Gleichschaltung, or in English co-ordination, was in Nazi terminology the process of Nazification by which Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party successively established a system of totalitarian control and coordination over all aspects of German society, "from the economy and trade associations to the media and education". The apex of the Nazification of Germany was in the resolutions approved during the Nuremberg Rally of 1935, when the symbols of the Nazi Party and the State were fused and German Jews were deprived of their citizenship; the Nazis used the word Gleichschaltung for the process of successively establishing a system of totalitarian control and coordination over all aspects of German society. It has been variously translated as co-ordination, Nazification of state and society and bringing into line, but English texts use the untranslated German word to convey its unique historical meaning. In their seminal work on National Socialist vernacular, Nazi-Deutsch/Nazi-German: An English Lexicon of the Language of the Third Reich, historians Robert Michael and Karin Doerr define Gleichschaltung as: "Consolidation.
All of the German Volk’s social and cultural organizations to be controlled and run according to Nazi ideology and policy. All opposition to be eliminated." The Nazis were able to put Gleichschaltung into effect due to the legal measures taken by the government during the 20 months following 30 January 1933, when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. One day after the Reichstag fire on 27 February 1933, President of Germany Paul von Hindenburg, acting at Hitler's request and on the basis of the emergency powers in article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, issued the Reichstag Fire Decree; this decree suspended most citizen rights provided for by the constitution and thus allowed for the arrest of political adversaries Communists, for terrorizing of other electors by the Sturmabteilung before the upcoming election. In this atmosphere the Reichstag general election of 5 March 1933 took place; the Nazis had hoped to win an outright majority and push aside their coalition partners, the German National People's Party.
However, the Nazis won only 43.9 percent of the vote, well short of a majority. Despite not securing the necessary vote to secure any amendments to the existing federal constitution, the disaffection with the predecessor Weimar government's attempt at democracy was palpable and subsequent violence followed. SA units stormed the Social Democrats' headquarters in Königsberg, destroying the premises and beating Communist Reichstag deputy Walter Schütz to death. Other non-Nazi party officials were attacked by the SA in Wuppertal, Braunschweig and elsewhere throughout Germany, in a series of violent acts which continued to escalate through the summer of 1933; when the newly elected Reichstag first convened on 23 March 1933—not including the Communist delegates because their party had been banned on 6 March—it passed the Enabling Act. This law gave the government—and in practice, Hitler—the right to make laws without the involvement of the Reichstag. Throughout Germany, the Nazis were able to tighten their grip upon the state thanks to the Enabling Act.
For all intents and purposes, the entire Weimar Constitution was rendered void. Soon afterwards the government banned the Social Democratic Party, as an "avalanche" soon buried the other parties. By midsummer, the other parties had been intimidated into dissolving themselves rather than face arrests and concentration camp imprisonment and all non-Nazi ministers of the coalition government had been compelled to resign their posts; the "First Gleichschaltung Law", passed using the Enabling Act. The same law ordered the state diets reconstituted on the basis of the votes in the last Reichstag election, gave the state governments the same powers the Reich government possessed under the Enabling Act; the "Second Gleichschaltung Law" deployed one Reichsstatthalter in each state, apart from Prussia. These officers, responsible to Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, were supposed to act as local proconsuls in each state, with near-complete control over the state governments. Another measure of Nazi Gleichschaltung was the passing of the "Law for the Restoration of a Professional Civil Service", decreed on 7 April 1933, which enabled the "co-ordination" of the civil service—which in Germany included not only bureaucrats, but schoolteachers and professors, judges and other professionals—at both the Federal and state level, authorized the removal of Jews and Communists from all corresponding positions.
