groups. Her work encourages a broader dialogue about climate emotions and how they shape people’s lives across different demographics.


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