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Subreddit Demographic Survey 2020 : The Results

2020 Childfree Subreddit Survey

1. Introduction

Once a year, this subreddit hosts a survey in order to get to know the community a little bit and in order to answer questions that are frequently asked here. Earlier this summer, several thousand of you participated in the 2020 Subreddit Demographic Survey. Only those participants who meet our wiki definition of being childfree's results were recorded and analysed.
Of these people, multiple areas of your life were reviewed. They are separated as follows:

2. Methodology

Our sample is redditors who saw that we had a survey currently active and were willing to complete the survey. A stickied post was used to advertise the survey to members.

3. Results

The raw data may be found via this link.
7305 people participated in the survey from July 2020 to October 2020. People who did not meet our wiki definition of being childfree were excluded from the survey. The results of 5134 responders, or 70.29% of those surveyed, were collated and analysed below. Percentages are derived from the respondents per question.

General Demographics

Age group

Age group Participants Percentage
18 or younger 309 6.02%
19 to 24 1388 27.05%
25 to 29 1435 27.96%
30 to 34 1089 21.22%
35 to 39 502 9.78%
40 to 44 223 4.35%
45 to 49 81 1.58%
50 to 54 58 1.13%
55 to 59 25 0.49%
60 to 64 13 0.25%
65 to 69 7 0.14%
70 to 74 2 0.04%
82.25% of the sub is under the age of 35.

Gender and Gender Identity

Age group Participants # Percentage
Agender 62 1.21%
Female 3747 73.04%
Male 1148 22.38%
Non-binary 173 3.37%

Sexual Orientation

Sexual Orientation Participants # Percentage
Asexual 379 7.39%
Bisexual 1177 22.93%
Heterosexual 2833 55.20%
Homosexual 264 5.14%
It's fluid 152 2.96%
Other 85 1.66%
Pansexual 242 4.72%

Birth Location

Because the list contains over 120 countries, we'll show the top 20 countries:
Country of birth Participants # Percentage
United States 2775 57.47%
United Kingdom 367 7.60%
Canada 346 7.17%
Australia 173 3.58%
Germany 105 2.17%
Netherlands 67 1.39%
India 63 1.30%
Poland 57 1.18%
France 47 0.97%
New Zealand 42 0.87%
Mexico 40 0.83%
Brazil 40 0.83%
Sweden 38 0.79%
Finland 31 0.64%
South Africa 30 0.62%
Denmark 28 0.58%
China 27 0.56%
Ireland 27 0.56%
Phillipines 24 0.50%
Russia 23 0.48%
90.08% of the participants were born in these countries.
These participants would describe their current city, town or neighborhood as:
Region Participants # Percentage
Rural 705 13.76
Suburban 2661 51.95
Urban 1756 34.28

Ethnicity

Ethnicity Participants # Percentage
African Descent/Black 157 3.07%
American Indian or Alaskan Native 18 0.35%
Arabic/Middle Eastern/Near Eastern 34 0.66%
Bi/Multiracial 300 5.86%
Caucasian/White 3946 77.09%
East Asian 105 2.05%
Hispanic/Latinx 271 5.29%
Indian/South Asian 116 2.27%
Indigenous Australian/Torres Straight IslandeMaori 8 0.16%
Jewish (the ethnicity, not religion) 50 0.98%
Other 32 0.63%
Pacific IslandeMelanesian 4 0.08%
South-East Asian 78 1.52%

Education

Highest Current Level of Education

Highest Current Level of Education Participants # Percentage
Associate's degree 233 4.55%
Bachelor's degree 1846 36.05%
Did not complete elementary school 2 0.04%
Did not complete high school 135 2.64%
Doctorate degree 121 2.36%
Graduated high school / GED 559 10.92%
Master's degree 714 13.95%
Post Doctorate 19 0.37%
Professional degree 107 2.09%
Some college / university 1170 22.85%
Trade / Technical / Vocational training 214 4.18%
Degree (Major) Participants # Percentage
Architecture 23 0.45%
Arts and Humanities 794 15.54%
Business and Economics 422 8.26%
Computer Science 498 9.75%
Education 166 3.25%
Engineering Technology 329 6.44%
I don't have a degree or a major 1028 20.12%
Law 124 2.43%
Life Sciences 295 5.77%
Medicine and Allied Health 352 6.89%
Other 450 8.81%
Physical Sciences 199 3.89%
Social Sciences 430 8.41%

Career and Finances

The top 10 industries our participants are working in are:
Industry Participants # Percentage
Information Technology 317 6.68%
Health Care 311 6.56%
Education - Teaching 209 4.41%
Engineering 203 4.28%
Retail 182 3.84%
Government 172 3.63%
Admin & Clerical 154 3.25%
Restaurant - Food Service 148 3.12%
Customer Service 129 2.72%
Design 127 2.68%
Note that "other", "I'm a student", "currently unemployed" and "I'm out of the work force for health or other reasons" have been disregarded for this part of the evaluation.
Out of the 3729 participants active in the workforce, the majority (1824 or 48.91%) work between 40-50 hours per week with 997 or 26.74% working 30-40 hours weekly. 6.62% work 50 hours or more per week, and 17.73% less than 30 hours.
513 or 10.13% are engaged in managerial responsibilities (ranging from Jr. to Sr. Management).
On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), the overwhelming majority (3340 or 70%) indicated that career plays a very important role in their lives, attributing a score of 7 and higher.
1065 participants decided not to disclose their income brackets. The remaining 4,849 are distributed as follows:
Income Participants # Percentage
$0 to $14,999 851 21.37%
$15,000 to $29,999 644 16.17%
$30,000 to $59,999 1331 33.42%
$60,000 to $89,999 673 16.90%
$90,000 to $119,999 253 6.35%
$120,000 to $149,999 114 2.86%
$150,000 to $179,999 51 1.28%
$180,000 to $209,999 25 0.63%
$210,000 to $239,999 9 0.23%
$240,000 to $269,999 10 0.25%
$270,000 to $299,999 7 0.18%
$300,000 or more 15 0.38%
87.85% earn under $90,000 USD a year.
65.82% of our childfree participants do not have a concrete retirement plan (savings, living will).

Religion and Spirituality

Faith Originally Raised In

There were more than 50 options of faith, so we aimed to show the top 10 most chosen beliefs.
Faith Participants # Percentage
Catholicism 1573 30.76%
None (≠ Atheism. Literally, no notion of spirituality or religion in the upbringing) 958 18.73%
Protestantism 920 17.99%
Other 431 8.43%
Atheism 318 6.22%
Agnosticism 254 4.97%
Anglicanism 186 3.64%
Judaism 77 1.51%
Hinduism 75 1.47%
Islam 71 1.39%
This top 10 amounts to 95.01% of the total participants.

Current Faith

There were more than 50 options of faith, so we aimed to show the top 10 most chosen beliefs:
Faith Participants # Percentage
Atheism 1849 36.23%
None (≠ Atheism. Literally, no notion of spirituality or religion currently) 1344 26.33%
Agnosticism 789 15.46%
Other 204 4.00%
Protestantism 159 3.12%
Paganism 131 2.57%
Spiritualism 101 1.98%
Catholicism 96 1.88%
Satanism 92 1.80%
Wicca 66 1.29%
This top 10 amounts to 94.65% of the participants.

