"It’s not as if the world needs any more kids!"

Many childless women say they’re branded “selfish” for choosing a life without kids. And Chatel, for one, is owning the term. “I am selfish!” she says. “My favorite topic is me. I get angry when I don’t get my way.” And so “it would be selfish of me to have a child. To be honest, I’d be a horrible mother.”…

In the shorter term, studies are finding people without children actually chart higher on the happiness scale than parents. In a 2-year-old study by the University of Denver, 90 percent of couples saw their marital happiness decrease after their first child was born.

A 2008 Newsweek report found parents to be about 7 percent less happy than the childless, and a related study said “no group of parents reported significantly greater emotional well-being than people who never had children.”