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2009-07-15 10:19
But mostly, it's because I can't stand children.

Now don't get me wrong: I don't hate children, or adults who heed the biological calling to tag the planet with their very own Mini-Me's to ensure their emotional dysfunctions live on for future generations. In fact, if it wasn't for people my age getting married and going all nuclear family so soon after high school, I wouldn't have had nearly so much fun in the ‘00s.The results of unexpected pregnancies sure know how to party.

But the entertainment value of anyone below the age of consent escapes me. Childhood can be defined as a series of obnoxious phases and mood-swings unified by two constants. One: they're all depressingly expensive, and two: they're extremely annoying. To the casual observer, the "quality time" parents brag about seems to be those rare, precious moments when the kids take a short break from ruining their lives.

Starry-eyed, dishevelled parents who look like they haven't slept in months tell me I'm missing out on something wonderful, but I suspect they're obliged to say that, because the alternative would be admitting they made a terrible, foolish mistake, and that would be Bad Parenting. So no, I don't think I'm missing out on much, and it will take a lot more than the cute expression in the little darling's face after throwing up mother's milk all over the back seat of the car to convince me otherwise. For me, happiness is an internet connection and a pro-choice girlfriend, and I really don't see how throwing an incontinent money-sucking midget into the mix could make it any better.

So I was perplexed to learn that scientists at Newcastle University in the UK have spent years to reach their latest major breakthrough: successfully manufacturing sperm from embryonic stem cells. As if there aren't enough wankers in the world. The research is aimed at (very rich) men who are shooting blanks, and for some reason can't find anything among the millions and millions of unwanted babies in the world that matches their wife's handbag.

Or as the project's head scientician says, the breakthrough "could help us develop new ways to help couples suffering infertility so they can have a child which is genetically their own."

Yes, you read that right. He said "suffering". Personally, if I were in a monogamous, infection-free relationship and I found out my tadpoles weren't swimming in the right direction, I'd see that as a permanent Get Out of Condom Free Card. Hooray, I'd think. No more contraception!

But what would I know? My life is devoid of nature's non-returnable gift, which many still regard as a little miracle, despite the fact that every day there are more births than ad breaks. This is because every parent thinks that they're special, and by extension, so is anything they can produce with their genitals.

I wouldn't be the first to point out the obvious fact that if children were even half as special as parents think they are, this world would be full of talented, clever, beautiful people. Or that there's something intrinsically hypocritical about claiming to love kids, but not extending this unconditional affection beyond one's own income bracket.

Given the world we live in, reproduction is an inherently selfish act disguised as self-sacrifice, which has nothing to do with loving children as a whole. If it were, the UK scientists wouldn't have bothered trying to manufacture sperm in the first place. Willing but barren parents-in-waiting would turn to adoption agencies, knowing that being a parent is about far more than mere biology. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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