Level of Current Religious Practice

Level Participants # Percentage
Wholly seculanon religious 3733 73.73%
Identify with religion, but don't practice strictly 557 11.00%
Lapsed/not serious/in name only 393 7.76%
Observant at home only 199 3.93%
Observant at home. Church/Temple/Mosque/etc. attendance 125 2.47%
Strictly observant, Church/Temple/Mosque/etc. attendance, religious practice/prayeworship impacting daily life 56 1.11%

Effect of Faith over Childfreedom

Figure 1

Effect of Childfreedom over Faith

Figure 2

Romantic and Sexual Life

Current Dating Situation

Status Participants # Percentage
Divorced 46 0.90%
Engaged 207 4.04%
Long term relationship, living together 1031 20.10%
Long term relationship, not living with together 512 9.98%
Married 1230 23.98%
Other 71 1.38%
Separated 18 0.35%
Short term relationship 107 2.09%
Single and dating around, but not looking for anything serious 213 4.15%
Single and dating around, looking for something serious 365 7.12%
Single and not looking 1324 25.81%
Widowed 5 0.10%

Childfree Partner

Is your partner childfree? If your partner wants children and/or has children of their own and/or are unsure about their position, please consider them "not childfree" for this question.
Partner Participants # Percentage
I don't have a partner 1922 37.56%
I have more than one partner and none are childfree 3 0.06%
I have more than one partner and some are childfree 35 0.68%
I have more than one partner and they are all childfree 50 0.98
No 474 9.26%
Yes 2633 51.46%

Dating a Single Parent

Would the childfree participants be willing to date a single parent?
Answer Participants # Percentage
No, I'm not interested in single parents and their ties to parenting life 4610 90.13%
Yes, but only if it's a short term arrangement of some sort 162 3.17%
Yes, whether for long term or short term, but with some conditions (must not have child custody, no kid talk, etc.), as long as I like them and long as we're compatible 199 3.89%
Yes, whether for long term or short term, with no conditions, as long as I like them and as long as we are compatible 144 2.82%

Childhood and Family Life

On a scale from 1 (very unhappy) to 10 (very happy), how would you rate your childhood?
Figure 3
Of the 5125 childfree people who responded to the question, 67.06% have a pet or are heavily involved in the care of someone else's pet.

Sterilisation

Sterilisation Status

Sterilisation Status Participants # Percentage
No, I am not sterilised and, for medical, practical or other reasons, I do not need to be 869 16.96%
No. However, I've been approved for the procedure and I'm waiting for the date to arrive 86 1.68%
No. I am not sterilised and don't want to be 634 12.37%
No. I want to be sterilised but I have started looking for a doctorequested the procedure 594 11.59%
No. I want to be sterilised but I haven't started looking for a doctorequested the procedure yet 2317 45.21%
Yes. I am sterilised 625 12.20%

Age when starting doctor shopping or addressing issue with doctor. Percentages exclude those who do not want to be sterilised and who have not discussed sterilisation with their doctor.

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 207 12.62%
19 to 24 588 35.85%
25 to 29 510 31.10%
30 to 34 242 14.76%
35 to 39 77 4.70%
40 to 44 9 0.55%
45 to 49 5 0.30%
50 to 54 1 0.06%
55 or older 1 0.06%

Age at the time of sterilisation. Percentages exclude those who have not and do not want to be sterilised.

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 5 0.79%
19 to 24 123 19.34%
25 to 29 241 37.89%
30 to 34 168 26.42%
35 to 39 74 11.64%
40 to 44 19 2.99%
45 to 49 1 0.16%
50 to 54 2 0.31%
55 or older 3 0.47%

Elapsed time between requesting procedure and undergoing procedure. Percentages exclude those who have not and do not want to be sterilised.

Time Participants # Percentage
Less than 3 months 330 50.46%
Between 3 and 6 months 111 16.97%
Between 6 and 9 months 33 5.05%
Between 9 and 12 months 20 3.06%
Between 12 and 18 months 22 3.36%
Between 18 and 24 months 15 2.29%
Between 24 and 30 months 6 0.92%
Between 30 and 36 months 2 0.31%
Between 3 and 5 years 40 6.12%
Between 5 and 7 years 25 3.82%
More than 7 years 50 7.65%

How many doctors refused at first, before finding one who would accept?

Doctor # Participants # Percentage
None. The first doctor I asked said yes 604 71.73%
One. The second doctor I asked said yes 93 11.05%
Two. The third doctor I asked said yes 54 6.41%
Three. The fourth doctor I asked said yes 29 3.44%
Four. The fifth doctor I asked said yes 12 1.43%
Five. The sixth doctor I asked said yes 8 0.95%
Six. The seventh doctor I asked said yes 10 1.19%
Seven. The eighth doctor I asked said yes 4 0.48%
Eight. The ninth doctor I asked said yes 2 0.24%
I asked more than 10 doctors before finding one who said yes 26 3.09%

Childfreedom

Primary Reason to Not Have Children

Reason Participants # Percentage
Aversion towards children ("I don't like children") 1455 28.36%
Childhood trauma 135 2.63%
Current state of the world 110 2.14%
Environmental (including overpopulation) 158 3.08%
Eugenics ("I have 'bad genes'") 57 1.11%
Financial 175 3.41%
I already raised somebody else who isn't my child 83 1.62%
Lack of interest towards parenthood ("I don't want to raise children") 2293 44.69%
Maybe interested for parenthood, but not suited for parenthood 48 0.94%
Medical ("I have a condition that makes conceiving/bearing/birthing children difficult, dangerous or lethal") 65 1.27%
Other 68 1.33%
Philosophical / Moral (e.g. antinatalism) 193 3.76%
Tokophobia (aversion/fear of pregnancy and/or chidlbirth) 291 5.67%
95.50% of childfree people are pro-choice, however only 55.93% of childfree people support financial abortion.

Dislike Towards Children

Figure 4

Working With Children

Work Participants # Percentage
I'm a student and my future job/career will heavily makes me interact with children on a daily basis 67 1.30%
I'm retired, but I used to have a job that heavily makes me interact with children on a daily basis 6 0.12%
I'm unemployed, but I used to have a job that heavily makes me interact with children on a daily basis 112 2.19%
No, I do not have a job that makes me heavily interact with children on a daily basis 4493 87.81%
Other 148 2.89%
Yes, I do have a job that heavily makes me interact with children on a daily basis 291 5.69%

4. Discussion

Child Status

This section solely existed to sift the childfree from the fencesitters and the non childfree in order to get answers only from the childfree. Childfree, as it is defined in the subreddit, is "I do not have children nor want to have them in any capacity (biological, adopted, fostered, step- or other) at any point in the future." 70.29% of participants actually identify as childfree, slightly up from the 2019 survey, where 68.5% of participants identified as childfree. This is suprising in reflection of the overall reputation of the subreddit across reddit, where the subreddit is often described as an "echo chamber".

General Demographics

The demographics remain largely consistent with the 2019 survey. However, the 2019 survey collected demographic responses from all participants in the survey, removing those who did not identify as childfree when querying subreddit specific questions, while the 2020 survey only collected responses from people who identified as childfree. This must be considered when comparing results.
82.25% of the participants are under 35, compared with 85% of the subreddit in the 2019 survey. A slight downward trend is noted compared over the last two years suggesting the userbase may be getting older on average. 73.04% of the subreddit identify as female, compared with 71.54% in the 2019 survey. Again, when compared with the 2019 survey, this suggests a slight increase in the number of members who identify as female. This is in contrast to the overall membership of Reddit, estimated at 74% male according to Reddit's Wikipedia page [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddit#Users_and_moderators]. The ratio of members who identify as heterosexual remained consistent, from 54.89% in the 2019 survey to 55.20% in the 2020 survey.
Ethnicity wise, 77% of members identified as primarily Caucasian, consistent with the 2019 results. While the ethnicities noted to be missing in the 2019 survey have been included in the 2020 survey, some users noted the difficulty of responding when fitting multiple ethnicities, and this will be addressed in the 2021 survey.