On 14 July 1933, the Nazis passed the "Law Against the Founding of New Parties", which declared the NSDAP as the country's only legal political party. The "Law Concerning the Reconstruction of the Reich" formally did away with the concept of a federal republic, converting Germany into a centralized state; the states were reduced to mere provinces, as their institutions were abolished altogether. All of their powers passed to the central government. A law passed on 14 February formally abolished the Reichsrat. One of the most important steps towards Gleichschaltung of German society was the introduction of the "Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda" under Joseph Goebbels in M
Ilse Koch was the wife of Karl-Otto Koch, commandant of the Nazi concentration camps Buchenwald and Majdanek. In 1947, she became one of the first prominent Nazis tried by the U. S. military. After the trial received worldwide media attention, survivor accounts of her actions resulted in other authors describing her abuse of prisoners as sadistic, the image of her as "the concentration camp murderess" was current in post-war German society, she was accused of taking souvenirs from the skin of murdered inmates with distinctive tattoos, although those claims were rejected at both of her trials. She was known as "The Witch of Buchenwald" by the inmates because of her cruelty and lasciviousness toward prisoners. In English, she is referred to as: "The Beast of Buchenwald", "Queen of Buchenwald", "Red Witch of Buchenwald", "Butcher Widow", more "The Bitch of Buchenwald". Koch was born in Dresden, the daughter of a factory foreman, she was known as a happy child in her elementary school. At the age of 15, she entered an accountancy school.
She went to work as a bookkeeping clerk. At the time the economy of Germany had not yet recovered from Germany's defeat in World War I. In 1932, she became a member of the rising Nazi Party. Through some friends in the SA and SS, she met Karl-Otto Koch in 1934. In 1936, she began working as a guard and secretary at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin, which her fiancé commanded, was married the same year. In 1937 she came to Buchenwald. While at Buchenwald, Koch engaged in a gruesome experiment, where it was claimed that she ordered selected tattooed prisoners to be murdered and skinned to retrieve the tattooed parts of their bodies, it was done to help a prison doctor, Erich Wagner, in his dissertation on tattooing and criminality. In 1940, she built an indoor sports arena, which cost over 250,000 reichsmarks, most of, seized from the inmates. In 1941 Karl Otto Koch was transferred to Lublin, where he helped establish the Majdanek concentration and extermination camp. Ilse Koch remained at Buchenwald until 24 August 1943, when she and her husband were arrested on the orders of Josias von Waldeck-Pyrmont, SS and Police Leader for Weimar, who had supervisory authority over Buchenwald.
The charges against the Kochs comprised private enrichment and the murder of prisoners to prevent them from giving testimony. Ilse Koch was imprisoned until 1944, her husband was found guilty and sentenced to death by an SS court in Munich, was executed by firing squad on 5 April 1945 in the court of the camp he once commanded. She went to live with her surviving family in the town of Ludwigsburg, where she was arrested by U. S. authorities on 30 June 1945. Koch and 30 other accused were arraigned before the American military court at Dachau in 1947. Prosecuting her was future United States Court of Claims Judge Robert L. Kunzig, she was charged with "participating in a criminal plan for aiding and participating in the murders at Buchenwald". Koch announced in the courtroom that she was eight months pregnant but on 19 August 1947, she was sentenced to life imprisonment for "violation of the laws and customs of war". Gen. Lucius D. Clay was the interim military governor of the American Zone in Germany, he reduced the judgment to four years' imprisonment on 8 June 1948, after she had served two years of her sentence, on the grounds that "there was no convincing evidence that she had selected inmates for extermination in order to secure tattooed skins, or that she possessed any articles made of human skin".
News of the reduced sentence did not become public until 16 September 1948, Clay stood firm despite the ensuing uproar. Jean Edward Smith reported in his biography Lucius D. Clay: An American Life that the general maintained that the leather lamp shades were made out of goat skin; the book quotes a statement made by Clay years later: There was no evidence in the trial transcript, other than she was a rather loathsome creature, that would support the death sentence. I suppose; some reporter had called her the "Bitch of Buchenwald", had written that she had lamp shades made of human skin in her house. And, introduced in court, where it was proven that the lampshades were made out of goatskin. In addition to that, her crimes were against the German people, she was tried by a German court for her crimes and sentenced to life imprisonment. But they had clear jurisdiction. We did not. Under the pressure of public opinion Koch was re-arrested in 1949 and tried before a West German court; the hearing opened on 27 November 1950 before the District Court at Augsburg and lasted seven weeks, during which 250 witnesses were heard, including 50 for the defense.
