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Interview: Laura Carroll, Author of The Baby Matrix

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Laura Carroll is the author of The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction will Create a Better World, Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, and Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out.

In addition to writing nonfiction books, Laura Carroll has worked over the last 15 years as a business and litigation psychology consultant and used her expertise in behavioral sciences, psychology, and communications to advise business, legal, and nonprofit professionals on their communications strategies and goals.

Ms. Carroll is a seasoned leader of personal and professional development seminars, and has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show. She has been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics.

Laura and her husband reside in San Francisco, CA.

You’ll also find her online at her nonfiction book site, LiveTrue Books, her top blog, La Vie Childfree, Twitter and Facebook

Could you please tell us a bit about your book?

The Baby Matrix looks at why it is time for us to take a hard look at a set of beliefs that has influenced how we have thought about parenthood and reproduction for generations. That set of beliefs is called “pronatalism.” At its core is the belief that having children should be the central focus of every adult’s life. This book:

• examines the historical origins of pronatalist beliefs
• explains why these beliefs have become so embedded such that people see them as “true”
• scrutinizes seven major pronatalist assumptions that lead people to accept them without question
• offers alternative mindsets that reflect realities, true reproductive freedom and responsibility in today’s society
• gives readers ways to make post-pronatal mindsets come alive in their lives

Whether readers are already parents, want to be parents, or don’t want children, they will never think about parenthood in the same way. Without compromise, The Baby Matrix is a reality check for us all. Are we willing to hold on to beliefs that aren’t necessarily true … even to our detriment? This book will make you examine your own intentions and beliefs, will rile you, and might just change your mind.

The Baby Matrix is a must-read for anyone interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology, parenting issues, environmentalism, and social justice. But most of all, it’s for anyone, parent or not, who reveres the truth and wants the best for themselves, their families, and our world.

How did you come up with the title and how much say did you have on the cover design?

In the movie, The Matrix, the “matrix” is something that feels so real to people but we find out it is not reality at all. The more I dug into “pronatalism” the more I saw it’s the same. In this case, it’s a set of beliefs that we’ve come to believe so strongly they feel “real” or true, when they really are not. I collaborated with a fabulous cover designer and we created the cover together.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt that you would like to share from your book?

From the chapter titled, “The Destiny Assumption”: “We can look at the question of whether men or women have a biological instinct to want or have children another way. Rather than biological, the urge, the wanting has its roots in a learned desire from strong social and cultural pronatal influences. And we’ve been influenced so strongly that it feels like the desire for children is “innate”—it’s so ingrained that we’ve thought it’s just part of who we are. For too long, pronatalist propaganda created by social institutions to control human behavior has influenced our emotions, thinking, and social values. It’s time to recognize that the pronatal assumption that we are biologically destined to want children is not a biological reality. What is the reality?

About April Pohren

  • Jennifer Rote

    This is a personal choice. I know a lot of people that should have made this choice and didn’t.

    [personal contact info deleted by comments editor]