Why smarter women won’t have kids?

Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa[1] is a famed evolutionary psychologist, based out of London. He is famed because of his apparently true but anti-conventional (not only unconventional) research findings.

In one of his research papers he happens to ‘denigrate’ the beauty of women of African origin,[2] and scientifically so, saying that African women have more masculine hormones, therefore less feminine and so on and so forth. I don’t subscribe to his opinions, neither am I blinded by facts and figures. I appreciate the amusement which he keeps bringing into our lives. At least, he helps us in making better decisions, as only with multiplicity of opinions lie development of thoughts.


In a recent study[3] he finds out that, a woman’s maternal urge (the urge to give birth) decreases 25% for every 15 additional IQ points.


His research is a survey and not an explanation, he is yet to come up with an explanation. I seem to have one, and I can probably justify that at a huge risk of being misunderstood as a misogynist. The gain is the amusement which it brings forth, and the synthesis of ideas.


I, with lack of authority, can only speculate.



Most of our time goes out in deciding what to do next, how to do it, and why we should do it. Unless, there are reasonable nexuses between the efforts, methods and objects, we do not commit to anything.


Smartness (consciousness, intelligence) affords one the option of devising multiple methods and choosing between them as to the least cost/benefit ratio. The smart take every decision to task and choose the shortest cuts to achievements, thus it is more probable that they will do better in life.


But in this article, I show how smart people may actually miss out on the greatest opportunity which life provides us, the opportunity to procreate. It is said:

“if any value is truly unnatural, if there is one thing that humans (and all other species in nature) are decisively not designed for, it is voluntary childlessness.”[4][5]


It requires us to be either super-smart and assume responsibilities or be incorrigible from the jeopardies, which life brings forth every day.


Simple smartness, i.e. a smartness where one works only for one’s own happiness, and thinks the world owes him a life, would ultimately be an agent of the destruction of human race.


Having kids is expenditure of resources

The only way for any species to defeat space and time is by survival (evolutionarily so). On an individual level, we can do that only through procreation. As a species, growth rate needs to offset the death rate.


Procreation is the norm for all species, and as the species or the individual advances, it becomes more and more difficult.


It is remarkable to observe, how easy it is for crows to have babies, and how equally difficult it is even to think and plan having human babies.


Conventional logic says it is easier for more powerful species to have kids, but with a little observation and inference from evolutionary biology you will see that:

More powerful the species the more mobilisation of resources it takes to have an offspring and thus making it all the more difficult.


In order to have kids and provide for them a humane life (and not just an animal existence), we as human beings require to expend resources in education, career, mate selection, and lots of other stuff, for some it gets very complex, and too much costs come in the way of raising children, we are left with a huge expenditure of resources.


Viruses have it the easiest, humans’ being the most difficult (maybe blue whales have it more difficult 😛 ).


Analysis of such expenditure

For most women happiness and sense of being cared for is the ultimate incentive behind anything.[6] For men, the ultimate incentive is in accumulating (and not even utilising) more and more resources.[7]


Whereas women have to internalise all costs of pregnancy, and whereas in the modern world, women are increasingly becoming more responsible for the birth and growth of children, it is the women who have to pay the most for having children.


More the advancement of the human species, more the empowerment of women, lesser the gender gap, more the exposure to competitive markets, lesser the happiness and the sense of being cared.[8]


And with decreasing happiness in women, imagine a scenario, where happiness is money, and to have kids you have to part with some of it. Women are less likelier to give it away than ten years back.


For men, happiness is only a by-product of achieving a certain goal, and it is not a goal in itself.



With the advancement in human knowledge and customs, and increase in integrity of the societal structures, we have developed substitutes for almost anything.


For women, who wanted the company of children, there are substitutes for child-bearing. If there were people who wanted to be cared for in their old age, they have social security and pension plans, and the newly found ability of self-reliance. Even bonding and company of a lover can be easily effected by protected sex.


All in all, undeniably, there are ubiquitous (or so-called) substitutes for child-bearing. And in presence of so many substitutes, and childbirth being optional, it would be rather irrational to get pregnant.



Pregnancy is too much of pain and labour for a modern woman who has achieved considerable consciousness through the ages. Women are more successful, independent, and mistresses of their own lives more than ever. Childbearing is not a duty, neither pleasurable.


The question which occurs to us then is, why do all the hard work? What are the incentives / benefits? Aren’t there easier ways out? With the presence of almost perfect substitutes at lesser costs, it is rational to go for perfect substitutes.


Let’s analyse the following indifference curves. On Y axis, we have pleasure of surrogacy, adoption or childlessness as substitutes of having pregnancy and childbirth which is on X axis.
Pregnancy and childbirth getting more and more expensive (including pain and labour of childbirth) due to reduction in available resources, provides a rationale for more and more women to rationally opt for surrogacy, adoption or childlessness.


This appreciation of costs has led women to take a higher indifference curve due to the cheaply available substitutes.


Say women are on L2 now, soon they will hop on to L3 and then to higher indifference curves, meaning thereby in the future as the line B becomes more and more inelastic due to improvement in the substitutes, majority or more women will not prefer pregnancy.


Not always applicable

There are people, I am fortunate to have met one, who despite being smart and rational cherish the idea of having kids!


I perceive, acceptance of oneself (‘listening to your heart’ as popularly understood) and realisation of duties are more rewarding (evolutionarily) than becoming powerful (smart) at this point of human evolution. Those who match this requirement are exempt from this phenomenon.


This is not an exception to the rule, but to consider it, we will need, to appreciate the fact that, at all points of time, an intricate balance of ecosystem is maintained.


Balance of ecosystem

Energy (resource in economics) is neither created nor destroyed, it simply changes form. If one species grows more in number than the carrying capacity of Earth,[9] logically the resources will seem to get scarcer, and vice versa.


As such, scarcer the resources, costlier will be the growth of the population, and the rational units of species will decide to not procreate further. This cycle will keep on repeating itself.


The onus of taking humanity forward will then be upon the people who are consciously resolute of taking it forward, or are unconsciously incorruptible from their true instincts.


[1] LSE: Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa

[2] Black women are less attractive than others’: Controversial LSE psychologist sparks backlash with his ‘scientific’ findings

[3] Women with higher IQs are less likely to have kids, research suggests

[4] The Intelligence Paradox: Why the Intelligent Choice Isn’t Always the Smart One: Satoshi Kanazawa: 9780470586952: Amazon.com: Books

[5] G C Williams (1975) Sex and Evolution, J Maynard Smith (1978) The Evolution of Sex, G Bell (1982) The Masterpiece of Nature

[6] Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2009. “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 190-225, August.

[7] ibid

[8] ibid

[9] Carrying Capacity – Wikipedia

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