Koch collapsed and had to be carried from the court in late December 1950, again on 11 January 1951. At least four witnesses for the prosecution testified that they had seen Koch choose tattooed prisoners, who were killed, or had seen or been involved in the process of making human-skin lampshades from tattooed skin. However, this charge was dropped by the prosecution when they could not prove lampshades or any other items were made from human skin. On 15 January 1951, the Court pronounced its verdict, in a 111-page-long decision, for which Koch w
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process; the official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire; the Nazi regime ended. Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, on 30 January 1933; the NSDAP began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934 and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the offices and powers of the Chancellery and Presidency. A national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany.
All power was centralised in Hitler's person and his word became the highest law. The government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitler's favour. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy. Extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen; the return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity. Racism antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime; the Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the master race, the purest branch of the Aryan race. Discrimination and persecution against Jews and Romani people began in earnest after the seizure of power; the first concentration camps were established in March 1933. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, liberals and communists were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Christian churches and citizens that opposed Hitler's rule were oppressed, many leaders imprisoned.
Education focused on racial biology, population policy, fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased Germany on the international stage. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, Hitler's hypnotic oratory to influence public opinion; the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. The Nazi regime dominated neighbours through military threats in the years leading up to war. Nazi Germany made aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if these were not met, it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Germany signed a non-aggression pact with the USSR, invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, launching World War II in Europe. By early 1941, Germany controlled much of Europe. Reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas and a German administration was established in the remainder of Poland.
Germany exploited labour of both its occupied territories and its allies. In the Holocaust, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, or shot. While the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 was successful, the Soviet resurgence and entry of the US into the war meant the Wehrmacht lost the initiative on the Eastern Front in 1943 and by late 1944 had been pushed back to the pre-1939 border. Large-scale aerial bombing of Germany escalated in 1944 and the Axis powers were driven back in Eastern and Southern Europe. After the Allied invasion of France, Germany was conquered by the Soviet Union from the east and the other Allies from the west, capitulated in May 1945. Hitler's refusal to admit defeat led to massive destruction of German infrastructure and additional war-related deaths in the closing months of the war; the victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put many of the surviving Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.
The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945, while common English terms are "Nazi Germany" and "Third Reich". The latter, adopted by Nazi propaganda as Drittes Reich, was first used in Das Dritte Reich, a 1923 book by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck; the book counted the Holy Roman Empire as the German Empire as the second. Germany was known as the Weimar Republic during the years 1919 to 1933, it was a republic with a semi-presidential system. The Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism, contentious relationships with the Allied victors of World War I, a series of failed attempts at coalition government by divided political parties. Severe setbacks to the German economy began after World War I ended because of reparations payments required under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles; the government printed money to make the payments and to repay the country's war debt, but the resulting hyperinflation led to inflated prices for consumer goods, economic chaos, food riots.
When the government defaulted on their reparations payments in January 1923, French troops occupied German industrial areas along the Ruhr and widespread civil unrest followed. The National Socialist German Workers' Party (National
Aktion T4 was a postwar name for mass murder through involuntary euthanasia in Nazi Germany. The name T4 is an abbreviation of Tiergartenstraße 4, a street address of the Chancellery department set up in the spring of 1940, in the Berlin borough of Tiergarten, which recruited and paid personnel associated with T4. Certain German physicians were authorized to select patients "deemed incurably sick, after most critical medical examination" and administer to them a "mercy death". In October 1939, Adolf Hitler signed a "euthanasia note", backdated to 1 September 1939, which authorized his physician Karl Brandt and Reichsleiter Philipp Bouhler to implement the programme; the killings took place from September 1939 until the end of the war in 1945. The number of victims was recorded as 70,273 but this number has been increased by the discovery of victims listed in the archives of the former East Germany. About half of those killed were taken from church-run asylums with the approval of the Protestant or Catholic authorities of the institutions.
