"The mathematics are determinate"

It doesn't seem to matter how many times the numbers are released- relatively well-off women in the West just don't listen. I know it's a fool's errand to try to convince the willfully ignorant that, in fact, two plus two does equal four, but it needs to be said anyway.

I refer, of course, to the increasingly trendy, decreasingly expensive, and inevitably foolish idea of a women freezing her eggs until she's "ready" for motherhood:
Kirstie Allsopp is on a mission. 
Earlier this year, the star came under attack for claiming that women should put off careers and focus on having children in their twenties, because it's much harder to get pregnant later on. 
But the mother-of-two is undeterred and yesterday evening at special talk in London she was once again warning British ladies about the perils of leaving it until your late thirties to start a family. 
She said: 'The facts cannot be got away from. You have a 10 per cent chance of conceiving a child over 40. I don't say this smugly - I got in just under the wire. 
'I think women are being lied to. [Didact: Nothing to "think" about here, ma'am. They ARE being lied to.]
'It gets more and more difficult to have children over the age of 35. 
'Plenty of women don't want children, that's fine - but if you do, you need to know the facts.' 
The Location, Location, Location presenter was talking about the perils of late motherhood as part of a Stylist magazine Life Lessons talk in London yesterday. 
Kirstie advised women to think seriously about delaying university until after their children are born. 
She said: 'I want to say to women: be honest with each other, with your partners, daughters and sons - know that you can have careers at any age, you can go to uni at any age. 
'You can do a thousand brilliant things at any age. But just for now, we haven't opened the fertility window any wider. 
'It is easier and simpler and less of a heartache to just have children when our bodies allow us to. 
'Nature is not a feminist and that's just the truth.' [Didact: Quote of the year. Seriously. Anyone want a good seed idea for a Manosphere blog? That's it, right there.]
Although Kirstie's comments on fertility were heavily criticised by certain feminist corners when she first made them this year, the star isn't alone in her opinions. 
Her views are backed up by the latest research figures from the University of St Andrews and Edinburgh University, which show that the average woman aged 30 only has 12 per cent of her eggs left, while a woman turning forty has only three per cent left in her reserves. 
On top of that, data from the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology shows IVF had a global failure rate of 77 per cent in 2012.
It is not just that women are being lied to. It is the extent that these lies are being taken to that is shocking. The lies are so deep and so pervasive that, when confronted with the undeniable truth, women go into something very much like the 5 stages of grief after receiving that unpleasant load of buckshot to the face.

Let me illustrate the scale of the problem with a personal anecdote. As I may have mentioned a time or two (or ten), I was in Israel earlier this year. During a fairly pleasant evening at the port of Tel Aviv, there were about 15 of us sitting in a restaurant chowing down on very fresh and very tasty seafood.

At least half of the people there were women, and I had the great misfortune to be practically surrounded by them on all sides. One was a stick-thin Asian in her late twenties or early thirties; one was a ghost-white woman of Irish descent with a successful career in finance in her late twenties; one was an "older" woman who had been through what I can only describe as some fairly hard use in her life and was doing her utmost to cover it up using makeup and hair dye; one was a short and plump woman in her mid-thirties with a downright weird personality; and one was there with her 9-year-old daughter.

(I actually became very good friends with her, and especially with her daughter, during that trip. All women are crazy, but some are also genuinely fun to be around. Even the crazy tomboyish nine-year-olds that you end up half-carrying up the side of Mt. Masada.)

Suffice to say, this was not a crowd of ditzy twenty-year-old blonde college co-eds.

During the course of the conversation, we eventually got around to talking about the "right age" to settle down and get married. Now, it's rather obvious that I'm quite single and generally content to stay that way, but when I was listening to these women wondering whether their time to have children had passed, I couldn't really stay quiet. So I told them, in my usual no-BS, I-don't-care-how-you-feel-about-facts way, that any woman over thirty-five has probably seen her chances of having children pass her by.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this was not well received.

Indeed, I think the only reason I didn't come back from that dinner with a fish-bone sticking out of my eye is because that red snapper we'd ordered hadn't arrived yet and we were still working on the hummous and olives.

Yet the facts remain unchanged. The fact is that a woman's years of peak fertility are between the ages of 15 and 25. After the age of 25, her chances of conceiving are decent, but after 30, it's straight downhill.

The probabilities are biologically determined, and there is no known way at present to reverse them. There may never be a way to reverse them, either.