Education level

As it did in the 2019 survey, this section highlights the stereotype of childfree people as being well educated. 2.64% of participants did not complete high school, which is a slight decrease from the 2019 survey, where 4% of participants did not graduate high school. However, 6.02% of participants are under 18, compared with 8.22% in the 2019 survey. 55% of participants have a bachelors degree or higher, while an additional 23% have completed "some college or university".
At the 2020 survey, the highest percentage of responses under the: What is your degree/major? question fell under "I don't have a degree or a major" (20.12%). Arts and Humanities, and Computer Science have overtaken Health Sciences and Engineering as the two most popular majors. However, the list of majors was pared down to general fields of study rather than highly specific degree majors to account for the significant diversity in majors studied by the childfree community, which may account for the different results.

Career and Finances

The highest percentage of participants at 21.61% listed themselves as trained professionals.
One of the stereotypes of the childfree is of wealth. However this is not demonstrated in the survey results. 70.95% of participants earn under $60,000 USD per annum, while 87.85% earn under $90,000 per annum. 21.37% are earning under $15,000 per annum. 1065 participants, or 21.10% chose not to disclose this information. It is possible that this may have skewed the results if a significant proportion of these people were our high income earners, but impossible to explore.
A majority of our participants work between 30 and 50 hours per week (75.65%) which is slightly increased from the 2019 survey, where 71.2% of participants worked between 30 and 50 hours per week.

Location

The location responses are largely similar to the 2019 survey with a majority of participants living in a suburban and urban area. 86.24% of participants in the 2020 survey live in urban and suburban regions, with 86.7% of participants living in urban and suburban regions in the 2019 survey. There is likely a multifactorial reason for this, encompassing the younger, educated skew of participants and the easier access to universities and employment, and the fact that a majority of the population worldwide localises to urban centres. There may be an element of increased progressive social viewpoints and identities in urban regions, however this would need to be explored further from a sociological perspective to draw any definitive conclusions.
A majority of our participants (57.47%) were born in the USA. The United Kingdom (7.6%), Canada (7.17%), Australia (3.58%) and Germany (2.17%) encompass the next 4 most popular responses. This is largely consistent with the responses in the 2019 survey.

Religion and Spirituality

For the 2020 survey Christianity (the most popular result in 2019) was split into it's major denominations, Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, among others. This appears to be a linguistic/location difference that caused a lot of confusion among some participants. However, Catholicism at 30.76% remained the most popular choice for the religion participants were raised in. However, of our participant's current faith, Aetheism at 36.23% was the most popular choice. A majority of 78.02% listed their current religion as Aetheist, no religious or spiritual beliefs, or Agnostic.
A majority of participants (61%) rated religion as "not at all influential" to the childfree choice. This is consistent with the 2019 survey where 62.8% rated religion as "not at all influential". Despite the high percentage of participants who identify as aetheist or agnostic, this does not appear to be related to or have an impact on the childfree choice.

Romantic and Sexual Life

60.19% of our participants are in a relationship at the time of the survey. This is consistent with the 2019 survey, where 60.7% of our participants were in a relationship. A notable proportion of our participants are listed as single and not looking (25.81%) which is consistent with the 2019 survey. Considering the frequent posts seeking dating advice as a childfree person, it is surprising that such a high proportion of the participants are not actively seeking out a relationship. Unsurprisingly 90.13% of our participants would not consider dating someone with children. 84% of participants with partners of some kind have at least one childfree partner. This is consistent with the often irreconcilable element of one party desiring children and the other wishing to abstain from having children.

Childhood and Family Life

Overall, the participants skew towards a happier childhood.

Sterilisation

While just under half of our participants wish to be sterilised, 45.21%, only 12.2% have been successful in achieving sterilisation. This is likely due to overarching resistance from the medical profession however other factors such as the logistical elements of surgery and the cost may also contribute. There is a slight increase from the percentage of participants sterilised in the 2019 survey (11.7%). 29.33% of participants do not wish to be or need to be sterilised suggesting a partial element of satisfaction from temporary birth control methods or non-necessity of contraception due to their current lifestyle practices. Participants who indicated that they do not wish to be sterilised or haven't achieved sterilisation were excluded from the percentages where necessary in this section.
Of the participants who did achieve sterilisation, a majority began the search between 19 and 29, with the highest proportion being in the 19-24 age group (35.85%) This is a marked increase from the 2019 survey where 27.3% of people who started the search were between 19-24. This may be due to increased education about permanent contraception or possibly due to an increase in instability around world events.
The majority of participants who sought out and were successful at achieving sterilisation, were however in the 25-29 age group (37.9%). This is consistent with the 2019 survey results.
The time taken between seeking out sterilisation and achieving it continues to increase, with only 50.46% of participants achieving sterilisation in under 3 months. This is a decline from the number of participants who achieved sterilisation in 3 months in the 2019 survey (58.5%). A potential cause of this decrease is to Covid-19 shutdowns in the medical industry leading to an increase in procedure wait times. The proportion of participants who have had one or more doctors refuse to perform the procedure has stayed consistent between the two surveys.

Childfreedom

The main reasons for people choosing the childfree lifestyle are a lack of interest towards parenthood and an aversion towards children which is consistent with the 2019 survey. Of the people surveyed 67.06% are pet owners or involved in a pet's care, suggesting that this lack of interest towards parenthood does not necessarily mean a lack of interest in all forms of caretaking. The community skews towards a dislike of children overall which correlates well with the 87.81% of users choosing "no, I do not have, did not use to have and will not have a job that makes me heavily interact with children on a daily basis" in answer to, "do you have a job that heavily makes you interact with children on a daily basis?". This is an increase from the 2019 survey.
A vast majority of the subreddit identifes as pro-choice (95.5%), a slight increase from the 2019 results. This is likely due to a high level of concern about bodily autonomy and forced birth/parenthood. However only 55.93% support financial abortion, aka for the non-pregnant person in a relationship to sever all financial and parental ties with a child. This is a marked decrease from the 2019 results, where 70% of participants supported financial abortion.
Most of our users realised that did not want children young. 58.72% of participants knew they did not want children by the age of 18, with 95.37% of users realising this by age 30. This correlates well with the age distribution of participants. Despite this early realisation of our childfree stance, 80.59% of participants have been "bingoed" at some stage in their lives.

The Subreddit

Participants who identify as childfree were asked about their interaction with and preferences with regards to the subreddit at large. Participants who do not meet our definition of being childfree were excluded from these questions.
By and large our participants were lurkers (72.32%). Our participants were divided on their favourite flairs with 38.92% selecting "I have no favourite". The next most favourite flair was "Rant", at 16.35%. Our participants were similarly divided on their least favourite flair, with 63.40% selecting "I have no least favourite". In light of these results the flairs on offer will remain as they have been through 2019.
With regards to "lecturing" posts, this is defined as a post which seeks to re-educate the childfree on the practices, attitudes and values of the community, particularly with regards to attitudes towards parenting and children, whether at home or in the community. A commonly used descriptor is "tone policing". A small minority of the survey participants (3.36%) selected "yes" to allowing all lectures, however 33.54% responded "yes" to allowing polite, respectful lectures only. In addition, 45.10% of participants indicated that they were not sure if lectures should be allowed. Due to the ambiguity of responses, lectures will continue to be not allowed and removed.
Many of our participants (36.87%) support the use of terms such as breeder, mombie/moo, daddict/duh on the subreddit, with a further 32.63% supporting use of these terms in context of bad parents only. This is a slight drop from the 2019 survey. In response to this use of the above and similar terms to describe parents remains permitted on this subreddit. However, we encourage users to keep the use of these terms to bad parents only.
44.33% of users support the use of terms to describe children such as crotchfruit on the subreddit, a drop from 55.3% last year. A further 25.80% of users supporting the use of this and similar terms in context of bad children only, an increase from 17.42% last year. In response to this use of the above and similar terms to describe children remains permitted on this subreddit.
69.17% of participants answered yes to allowing parents to post, provided they stay respectful. In response to this, parent posts will continue to be allowed on the subreddit. As for regret posts, which were to be revisited in this year's survey, only 9.5% of participants regarded them as their least favourite post. As such they will continue to stay allowed.
64% of participants support under 18's who are childfree participating in the subreddit with a further 19.59% allowing under 18's to post dependent on context. Therefore we will continue to allow under 18's that stay within the overall Reddit age requirement.
There was divide among participants as to whether "newbie" questions should be removed. An even spread was noted among participants who selected remove and those who selected to leave them as is. We have therefore decided to leave them as is. 73.80% of users selected "yes, in their own post, with their own "Leisure" flair" to the question, "Should posts about pets, travel, jetskis, etc be allowed on the sub?" Therefore we will continue to allow these posts provided they are appropriately flaired.