The Holy See announced on 2 December 1940 that the policy was contrary to the natural and positive Divine law and that "the direct killing of an innocent person because of mental or physical defects is not allowed" but the declaration was not upheld by some Catholic authorities in Germany. In the summer of 1941, protests were led in Germany by the Bishop of Münster, Clemens von Galen, whose intervention led to "the strongest, most explicit and most widespread protest movement against any policy since the beginning of the Third Reich", according to Richard J. Evans. Several reasons have been suggested for the killings, including eugenics, reducing suffering, racial hygiene and saving money. Physicians in German and Austrian asylums continued many of the practices of Aktion T4 until the defeat of Germany in 1945, in spite of its official cessation in August 1941; the informal continuation of the policy led to 93,521 "beds emptied" by the end of 1941. Technology developed under Aktion T4 was taken over by the medical division of the Reich Interior Ministry the use of lethal gas to kill large numbers of people, along with the personnel of Aktion T4, who participated in Operation Reinhard.
The programme was authorised by Hitler but the killings have since come to be viewed as murders in Germany. The number of people killed was about 200,000 in Germany and Austria, with about 100,000 victims in other European countries. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the sterilisation of people carrying what were considered to be hereditary defects and in some cases those exhibiting what was thought to be hereditary "antisocial" behaviour, was a respectable field of medicine. Canada, Denmark and the US had passed laws enabling coerced sterilisation. Studies conducted in the 1920s ranked Germany as a country, unusually reluctant to introduce sterilisation legislation. In his book Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote that one day racial hygiene "will appear as a deed greater than the most victorious wars of our present bourgeois era". In July 1933, the "Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring" prescribed compulsory sterilisation for people with conditions thought to be hereditary, such as schizophrenia, Huntington's chorea and "imbecility".
Sterilisation was legalised for chronic alcoholism and other forms of social deviance. The law was administered by the Interior Ministry under Wilhelm Frick through special Hereditary Health Courts, which examined the inmates of nursing homes, prisons, aged-care homes and special schools, to select those to be sterilised, it is estimated that 360,000 people were sterilised under this law between 1933 and 1939. The policy and research agenda of racial hygiene and eugenics were promoted by Emil Kraepelin; the eugenic sterilization of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia was advocated by Eugen Bleuler, who presumed racial deterioration because of “mental and physical cripples” in his Textbook of Psychiatry, The more burdened should not propagate themselves… If we do nothing but make mental and physical cripples capable of propagating themselves, the healthy stocks have to limit the number of their children because so much has to be done for the maintenance of others, if natural selection is suppressed unless we will get new measures our race must deteriorate.
Within the Nazi administration, the idea of including in the program people with physical disabilities had to be expressed because the Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, had a deformed right leg. After 1937, the acute shortage of labour in Germany arising from rearmament, meant that anyone capable of work was deemed to be "useful", exempted from the law and the rate of sterilisation declined; the term "Aktion T4" is a post-war coining. The T4 programme stemmed from the Nazi Party policy of "racial hygiene", a belief that the German people needed to be cleansed of racial enemies, which included anyone confined to a mental health facility and people with simple physical disabilities. Karl Brandt, doctor to Hitler and Hans Lammers, the head of the Reich Chancellery, testified after the war that Hitler had told them as early as 1933—when the sterilisation law was passed—that he favoured the killing of the incurably ill but recognised that public opinion would not accept this. In 1935, Hitler told the Leader of Reich Doctors, Gerhard Wagner, that th
College of the Holy Cross
The College of the Holy Cross or better known as Holy Cross is a private Jesuit liberal arts college in Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1843, Holy Cross is the oldest Catholic college in New England and one of the oldest in the United States. Opened as a school for boys under the auspices of the Society of Jesus, it was the first Jesuit college in New England. Today, Holy Cross is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and is part of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium. Holy Cross sports teams are called the Crusaders, their sole color is purple. Holy Cross was founded by Benedict Joseph Fenwick, S. J. Second Bishop of Boston, after his efforts to found a Catholic college in Boston were thwarted by the city's Protestant civic leaders. From the beginning of his tenure as bishop, Fenwick intended to establish a Catholic college within the boundaries of his diocese. Relations with Boston's civic leaders worsened such that, when a Jesuit faculty was secured in 1843, Fenwick decided to leave the Boston school and instead opened the College of the Holy Cross 45 miles west of the city in central Massachusetts, where he felt the Jesuits could operate with greater autonomy.
