31 May 2006

Why Do Germans Get Consistently Accidentally Pregnant

Since I've been in Germany now for four years, I have noticed something about the Germans. They only ever seem to get pregnant accidentally.

It's probably a relief for the German government that they do, or Germany's already low birth rate would be hitting rock bottom. But still i find it strange that in a well educated first world country like Germany, they seem to have ignored what they have learned about contraception (and trust me, Germany ain't shy about it, with condom ads everywhere). It makes me wonder if the government are paying the condom industry to make them faulty.

I don't know too many Germans with kids, but of the seven families of people my wife and I know (who are younger than approx. 35), not a single one of them planned their first kid. How does this happen? To me it seems like it's completely against the German mentality. Normally everything has to be planned down to the last detail, or has to be perfect. But in this case, when it comes to probably the biggest life changing decision imaginable, they leave it up to chance.

Why does it happen? Is it because the welfare system here is so good, that a lot of the costs of bringing up a kid is subsidised by the government, so they don't worry too much about the financial burden of it? I'm certain it's not because of sexual promiscuity, I don't know any Germans who have ended up in this 'situation' after a one night stand.

Anyone any ideas about why this may be?


Anonymous said...

Believe me, mate, this is simply not true!
I do know Germany and the Germans quite well and find they are as obsessed with planning their pregnancies as they are obsessed with planning everything else.
And again, believe me, German girls do care about contraception!

Anonymous said...

Don't agree with you there mate as the Germans I know are quite careful with regards to pregnancy accidentlly.

Anonymous said...

well if they really plan their pregnancies then Germany will not face such low birth rates....so my guess is that they really care about career and money....family takes a 'back seat'

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with not planning a baby it is the most natural thing in the world if it happens it happends

Anonymous said...

Nöö The German women plan to have children, however the career comes first. When the women know they have reached thier goal then they will have a child.(maybe 2) And let me tell you one thing Birthcontrol over here is a womens choice not like in the US!!

Anonymous said...

Among my German and American friends it seems about the same proportion have gotten pregnant accidentally (about 50%). However I have a lot more American friends having babies. I suspect that Americans simply have quite a few more babies of both the planned and unplanned varieties.

Also, there are really two kinds of "oops" pregnancies - the "this is really bad, it doesn't fit in with our lifeplan at all" kind (you might not hear about many of these) and the "well we wanted to do this eventually, we just weren't quite ready / hadn't started trying / etc." kind (the kind you might hear about). I suspect your friends were experiencing the latter.

I would have a lot of questions/suspicions about the social aspects of this:
1) Is culturally relatively easy for young Germans to admit that a pregnancy was accidental?
2) On the flip side, is it culturally less acceptable for Germans to say they want a child - even to themselves - and therefore easier to "accidentally" have one?
3) Since Germans generally have children later than Americans, do they just have more time to accidentally have a first child?

Finally, it shouldn't need mentioning that the evidence you provide is highly anecdotal. It would be interesting to see a real survey about this.

Anonymous said...

In my workplace out of the 4 women I work with only 1 plannd to get married first and THEN have children. The other 3 all had accidents, one of which had an accident 3 times!

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