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Searching information about this subject often leads to personal stories from women making the choice to live childfree and women stating they either always wanted to have children or experienced a sudden 'baby fever'. Often this baby fever is understood to be a biological urge.

In this article a link between hormones and the need for own offspring is made a couple of times, but also contradicted.

In the context of evolutionary adaptedness, all women were exposed to babies and infants, and the ‘default’ setting for the female body is to have experienced both nurturing and pregnancies by the early twenties. Rotkirch therefore suggests that longing for a baby develops out of hormonal changes evolved to prepare women for motherhood. These might be triggered by falling in love; the ‘nesting’ behaviour associated with settling down; exposure to infants or the aging process. Conversely, however, Kravdal has found evidence in Norway of a demographically significant cohort for whom reproduction and finding a long-term partner and ‘settling’ down’ are quite exclusive (Kravdal 1997).

In the same article, the effects of hormones on human intercourse and attractiveness between men and women is briefly explained. However, to me it seems that the urge to have sex is something different from the urge to have babies or to become a parent. I would like to know if there are hormones or other biological changes in women that cause something like 'baby fever' or if it is rather more of a more psychological or social environment phenomenon.

Other relevant articles are often not accessible to me or prove too difficult to understand with basic biology knowledge.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting though this question is, do you really think you will obtain a definitive answer? What would that be? That it has been shown by experiments on a large statistical sample of human subjects that injecting a cocktail of defined compounds leads their having more children than a control group injected with a placebo? I think you are left with individual anecdote or subjective opinion. $\endgroup$ – David Aug 17 '17 at 22:04
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    $\begingroup$ I was not thinking along the lines of a individual anecdote, those are easy to find anywhere. I was hoping there perhaps might be a study that shows something along the lines of increased hormones when women are subjected to children, other women having children or simply aging. Or a test that shows brain activity when testsubjects are exposed to images relevant to nurturing a child. Testing whether that happens seems doable to me. $\endgroup$ – IVI Aug 18 '17 at 6:15
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    $\begingroup$ Also, a definite 'No, this has not been proven and/or is impossible to research on a large scale because A and B' would be an answer that would clarify things. $\endgroup$ – IVI Aug 18 '17 at 6:21
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The biological urge to find a mate means that an innate desire for children is unnecessary. Having sex with a partner pretty much guaranteed children before contraception was available.

It's hard to imagine why an urge to have children would exist, but that's not the same as saying it doesn't -- but I also can't imagine how you'd be able to pull apart biological vs social pressures in such a complex and core part of being human.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is an argument but not an answer backed by facts in terms of SE Biology. "is unnecessary", "It's hard to imagine". The simple reason is that it is not really a question that it is suitable for SE Biology and therefore one that one is advised not to answer in the help. $\endgroup$ – David Aug 17 '17 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough, would this have been appropriate as a comment? $\endgroup$ – JCThomas Aug 18 '17 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ — yes I think so. $\endgroup$ – David Aug 18 '17 at 15:14

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