The site of the college, Mount Saint James, was occupied by a Roman Catholic boarding school run by the Rev. James Fitton, with his lay collaborator Joseph Brigden, since 1832. On February 2, 1843, Fr. Fitton sold the land to Bishop Fenwick and the Diocese of Boston to be used to found the Roman Catholic college that the bishop had wanted in Boston. Fenwick gave the college the Cathedral of the Holy Cross; the Bishop's letters record his enthusiasm for the project as well as for its location: Next May I shall lay the foundation of a splendid College in Worcester... It is calculated to contain 100 boys and I shall take them for $125 per an. & supply them with everything but clothes. Will not this be a bold undertaking? I will try it, it will stand on a beautiful eminence. The school opened in October 1843 with the Rev. Thomas F. Mulledy, S. J. former president of Georgetown University, as its first president, on the second day of November, with six students aged 9 to 19, the first classes were held.
Within three years, the enrollment had increased to 100 students. The education was more at the elementary and high school level. Since its founding, Holy Cross has produced the fifth most members of the Catholic clergy out of all American Catholic colleges; the first class graduated in 1849, led by the valedictorian James Augustine Healy, the mixed-race son of an Irish planter in Georgia and his common-law wife, a mulatto former slave. Healy is now recognized as the first African-American bishop in the United States, but at the time he identified as white Irish Catholic and was accepted as such, without denying his African ancestry, his father sent all his sons north for their education at Holy Cross College. Healy graduated with his close friend Colby Kane, who would go on to join the clergy, was influential in many of Healy's early writings on Eucharistic transubstantiation. Fenwick Hall, the school's main building, was destroyed by fire in 1852. Funds were raised to rebuild the college, in 1853 it opened for the second time.
Petitions to secure a charter for the college from the state legislature were denied in 1847 for a variety of reasons, including anti-Catholicism on the part of some legislators. The increased rate of immigration from Ireland during the famine years roused resistance from some residents of Massachusetts. Holy Cross diplomas were signed by the president of Georgetown University. After repeated denials, a charter was granted on March 24, 1865, by Governor John Albion Andrew. During World War II, College of the Holy Cross was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission. In 1998, Holy Cross initiated an eight-year capital campaign, "Lift High the Cross," with a three-year quiet period; the campaign for Holy Cross ended in fiscal 2006 with $216.3 million raised, surpassing its original goal of $175 million. The funds allowed Holy Cross to establish an additional 12 new faculty positions, along with more than 75 newly endowed scholarships for students.
The campaign provided support for the renovation of the Mary Chapel as well as construction of new facilities on campus, including Smith Hall which houses the new Michael C. McFarland Center for Religion and Culture. During the campaign, the college's endowment grew to more than $544 million. On July 1, 2000, Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S. J. became the president of the college. On February 3, 2011, Fr. McFarland announced his resignation as President of the College, a national search, led by the Board of Trustees, was conducted to find his successor. On May 7, 2011, Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S. J. the Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Georgetown University, was named as McFarland's successor. In early 2018, the college began publicly exploring the possibility of changing its "Crusader" nickname and associated imagery; the college's leadership decided to keep the nickname, distinguishing its use of the nickname from the historical associations with the crusades. In line with this, the college's leadership decided to retire the used imagery of an armed medie
Sterilization is any of a number of medical methods of birth control that intentionally leaves a person unable to reproduce. Sterilization methods include both surgical and non-surgical, exist for both males and females. Sterilization procedures are intended to be permanent. There are multiple ways of having sterilization done, but the two that are used most are tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men. There are many different ways, it is effective and in the United States surgical complications are low. With that being said, tubal sterilization is still a method that involves surgery, so there is still a danger. Women that chose a tubal sterilization may have a higher risk of serious side effects, more than a man has with a vasectomy. Pregnancies after a tubal sterilization can still occur many years after the procedure, it is not likely, but if it does happen there is a high risk of ectopic gestation. Statistics confirm that a handful of tubal sterilization surgeries are performed shortly after a vaginal delivery by minilaparotomy.