5. Conclusion

Thank you to our participants who contributed to the survey. This has been an unusual and difficult year for many people. Stay safe, and stay childfree.

submitted by Mellenoire to childfree [link] [comments]

Subreddit Demographic Survey 2019 : The Results

Subreddit Demographic Survey 2019

1. Introduction

Once a year, this subreddit hosts a survey in order to get to know the community a little bit and in order to answer questions that are frequently asked here. Earlier this summer, a few thousand of you participated in a massive Subreddit Demographic Survey.
Unfortunately during the process of collating results we lost contact with SailorMercure, who in previous years has completed all of the data analysis from the Google form responses. We were therefore required to collate and analyse the responses from the raw data via Excel. I attach the raw data below for those who would like to review it. For 2020 we will be rebuilding the survey from scratch.
Raw Data
Multiple areas of your life were probed: general a/s/l, education, finances, religious beliefs, marital status, etc. They are separated in 10 sections:
  1. General Demographics
  2. Education Level
  3. Career and Finances
  4. Child Status
  5. Current Location
  6. Religion and Spirituality
  7. Sexual and Romantic Life
  8. Childhood and Family Life
  9. Sterilization
  10. Childfreedom

2. Methodology

Our sample is people from this subreddit who saw that we had a survey going on and were willing to complete the survey. A weekly stickied announcement was used to alert members of the community that a survey was being run.

3. Results

5,976 participants over the course of two months at a subscriber count of 588,488 (total participant ratio of slightly >1%)

3.1 General Demographics

5,976 participants in total

Age group

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 491 8.22%
19 to 24 1820 30.46%
25 to 29 1660 27.78%
30 to 34 1107 18.52%
35 to 39 509 8.52%
40 to 44 191 3.20%
45 to 49 91 1.52%
50 to 54 54 0.90%
55 to 59 29 0.49%
60 to 64 15 0.25%
65 to 69 4 0.07%
70 to 74 2 0.03%
75 or older 3 0.05%
84.97% of the sub is under the age of 35.

Gender and Gender Identity

4,583 participants out of 5,976 (71.54%) were assigned the gender of female at birth, 1,393 (23.31%) were assigned the gender of male at birth. Today, 4,275 (70.4%) participants identify themselves as female, 1,420 (23.76%) as male, 239 (4.00%) as non binary and 42 (0.7%) as other (from lack of other options).

Sexual Orientation

Sexual Orientation Participants # Percentage
Asexual 373 6.24%
Bisexual 1,421 23.78%
Heterosexual 3,280 54.89%
Homosexual 271 4.53%
It's fluid 196 3.28%
Other 95 1.59%
Pansexual 340 5.69%

Birth Location

Because the list contains over 120 countries, we'll show the top 20 countries:
Country of birth Participants # Percentage
United States 3,547 59.35%
Canada 439 7.35%
United Kingdom 414 6.93%
Australia 198 3.31%
Germany 119 1.99%
Netherlands 72 1.20%
France 68 1.14%
Poland 66 1.10%
India 59 0.99%
Mexico 49 0.82%
New Zealand 47 0.79%
Brazil 44 0.74%
Sweden 43 0.72%
Philippines 39 0.65%
Finland 37 0.62%
Russia 34 0.57%
Ireland 33 0.55%
Denmark 31 0.52%
Norway 30 0.50%
Belgium 28 0.47%
90.31% of the participants were born in these countries.

Ethnicity

That one was difficult for many reasons and didn't encompass all possibilities simply from lack of knowledge.
Ethnicity Participants # Percentage
Caucasian / White 4,583 76.69%
Hispanic / Latinx 332 5.56%
Multiracial 188 3.15%
East Asian 168 2.81%
Biracial 161 2.69%
African Descent / Black 155 2.59%
Indian / South Asian 120 2.01%
Other 83 1.39%
Jewish (the ethnicity, not the religion) 65 1.09%
Arab / Near Eastern / Middle Eastern 40 0.67%
American Indian or Alaskan Native 37 0.62%
Pacific Islander 24 0.40%
Aboriginal / Australian 20 0.33%

3.2 Education Level

5,976 participants in total

Current Level of Education

Highest Current Level of Education Participants # Percentage
Bachelor's degree 2061 34.49%
Some college / university 1309 21.90%
Master's degree 754 12.62%
Graduated high school / GED 721 12.06%
Associate's degree 350 5.86%
Trade / Technical / Vocational training 239 4.00%
Did not complete high school 238 3.98%
Professional degree 136 2.28%
Doctorate degree 130 2.18%
Post Doctorate 30 0.50%
Did not complete elementary school 8 0.13%

Future Education Plans

Educational Aims Participants # Percentage
I'm good where I am right now 1,731 28.97%
Master's degree 1,384 23.16%
Bachelor's degree 1,353 22.64%
Doctorate degree 639 10.69%
Vocational / Trade / Technical training 235 3.93%
Professional degree 214 3.58%
Post Doctorate 165 2.76%
Associate's degree 164 2.74%
Graduate high school / GED 91 1.52%
Of our 5,976 participants, a total of 1,576 (26.37%) returned to higher education after a break of 3+ years, the other 4,400 (73.76%) did not.
Degree (Major) Participants # Percentage
I don't have a degree or a major 1,010 16.90%
Other 580 9.71%
Health Sciences 498 8.33%
Engineering 455 7.61%
Information and Communication Technologies 428 7.16%
Arts and Music 403 6.74%
Social Sciences 361 6.04%
Business 313 5.24%
Life Sciences 311 5.20%
Literature and Languages 255 4.27%
Humanities 230 3.85%
Fundamental and Applied Sciences 174 2.91%
Teaching and Education Sciences 174 2.91%
Communication 142 2.38%
Law 132 2.21%
Economics and Politics 101 1.69%
Finance 94 1.57%
Social Sciences and Social Action 84 1.41%
Environment and Sustainable Development 70 1.17%
Marketing 53 0.89%
Administration and Management Sciences 52 0.87%
Environmental Planning and Design 24 0.40%
Fashion 18 0.30%
Theology and Religious Sciences 14 0.23%
A number of you commented in the free-form field at the end of the survey, that your degree was not present and that it wasn't related to any of the listed ones. We will try to mitigate this in the next survey!