If you look at what gerontological treatments focus on, they target the processes by which cells age and die, and try to slow or even reverse that process. But women lose eggs based on a monthly cycle that begins around the onset of puberty and continues until menopause- this is, as far as I am aware, independent of cellular aging. Unless gerontological science finds a way to stop or reverse the natural biological process of menstruation, there is simply no way to stop the onset of infertility.

A simple graph will show just how big the problem is- and how stark a woman's choices are:
Fertility graph
Source
Remarkable, is it not? And if you crunch the numbers, it's really not that surprising to see this data. Excuse me a moment while I go put on my serious science face.

Also known as my "hey, it's a nice day out" face
A human female starts out with roughly 400,000 potential eggs by the time she hits puberty- these are all formed before that woman is even born. But less than 500 of these will ever actually be released over the course of a woman's life during her monthly fertility cycles. Because of the way the human body has developed over the last n-million years, every month that woman's body prepares to release several of these eggs, but only one ever gets released at a time while the rest regress.

Also, because of the way evolution has primed our bodies, not all of these eggs are equal in nature. It turns out that the highest-quality eggs get released first. That is, the ones with the greatest chances of fertilisation. The last few dozen eggs are not only the last that a woman will ever release; they are also unlikely to be fertilised.

This simple description of known biological processes is illustrated perfectly by that graph above, which puts the process into probabilities- damn near 90% at the age of 20, going down to basically zero at the age of 50.

So basically, if you make the beast with two backs with your man when you're 20- doesn't actually matter what age he is, by the way- without protection, your chances of getting knocked up are very, very high. And when you're 40... well, don't kid yourself, none of the guys you want to sleep with at age 40, will actually want to sleep with you, because they'll all be running after the 20-year-olds. Funny how that works, ain't it?

This understanding of the underlying process also illustrates exactly why that graph isn't a pair of straight lines- to put it simply, the parabolic arcs of both the probability of conception and the probability of infertility just illustrates that the human body is a remarkably evolved biological construct that has numerous ways determining the true "right time" for anything, not just children.

The tl;dr version of all of this is that, biologically speaking, the sooner a woman gets busy when she first starts ovulating, the better for her chances of motherhood.

(I can't really believe I have to add this, but just in case anyone gets the wrong idea- I do not advocate sexual intercourse under the age of consent. Indeed, given that women are allowed to have sex on or before the day that they're allowed to vote in most Western societies, and given the tremendous damage that both sexual agency and universal suffrage have done, I'd say that, if we can't ban the second, we should really raise the bar for the first.)

By the way, how much of this biology do you suppose is actually taught in the average high-school sex ed class?

I can't answer for the average public high school- I've been educated in private schools my whole life*. But based on what I've seen, I'm willing to take a punt and say, "none of it". Which is partly why women are so woefully ignorant these days of the realities of their own fertility.

But this is only part of the story. You can bludgeon an obstinate and foolish and irrational woman with the facts until her ears bleed (or your head explodes- usually the latter), but women will still insist that they have a way out: egg-freezing combined with in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Sorry ladies- that's bunk too. Again. Do. The. Maths.

Egg freezing costs somewhere between US$7K and 12K. That is simply for the extraction and freezing process, by the way. And it bears saying- long-term freezing is not good for cellular matter, no matter what you're told to believe. There is a reason why you can't freeze biological matter for particularly long periods- cellular matter is damaged by severe cold just as it is by severe heat.

On top of the cost of extracting and freezing, you then have to factor in the cost of fertilisation and transfer to the uterus. This will run you an extra $4-5K.

That's a total cost of nearly $20K. For a procedure with a 77% failure rate.

To put that into perspective, that's a bit like buying a new Toyota Corolla- that then breaks down four out of every five days that you want to drive it. Except that you can't sell this one for spare parts.

I know, this procedure is still highly experimental. It will improve its success rates with time, just like plastic surgery and various complex medical procedures have gone from being radical and extremely difficult and dangerous to routine and affordable today. It may well come to pass, in the not-so-distant future, that the average woman will be able to afford egg-freezing fertility treatments that allow her- in the deluded recesses of her own mind- to put off childbirth and parenthood until her mid-thirties or early forties.

Let's say, in fact, that our hypothetical woman has indeed managed to roll with the one-two-punch combination outlined above. She avoids the loss of her most fertile eggs by freezing them, because the technology has gotten significantly cheaper and more reliable and more successful. She is therefore given the opportunity to put in her twenty years as an ambitious, successful career woman and takes it with gusto.