In some cases, sterilization can be reversed but not all. It can vary by the type of sterilization performed. Surgical sterilization methods include: Tubal ligation in females, known popularly as "having one's tubes tied"; the Fallopian tubes, which allow the sperm to fertilize the ovum and would carry the fertilized ovum to the uterus, are closed. This involves a general anesthetic and a laparotomy or laparoscopic approach to cut, clip or cauterize the fallopian tubes. Vasoligation in males; the vasa deferentia, the tubes that connect the testicles to the prostate, are closed. This prevents sperm produced in the testicles from entering the ejaculated semen. Although the term vasectomy is established in the general community, the correct medical terminology is vasoligation. Hysterectomy in females; the uterus is surgically removed, permanently preventing pregnancy and some diseases, such as uterine cancer. Castration in males; the testicles are surgically removed. This is used for the sterilization of animals, but for humans.
It was formerly used on some human male children for other reasons. Transluminal procedures are performed by entry through the female reproductive tract; these use a catheter to place a substance into the Fallopian tubes that causes blockage of the tract in this segment. Such procedures are called non-surgical as they use natural orifices and thereby do not necessitate any surgical incision; the Essure procedure is one such transluminal sterilization technique. In this procedure, polyethylene terephthalate fiber inserts are placed into the fallopian tubes inducing scarring and occlusion of the tubes. Following successful insertion and occlusional response, the Essure procedure is 99.74% effective based on 5 years of follow-up, with zero pregnancies reported in clinical trials. Quinacrine has been used for transluminal sterilization, but despite a multitude of clinical studies on the use of quinacrine and female sterilization, no randomized, controlled trials have been reported to date and there is some controversy over its use.
See mepacrine. There is no working "sterilization pill". In the 1977 textbook Ecoscience: Population, Environment, on page 787, the authors speculate about future possible oral sterilants for humans. In 2015, DNA editing using gene drives to sterilize mosquitos was demonstrated. There have been hoaxes involving fictitious drugs that would purportedly have such effects, notably progesterex. See Norplant, Depo-Provera and oral contraceptive. Motivations for voluntary sterilizations include: Because of the emphasis placed on childbearing as the most important role of women, not having children was traditionally seen as a deficiency or due to fertility problems. However, access to contraception and abortion, new economic and educational opportunities, changing ideas about motherhood have led to new reproductive experiences for women in the United States for women who choose to be childless. Scholars define "voluntarily childless" women as "women of childbearing age who are fertile and state that they do not intend to have children, women of childbearing age who have chosen sterilization, or women past childbearing age who were fertile but chose not to have children."
In industrialized countries such as the United Kingdom, those of Western Europe, the United States, the fertility rate has declined below or near the population replacement rate of two children per woman. Women are having children at a age, most notably, an increasing number of women are choosing not to bear children at all. According to the U. S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, 46% of women aged 15 to 44 were childless in June 2008 compared to 35% of childless women in 1976; the personal freedoms of a childless lifestyle and the ability to focus on other relationships were common motivations underlying the decision to be voluntarily childless. Such personal freedoms included improved financial positions; the couple could engage in more spontaneous activities because they didn't need a babysitter or to consult with someone else. Women had more time to devote to their hobbies. Regarding other relationships, some women chose to forgo children because they wanted to maintain the "type of intimacy that they found fulfilling" with their partners.
Although voluntary childlessness was a joint decision for many couples, "studies have found that women were more the primary decis