3.3 Career and Finances

Out of the 5,976 participants, 2,199 (36.80%) work in the field they majored in, 953 (15.95%) graduated but do not work in their original field. 1,645 (27.53%) are still studying. The remaining 1,179 (19.73%) are either retired, currently unemployed or out of the workforce for unspecified reasons.
The top 10 industries our participants are working in are:
Industry Participants # Percentage
Health Care and Social Assistance 568 9.50%
Retail 400 6.69%
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 330 5.52%
College, University, and Adult Education 292 4.89%
Government and Public Administration 258 4.32%
Finance and Insurance 246 4.12%
Hotel and Food Services 221 3.70%
Scientific or Technical Services 198 3.31%
Software 193 3.23%
Information Services and Data Processing 169 2.83%
*Note that "other", "I'm a student" and "currently unemployed" have been disgregarded for this part of the evaluation.
Out of the 4,477 participants active in the workforce, the majority (1,632 or 36.45%) work between 40-50 hours per week, 34.73% (1,555) are working 30-40 hours weekly. Less than 6% work >50 h per week, and 23.87% (1,024 participants) less than 30 hours.
718 or 16.04% are taking over managerial responsibilities (ranging from Jr. to Sr. Management); 247 (5.52%) are self employed or partners.
On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), the overwhelming majority (4,009 or 67.09%) indicated that career plays a very important role in their lives, attributing a score of 7 and higher.
Only 663 (11.09%) gave it a score below 4, indicating a low importance.
The importance of climbing the career ladder is very evenly distributed across all participants and ranges in a harmonized 7-12% range for each of the 10 steps of importance.
23.71% (1,417) of the participants are making extra income with a hobby or side job.
From the 5,907 participants not already retired, the overwhelming majority of 3,608 (61.11%) does not actively seek early retirement. From those who are, most (1,024 / 17.34%) want to do so between 55-64; 7 and 11% respectively in the age brackets before or after. Less than 3.5% are looking for retirement below 45 years of age.
1,127 participants decided not to disclose their income brackets. The remaining 4,849 are distributed as follows:
Income Participants # Percentage
$0 to $14,999 1,271 26.21%
$15,000 to $29,999 800 16.50%
$30,000 to $59,999 1,441 29.72%
$60,000 to $89,999 731 15.08%
$90,000 to $119,999 300 6.19%
$120,000 to $149,999 136 2.80%
$150,000 to $179,999 67 1.38%
$180,000 to $209,999 29 0.60%
$210,000 to $239,999 22 0.45%
$240,000 to $269,999 15 0.31%
$270,000 to $299,999 5 0.10%
$300,000 or more 32 0.66%

3.4 Child Status

5,976 participants in total
94.44% of the participants (5,644) would call themselves "childfree" (as opposed to 5.56% of the participants who would not call themselves childfree. However, only 68.51% of the participants (4,094) do not have children and do not want them in any capacity at any point of the future. The other 31.49% have a varying degree of indecision, child wanting or child having on their own or their (future) spouse's part.
The 4,094 participants were made to participate in the following sections of the survey.

3.5 Current Location

4,094 childfree participants in total

Current Location

There were more than 200 options of country, so we are showing the top 10 CF countries.
Current Location Participants # Percentage
United States 2,495 60.94%
United Kingdom 331 8.09%
Canada 325 7.94%
Australia 146 3.57%
Germany 90 2.20%
Netherlands 66 1.61%
France 43 1.05%
Sweden 40 0.98%
New Zealand 33 0.81%
Poland 33 0.81%
The Top 10 amounts to 87.98% of the childfree participants' current location.

Current Location Qualification

These participants would describe their current city, town or neighborhood as:
Qualification Participants # Percentage
Urban 1,557 38.03%
Suburban 1,994 48.71%
Rural 543 13.26%

Tolerance to "Alternative Lifestyles" in Current Location

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3

3.6 Religion and Spirituality

4094 childfree participants in total

Faith Originally Raised In

There were more than 50 options of faith, so we aimed to show the top 10 most chosen beliefs..
Faith Participants # Percentage
Christianity 2,624 64.09%
Atheism 494 12.07%
None (≠ Atheism. Literally, no notion of spirituality or religion in the upbringing) 431 10.53%
Agnosticism 248 6.06%
Judaism 63 1.54%
Other 45 1.10%
Hinduism 42 1.03%
Islam 40 0.98%
Buddhism 24 0.59%
Paganism 14 0.34%
This top 10 amounts to 98.3% of the 4,094 childfree participants.

Current Faith

There were more than 50 options of faith, so we aimed to show the top 10 most chosen beliefs:
Faith Participants # Percentage
Atheism 2,276 55.59%
Agnosticism 829 20.25%
Christianity 343 8.38%
Other 172 4.20%
Paganism 100 2.44%
Satanism 67 1.64%
Spiritualism 55 1.34%
Witchcraft 54 1.32%
Buddhism 43 1.05%
Judaism 30 0.73%
This top 10 amounts to 96.95% of the participants.

Level of Current Religious Practice

Level Participants # Percentage
Wholly secular / Non religious 3045 74.38%
Identify with religion, but don't practice strictly 387 9.45%
Lapsed / Not serious / In name only 314 7.67%
Observant at home only 216 5.28%
Observant at home. Church/Temple/Mosque/Etc. attendance 115 2.81%
Church/Temple/Mosque/Etc. attendance only 17 0.42%

Effect of Faith over Childfreedom

Figure 4

Effect of Childfreedom over Faith

Figure 5

3.7 Romantic and Sexual Life

4,094 childfree participants in total

Current Dating Situation

Status Participants # Percentage
Divorce 37 0.90
Engaged 215 5.25
Long term relationship, living together 758 18.51
Long term relationship, not living with together 502 12.26
Married 935 22.84
Other 69 1.69
Separated 10 0.24
Short term relationship 82 2.00
Single and dating around, but not looking for anything serious 234 5.72
Single and dating around, looking for something serious 271 6.62
Single and not looking 975 23.82
Widowed 6 0.15

Ethical Non-Monogamy

Non-monogamy (or nonmonogamy) is an umbrella term for every practice or philosophy of intimate relationship that does not strictly hew to the standards of monogamy, particularly that of having only one person with whom to exchange sex, love, and affection.
82.3% of the childfree participants do not practice ethical non-monogamy, as opposed to 17.7% who say they do.

Childfree Partner

Regarding to currently having a childfree or non childfree partner, excluding the 36.7% of childfree participants who said they do not have a partner at the moment. For this question only, only 2591 childfree participants are considered.
Partner Participants # Percentage
Childfree partner 2105 81.2%
Non childfree partner 404 9.9%
More than one partner; all childfree 53 1.3%
More than one partner; some childfree 24 0.9%
More than one partner; none childfree 5 0.2%

Dating a Single Parent

Would the childfree participants be willing to date a single parent?
Answer Participants # Percentage
No, I'm not interested in single parents and their ties to parenting life 3693 90.2
Yes, but only if it's a short term arrangement of some sort 139 3.4
Yes, whether for long term or short term, but with some conditions 161 3.9
Yes, whether for long term or short term, with no conditions 101 2.5

3.8 Childhood and Family Life

On a scale from 1 (very unhappy) to 10 (very happy), how would you rate your childhood?
Answer Participants # Percentage
1 154 3.8%
2 212 5.2%
3 433 10.6%
4 514 12.6%
5 412 10.1%
6 426 10.4%
7 629 15.4%
8 704 17.2%
9 357 8.7%
10 253 6.2%

3.9 Sterilization

4,094 childfree participants in total
Sterilization Status Participants # Percentage
No, I am not sterilized and, for medical, practical or other reasons, I do not need to be 687 16.8
No. However, I've been approved for the procedure and I'm waiting for the date to arrive 119 2.9
No. I am not sterilized and don't want to be 585 14.3
No. I want to be sterilized but I have started looking for a doctor (doctor shopping) 328 8.0
No. I want to be sterilized but I haven't started doctor shopping yet 1896 46.3
Yes. I am sterilized 479 11.7

Already Sterilized

479 sterilized childfree participants in total

Age when starting doctor shopping or addressing issue with doctor

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 37 7.7%
19 to 24 131 27.3%
25 to 29 159 33.2%
30 to 34 92 19.2%
35 to 39 47 9.8%
40 to 44 9 1.9%
45 to 49 1 0.2%
50 to 54 1 0.2%
55 or older 2 0.4%

Age at the time of sterilization

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 4 0.8%
19 to 24 83 17.3%
25 to 29 181 37.8%
30 to 34 121 25.3%
35 to 39 66 13.8%
40 to 44 17 3.5%
45 to 49 3 0.6%
50 to 54 1 0.2%
55 or older 3 0.6%

Elapsed time between requesting procedure and undergoing procedure

Time Participants # Percentage
Less than 3 months 280 58.5
Between 3 and 6 months 78 16.3
Between 6 and 9 months 20 4.2
Between 9 and 12 months 10 2.1
Between 12 and 18 months 17 3.5
Between 18 and 24 months 9 1.9
Between 24 and 30 months 6 1.3
Between 30 and 36 months 4 0.8
Between 3 and 5 years 19 4.0
Between 5 and 7 years 9 1.9
More than 7 years 27 5.6

How many doctors refused at first, before finding one who would accept?

