Surveys often reveal that the number of children people would like to have is greater than the number they actually have. This article examines the question of why people actually want children and bases its answers on data from the 2006 Value of Children Survey, which reintroduces the value of children concept from the 1970s. The battery of survey questions used identified six dimensions of the value of children (The positives of parenthood; Natural drives and goals; Tradition and social status; Social pressure; Limitations and losses; and Decision inhibitors). The respondents, young people between the ages of 28 and 34, see the main reasons for deciding to have children in the positive feelings associated with raising children and with successful parenthood as a natural part of life. They associate parenthood less with responses about social norms and pressure or with rational considerations about all the pros and cons of having children, and they see parenthood as their own, individual decision. A data analysis based on a multinomial logistic regression shows that declared attitudes to a limited extent influence the preferred number of children and that the Czech population is still dominated by the idea of the two-child family with two biological parents, while declared voluntary childlessness is still a marginal phenomenon.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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