Due in part to birth control, later marriages, and the emergence of two-career couples, 42 percent of the American female population is childless, representing the fastest-growing demographic group to emerge in decades. These women are reshaping the definition of womanhood in a fundamental way, yet they are largely misunderstood. Whether childless by choice or by chance, they are alternately pitied and scorned, and are rarely asked directly about their childlessness; like the elephant in the living room, childlessness is a taboo subject.Asking the hard questions, Madelyn Cain uncovers the many reasons for childlessness-some biological, some economic and even political-and explores the ramifications, for both the individual and society. Simultaneously compassionate and journalistically curious, The Childless Revolution is informed by the stories of over 100 childless women, at long last giving voice to their experience and validating the jumble of emotions women feel about being a part of this controversial population. This is the first book to put a face on those women who cannot conceive-or, for reasons as varied as womanhood itself, have chosen not to.