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German public debate on social security should not blame childless people, Michaela Kreyenfeld says on RBB

According to the Professor of Sociology, a better focus would be unfavourable family policies.

Compared to a few decades ago, having children today is seen as a personal choice. On German broadcaster RBB, Hertie School Professor of Sociology Michaela Kreyenfeld commented on whether people without children should pay higher social security contributions, such as the German long-term care insurance. 

“If we make childless individuals pay higher contributions, wouldn’t we polarise society?” she asks. According to the expert on family sociology and demography, public debate focuses on how childlessness will affect the future of the German pension system, which is under pressure due to a shrinking population. Often, criticism falls on people who don’t have children. “But this is not how it is, because the paths to being childless are manifold,” Kreyenfeld says. Instead, she says the focus should be more on unfavourable family policies, which can contribute to decisions against family planning. 

Watch the whole documentary (in German) here.

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