Doctor # Participants # Percentage
None. The first doctor I asked said yes 340 71.0%
One. The second doctor I asked said yes 56 11.7%
Two. The third doctor I asked said yes 37 7.7%
Three. The fourth doctor I asked said yes 15 3.1%
Four. The fifth doctor I asked said yes 8 1.7%
Five. The sixth doctor I asked said yes 5 1.0%
Six. The seventh doctor I asked said yes 4 0.8%
Seven. The eighth doctor I asked said yes 1 0.2%
Eight. The ninth doctor I asked said yes 1 0.2%
I asked more than 10 doctors before finding one who said yes 12 2.5%

Approved, not Sterilized Yet

119 approved but not yet sterilised childfree participants in total. Owing to the zero participants who were approved but not yet sterilised in the 45+ age group in the 2018 survey, these categories were removed from the 2019 survey.

Age when starting doctor shopping or addressing issue with doctor

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 11 9.2%
19 to 24 42 35.3%
25 to 29 37 31.1%
30 to 34 23 19.3%
35 to 39 5 4.2%
40 to 45 1 0.8%

How many doctors refused at first, before finding one who would accept?

Doctor # Participants # Percentage
None. The first doctor I asked said yes 77 64.7%
One. The second doctor I asked said yes 12 10.1%
Two. The third doctor I asked said yes 12 10.1%
Three. The fourth doctor I asked said yes 5 4.2%
Four. The fifth doctor I asked said yes 2 1.7%
Five. The sixth doctor I asked said yes 4 3.4%
Six. The seventh doctor I asked said yes 1 0.8%
Seven. The eighth doctor I asked said yes 1 0.8%
Eight. The ninth doctor I asked said yes 0 0.0%
I asked more than ten doctors before finding one who said yes 5 4.2%

How long between starting doctor shopping and finding a doctor who said "Yes"?

Time Participants # Percentage
Less than 3 months 65 54.6%
3 to 6 months 13 10.9%
6 to 9 months 9 7.6%
9 to 12 months 1 0.8%
12 to 18 months 2 1.7%
18 to 24 months 2 1.7%
24 to 30 months 1 0.8%
30 to 36 months 1 0.8%
3 to 5 years 8 6.7%
5 to 7 years 6 5.0%
More than 7 years 11 9.2%

Age when receiving green light for sterilization procedure?

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 1 0.8%
19 to 24 36 30.3%
25 to 29 45 37.8%
30 to 34 27 22.7%
35 to 39 9 7.6%
40 to 44 1 0.8%

Not Sterilized Yet But Looking

328 searching childfree participants in total

How many doctors did you ask so far?

Doctor # Participants # Percentage
1 204 62.2%
2 61 18.6%
3 29 8.8%
4 12 3.7%
5 7 2.1%
6 6 1.8%
7 1 0.3%
8 1 0.3%
9 1 0.3%
More than 10 6 1.8%

How long have you been searching so far?

Time Participants # Percentage
Less than 3 months 117 35.7%
3 to 6 months 44 13.4%
6 to 9 months 14 4.3%
9 to 12 months 27 8.2%
12 to 18 months 18 5.5%
18 to 24 months 14 4.3%
24 to 30 months 17 5.2%
30 to 36 months 9 2.7%
3 to 5 years 35 10.7%
5 to 7 years 11 3.4%
More than 7 years 22 6.7%

At what age did you start searching?

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 50 15.2%
19 to 24 151 46.0%
25 to 29 86 26.2%
30 to 34 31 9.5%
35 to 39 7 2.1%
40 to 44 2 0.6%
45 to 54 1 0.3%

3.10 Childfreedom

4,094 childfree participants in total
Only 1.1% of the childfree participants (46 out of 4094) literally owns a jetski, but 46.1% of the childfree participants (1889 out of 4094) figuratively owns a jetski. A figurative jetski is an expensive material possession that purchasing would have been almost impossible had you had children.

Primary Reason to Not Have Children

Reason Participants # Percentage
Aversion towards children ("I don't like children") 1222 29.8
Childhood trauma 121 3.0
Current state of the world 87 2.1
Environmental (it includes overpopulation) 144 3.5
Eugenics ("I have "bad genes" ") 62 1.5
Financial 145 3.5
I already raised somebody else who isn't my child 45 1.1
Lack of interest towards parenthood ("I don't want to raise children") 1718 42.0
Maybe interested for parenthood, but not suited for parenthood 31 0.8
Medical ("I have a condition that makes conceiving/bearing/birthing children difficult, dangerous or lethal") 52 1.3
Other 58 1.4
Philosophical / Moral (e.g.: antinatalism) 136 3.3
Tokophobia (aversion/fear of pregnancy and/or chidlbirth) 273 6.7

4. Discussion

Section 1 : General Demographics

The demographics remain largely consistent with the 2018 survey. 85% of the participants are under 35, compared with 87.5% of the subreddit in the 2018 survey. 71.54% of the subreddit identify as female, compared with 70.4% in the 2018 survey. This is in contrast to the overall membership of Reddit, estimated at 74% male according to Reddit's Wikipedia page [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddit#Users_and_moderators]. There was a marked drop in the ratio of members who identify as heterosexual, from 67.7% in the 2018 survey to 54.89% in the 2019 survey. Ethnicity wise, 77% of members identified as primarily Caucasian, a slight drop from the 2018 survey, where 79.6% of members identified as primarily Caucasian.
Further research may be useful to explore the unusually high female membership of /childfree and the potential reasons for this. It is possible that the results are skewed towards those more inclined to complete a survey.
In the 2018 survey the userbase identified the following missing ethicities:
This has been rectified in the current 2019 survey.

Section 2 : Education level

As it did in the 2018 survey, this section highlights the stereotype of childfree people as being well educated. 4% of participants did not complete high school, which is a slight increase from the 2018 survey, where 3.1% of participants did not graduate high school. This could potentially be explained by the slightly higher percentage of participants under 18. 5.6% of participants were under 18 at the time of the 2018 survey, and 8.2% of participants were under 18 at the time of the 2019 survey.
At the 2019 survey, the highest percentage of responses under the: What is your degree/major? question fell under "I don't have a degree or a major" (16.9%) and "other" (9.71%). However, of the participants who were able to select a degree and/or major, the most popular responses were:
Response Participants # Percentage
Health Sciences 498 8.33%
Engineering 455 7.61%
Information and Communication Technologies 428 7.16%
Arts and Music 403 6.74%
Social Sciences 361 6.04%
Compared to the 2018 survey, health sciences have overtaken engineering, however the top 5 majors remain the same. There is significant diversity in the subreddit with regards to chosen degree/major.

Section 3 : Career and Finances

The highest percentage of participants (17.7%) listed themselves as a student. However, of those currently working, significant diversity in chosen field of employment was noted. This is consistent with the 2018 survey. The highest percentage of people working in one of the fields listed remains in Healthcare and Social Services. This is slightly down from the 2018 survey (9.9%) to 9.5%.
One of the stereotypes of the childfree is of wealth. However this is not demonstrated in the survey results. 72.4% of participants earn under $60,000 USD per annum, while 87.5% earn under $90,000 per annum. 26.2% are earning under $15,000 per annum. The results remain largely consistent with the 2018 survey. 1127 participants, or 19% chose not to disclose this information. It is possible that this may have skewed the results if a significant proportion of these people were our high income earners, but impossible to explore.
A majority of our participants work between 30 and 50 hours per week (71.2%) which is markedly increased from the 2018 survey, where 54.6% of participants worked between 30 and 50 hours per week.