She then spends the next twenty years sleeping around, partying, hooking up with random guys, and generally having a ball working really hard to get to the top. She ends up looking like this, but hey, the career highlights were worth it, right?

Successful empowered woman- see the joy!
At the age of forty-two, having finally found a poor hapless Beta buttboy schmuck The One (Hundredth/Thousandth/Ten Thousandth) to quiet the deafening peals of her biological clock, she gets married, unfreezes her eggs, and goes through IVF treatment to try to bring life into the world.

Let's say she succeeds at doing this, because by then, technology will have advanced to the point where this will really work reliably and easily.

Here's the final sucker punch which delivers the knockout blow to this vapid feminist dream: the woman is forty two and raising a small child.

My sister and I have a significant age gap between us, and I have a very good long-term memory. As a result, I remember full well what she was like as a small child. Put simply, she was a tiny terror. She was hyper, she was loud, and you couldn't leave her out of your sight for more than a few minutes for fear that she'd go stick her tongue in an electrical outlet or something equally hilarious dangerous. Keeping up with her was exhausting.

And I was looking at it from the perspective of being an older brother wondering what the devil the fuss was about over this mad little monkey that was running around the house. I cannot imagine how tiring it was for my mum- and she was thirty-two when my sister was born and still had a fair amount of her youthful energy left. By the time my sister was about eight, my mum was clearly in a different place in her life. I've spoken to her candidly about this in the past, and she stated quite clearly that she would never have had the ability or energy to have kids at the age of forty.

Let us for the sake of argument admit that, in the near future, gerontological treatments might well be able to reverse the aging process to the point where forty is actually the new twenty. That could happen- I'd argue that it will happen, someday.

Here's the problem with that line of argument: it assumes that, even as humans engineer their way around the problem, the human desires and attitudes that spawned the problem in the first place will stay constant. This is illogical. The more likely outcome is that, as age-prevention technology advances, humans themselves will find ever more excuses to prolong parenthood and fertility because, hey, we can do it! We can have our cake and eat it too!

Except... we can't.

There is a real and terrible biological price to be paid for delaying parenthood and childbirth, and we can see it all around us in the collapsing fertility rates of the Western world. The West, especially Europe, is essentially growing old and dying on its feet. Several East Asian societies are even worse off; Japan is now at the point where its population is, for all practical purposes, doomed, and China will follow suit in the latter half of this century.

And none of this even takes into account the psychological effects of deferring childbirth on women. Let's not dance around this- women are biologically designed to bring life into this world. It's literally their main reason for existence. Their bodies are built specifically for it. (I'm not saying it's their only reason for existence- it's just the biggest one.)

That biological design manifests itself in most pleasant ways, too. As a straight bloke, all I can say is that the absolute best thing about warm lazy summer days is the fact that you get to appreciate the joys of the female form that much more.

In the final analysis, the conclusion is simple. The numbers don't lie. If you're a young woman, accept here and now that you've been lied to all of your life- by your peers, by your schools, by your universities, by your co-workers, even possibly by your parents.

Your choices are not between having a career now or having a family later. They are between having a family or not having a family.

I presented that choice in those terms, more or less, to a table full of women in Israel and was lucky to escape with my head and eardrums intact, but female irrationality does not affect simple truths. The sooner that women listen to these truths, and accept them, the better off the human race will be.

At the moment, as far as I can tell, we are perilously close to making ourselves completely irrelevant, simply by ignoring those truths.

*Given how much nonsense I was taught in school, and how much I've had to un-learn since then, I strongly suspect that the arguments in favour of private over public schooling are specious at best.

Comments

  1. I can attest to the exhaustion factor.

    Our son came along when my wife and I were 28/29 (a few months separate us in age). Due to some medical issues, after years of trying (including - yes - two failed cycles of IVF!) our daughter arrived 10 years later.

    I'd always remembered the relentless sleepless nights and demands from my son's first years as painful. But I struggle to find words in the English language to describe going through the same thing ten years later - the closest I can get is 'torture'.

    Of course ymmv but the simple truth is that just those extra 10 years made a significant difference in coping ability. As a parent you do what ever it takes of course, but it is foolish to think that you will have the same capacity for the challenge as you did when you were in your twenties.

    And dealing with teenagers when you are in your late fifties?!?!?

    Good luck with that ladies........

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