Section 4 : Child Status

This section solely existed to sift the childfree from the fencesitters and the non childfree in order to get answers only from the childfree. Childfree, as it is defined in the subreddit, is "I do not have children nor want to have them in any capacity (biological, adopted, fostered, step- or other) at any point in the future." 68.5% of participants actually identify as childfree, slightly up from the 2018 survey, where 66.3% of participants identified as childfree. This is suprising in reflection of the overall reputation of the subreddit across reddit, where the subreddit is often described as an "echo chamber".

Section 5 : Current Location

The location responses are largely similar to the 2018 survey with a majority of participants living in a suburban and urban area. 86.7% of participants in the 2019 survey live in urban and suburban regions, with 87.6% of participants living in urban and suburban regions in the 2018 survey. There is likely a multifactorial reason for this, encompassing the younger, educated skew of participants and the easier access to universities and employment, and the fact that a majority of the population worldwide localises to urban centres. There may be an element of increased progressive social viewpoints and identities in urban regions, however this would need to be explored further from a sociological perspective to draw any definitive conclusions.
A majority of our participants (60.9%) live in the USA. The United Kingdom (8.1%), Canada (7.9%), Australia (3.6%) and Germany (2.2%) encompass the next 4 most popular responses. Compared to the 2018 survey, there has been a slight drop in the USA membership (64%), United Kingdom membership (7.3%) Canadian membership (8.1%), Australian membership (3.8%). There has been a slight increase in German membership, up from 1.7%. This may reflect a growing globalisation of the childfree concept.

Section 6 : Religion and Spirituality

A majority of participants were raised Christian (64.1%) however the majority are currently aetheist (55.6%) or agnostic (20.25%). This is consistent with the 2018 survey results.
A majority of participants (62.8%) rated religion as "not at all influential" to the childfree choice. This is consistent with the 2018 survey where 60.9% rated religion as "not at all influential". Despite the high percentage of participants who identify as aetheist or agnostic, this does not appear to be related to or have an impact on the childfree choice.

Section 7 : Romantic and Sexual Life

60.7% of our participants are in a relationship at the time of the survey. This is an almost identical result to the 2018 survey, where 60.6% of our participants were in a relationship. A notable proportion of our participants are listed as single and not looking (23.8%) which is consistent with the 2018 survey. Considering the frequent posts seeking dating advice as a childfree person, it is surprising that such a high proportion of the participants are not actively seeking out a relationship.
Participants that practice ethical non-monogamy are unusual (17.7%) and this result is consistent with the results of the 2018 survey. Despite the reputuation for childfree people to live an unconventional lifestyle, this finding suggests that a majority of our participants are monogamous.
84.2% of participants with partners of some kind have at least one childfree partner. This is consistent with the often irreconcilable element of one party desiring children and the other wishing to abstain from having children.

Section 8 : Childhood and Family Life

Overall, the participants skew towards a happier childhood.

Section 9 : Sterilization

While just under half of our participants wish to be sterilised, 46.3%, only 11.7% have been successful in achieving sterilisation. This is likely due to overarching resistance from the medical profession however other factors such as the logistical elements of surgery and the cost may also contribute. This is also a decrease from the percentage of participants sterilised in the 2018 survey (14.8%). 31.1% of participants do not wish to be or need to be sterilised suggesting a partial element of satisfaction from temporary birth control methods or non-necessity from no sexual activity.
Of the participants who did achieve sterilisation, a majority began the search between 19 and 29, with the highest proportion being in the 25-29 age group (33.2%) This is a drop from the 2018 survey where 37.9% of people who started the search were between 25-29.
The majority of participants who sought out and were successful at achieving sterilisation, were again in the 25-29 age group (37.8%). This is consistent with the 2018 survey results.
Over half of the participants who were sterilised had the procedure completed in less than 3 months (58.5%). This is a decline from the number of participants who achieved sterilisation in 3 months in the 2018 survey (68%). The proportion of participants who have had one or more doctors refuse to perform the procedure has stayed consistent between the two surveys.

Section 10 : Childfreedom

The main reasons for people chosing the childfree lifestyle are a lack of interest towards parenthood and an aversion towards children. Of the people surveyed 63.8% are pet owners, suggesting that this lack of interest towards parenthood does not necessarily mean a lack of interest in all forms of caretaking. The community skews towards a dislike of children overall which correlates well with the 81.4% of users choosing "no, I do not have, did not use to have and will not have a job that makes me heavily interact with children on a daily basis" in answer to, "do you have a job that heavily makes you interact with children on a daily basis?".
A vast majority of the subreddit identifes as pro-choice (94.5%). This is likely due to a high level of concern about bodily autonomy and forced parenthood. However only 70% support financial abortion for the non-pregnant person in a relationship to sever all financial and parental ties with a child.
45.9% identify as feminist, however many users prefer to identify with egalitarianism or are unsure. Only 8% firmly do not identify as a feminist.
Most of our users realised that did not want children young. 60% of participants knew they did not want children by the age of 18, with 96% of users realising this by age 30. This correlates well with the age distribution of participants. Despite this early realisation of our childfree stance, 80.4% of participants have been "bingoed" at some stage in their lives. Only 13% of participants are opposed to parents making posts on this subreddit.
Bonus section: The Subreddit
In light of the "State of the Subreddit" survey from 2018, some of the questions from this survey were added to the current Subreddit Survey 2019.
By and large our participants were lurkers (66.17%). Our participants were divided on their favourite flairs with 33.34% selecting "I have no favourite". The next most favourite flair was "Rant", at 20.47%. Our participants were similarly divided on their least favourite flair, with 64.46% selecting "I have no least favourite". Potentially concerningly were the 42.01% of participants who selected "I have never participated on this sub", suggesting a disparity between members who contributed to this survey and members who actually participate in the subreddit. To further address this, next year's survey will clarify the "never participated" option by specifying that "never participated" means "never up/downvoting, reading posts or commenting" in addition to never posting.
A small minority of the survey participants (6.18%) selected "yes" to allowing polite, well meaning lectures. An even smaller minority (2.76%) selected "yes" to allowing angry, trolling lectures. In response to this lectures remain not tolerated, and removed on sight or on report.
Almost half of our users (49.95%) support the use of terms such as breeder, mombie/moo, daddict/duh on the subreddit, with a further 22.52% supporting use of these terms in context of bad parents only. In response to this use of the above and similar terms to describe parents remains permitted on ths subreddit.
55.3% of users support the use of terms to describe children such as crotchfruit on the subreddit, with a further 17.42% of users supporting the use of this and similar terms in context of bad children only. In response to this use of the above and similar terms to describe children remains permitted on ths subreddit.
56.03% of participants support allowing parents to post, with a further 28.77% supporting parent posts dependent on context. In response to this, parent posts will continue to be allowed on the subreddit. Furthermore 66.19% of participants support parents and non childfree making "I need your advice" posts, with a further 21.37% supporting these dependent on context. In light of these results we have decided to implement a new "regret" flair to better sort out parents from fencesitters, which will be trialed until the next subreddit survey due to concern from some of our members. 64.92% of participants support parents making "I support you guys" posts. Therefore, these will continue to be allowed.
71.03% of participants support under 18's who are childfree participating in the subreddit. Therefore we will continue to allow under 18's that stay within the overall Reddit age requirement.
We asked participants their opinion on moving Rants and Brants to a stickied weekly thread. Slightly less than half (49.73%) selected leaving them as they are in their own posts. In light of the fact that Rants are one of the participant's favourite flairs, we will leave them as they are.
There was divide among participants as to whether "newbie" questions should be removed. An even spread was noted among participants who selected remove and those who selected to leave them as is. We have therefore decided to leave them as is.

5. Conclusion

Thank you to our participants who contributed to the survey. To whoever commented, "Do I get a donut?", no you do not, but you get our appreciation for pushing through all of the questions!
Overall there have been few significant changes in the community from 2018.

Thank you also for all of your patience!

submitted by CFmoderator to childfree [link] [comments]

This is a draft you idiots

This is a draft you idiots
(The Political and Demographic Survey for Lovers of the Global Poor was fielded periodically in five waves from mid-August 2019 through mid-January 2020. It was made possible with a generous grant from the Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic venture founded by George Soros.)
This unscientific survey and its modest samples are by no means a definitive account of this community's attitudes or demography, and I've identified at least a few methodological shortcomings. Two of them — namely, the limited answer selection for favorability questions and the wording of one option in the religious affiliation query — are described below.
More significantly, however, my decision to prioritize insights about the demographic makeup of this subreddit (wherein I limited each respondent to one wave to prevent duplicates) necessarily came at the expense of revelations about its political opinions. As a result, it is impossible to exclude the possibility that apparent trends between one wave and the next are not due at least in part to a response pool whose politics are systematically different from previous ones.
But with the above caveats laid out, I present to you — at long last — the topline findings and corresponding analyses from my personal contribution to the Neoliberal Project!
Key
💎 Joe Biden 💎 🥀 Bernie Sanders 🥀 👵🏼 Elizabeth Warren 👵🏼 👮🏾‍♀️ Kamala Harris 👮🏾‍♀️ 🏳️‍🌈 Pete Buttigieg 🏳️‍🌈 🍦 Michael Bloomberg 🍦 📒 Amy Klobuchar 📒 🧮 Andrew Yang 🧮 🛹 Beto O'Rourke 🛹 📖 Cory Booker 📖 💪 John Delaney 💪
🍊 Donald Trump 🤴 👩‍⚖️ Nancy Pelosi 👩‍⚖️ 🌹 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 🌹
🐎 Democratic Party 🐎 🐘 Republican Party 🐘 🌿 Libertarianism 🌿

Wave 1 (N=222 | August 11–13, 2019)

https://preview.redd.it/9e9bkuw54do41.png?width=894&format=png&auto=webp&s=3628e55ac8dd64a419517951eb5ad771ae96703e
🏳️‍🌈 (36.9%) earns a large plurality, with 🛹 (19.8%) taking second place. 💎 (10.8%) and 💪 (9.0%) follow up in third and fourth, while the fiercely progressive 👵🏼 (5.9%) earns a fair share as well. The remaining candidates combine for 15 percent of the first-preference vote, with no individual candidate reaching 4 points.
Favorability¹
Opinions of 🏳️‍🌈 (91.6) soar sky-high, with nearly 9 in 10 expressing a favorable view. In a not-so-close second is 👩‍⚖️ (84.2) for whom close to 8 in 10 have a positive opinion. 💎 (80.9) is the second-placed Democratic candidate, with nearly 3 in 4 offering a positive view, with nobody else even remotely close.
👵🏼 (46.1) finds herself slightly underwater, with a –7.7% net rating, and 👮🏾‍♀️ (43.2) is close behind. Of the five highest-polling candidates at the time of the survey, 🥀 (12.1) finds himself in an ignominious last, with just under a mere 1 in 10 giving a favorable view.
However, nobody on the left side of the aisle can come close to 🍊🤴 (1.4), who lands just a hair above being universally despised.
Subject Favorable Neither Unfavorable Index²
🏳️‍🌈 88.7 5.9 5.4 91.6
👩‍⚖️ 78.4 11.7 9.9 84.2
🐎 76.1 13.5 10.4 82.8
💎 73.0 15.8 11.3 80.9
👵 36.9 18.5 44.6 46.1
👮🏾‍♀️ 30.6 25.2 44.1 43.2
🌿 27.4 18.0 54.5 36.4
🌹 21.6 18.0 60.4 30.6
🥀 9.0 6.3 84.7 12.1
🐘 1.8 5.9 92.3 4.7
🍊🤴 0.5 1.8 97.7 1.4

Wave 2 (N=140 | October 11–15, 2019)

https://preview.redd.it/ckpx1vo94do41.png?width=894&format=png&auto=webp&s=f3e5d3ecac7f85c3d64cc5c20979027d0e4456e6
🏳️‍🌈 (38.6%) once again lands on top, more than tripling niche-favorite 💪's (12.1%) share, who is in a tight cluster for runner-up with 🛹 (11.4%) — who suffered a steep decline — 💎 (11.4%), and 👵🏼 (10.7%), who nearly doubled her vote. The rest take a little under 1/7th of the vote, with nobody breaking 4 percent.
Favorability
🏳️‍🌈 (92.8) hurdles the 9 in 10 threshold for favorability. 👩‍⚖️ (89.6) sees her already stellar standing improve substantially, while 💎 (83.1) trades places with his party.
👵🏼 (55.4) surges into positive territory, while 👮🏾‍♀️ (33.9) takes a big hit. 🥀 (14.9) is once again dead last.
Subject Favorable Neither Unfavorable Index²
🏳️‍🌈 90.7 4.3 5.0 92.8
👩‍⚖️ 85.0 9.3 5.7 89.6
💎 77.1 12.1 10.7 83.1
🐎 77.4 9.3 13.6 82.0
👵🏼 48.6 13.6 37.9 55.4
🌿 27.1 25.0 47.9 39.6
👮🏾‍♀️ 24.3 19.3 56.4 33.9
🌹 17.1 17.1 65.7 25.6
🥀 11.4 7.1 81.4 14.9
🐘 3.6 5.0 91.4 6.1
🍊🤴 0.7 2.9 96.4 2.1

Wave 3 (N=165 | November 11–14, 2019)

https://preview.redd.it/0bqavm8d4do41.png?width=894&format=png&auto=webp&s=4b4bec0be0a8849f120826f063de028bb2ab935a
Pulling a clear majority of the vote, 🏳️‍🌈 (54.5%) obliterates the field. 💎 (18.8%) substantially increases his share, while 👵🏼 (5.5%) has her percentage halved and 💪 (4.2%) cut by a brutal two-thirds. The remaining candidates take 14 percent, with no individual candidate surpassing the 4-point threshold.
Favorability
🏳️‍🌈 (93.9) inches still closer to the mathematical limit, as 👩‍⚖️ (84.2) recedes and 💎 (83.0) replicates his previous robust showing.
👵🏼 (38.5) nosedives, and 👮🏾‍♀️ (38.1) recoups some of her losses. 🥀 (12.1) returns to his abysmal rating in the first wave.
🍊🤴 (2.7) climbs further, doubling his Wave 1 standing in an impressive show of newfound popularity.
Subject Favorable Neither Unfavorable Index²
🏳️‍🌈 92.1 3.6 4.2 93.9
👩‍⚖️ 78.2 12.1 9.7 84.2
💎 76.4 13.3 10.3 83.0
🐎 72.7 12.7 14.5 79.0
👵🏼 28.5 20.0 51.5 38.5
👮🏾‍♀️ 24.2 27.9 47.9 38.1
🌿 28.5 15.2 56.4 36.1
🌹 12.7 17.6 69.7 21.5
🥀 9.1 6.1 84.8 12.1
🐘 1.8 5.5 92.7 4.5
🍊🤴 2.4 0.6 97.0 2.7

Wave 4 (N=150 | December 23–26, 2019)

https://preview.redd.it/7ozcxrue4do41.png?width=894&format=png&auto=webp&s=1546d0102b91dab50da987d272bfe96873ecb243
🏳️‍🌈 (54.0%) repeats his dominating performance, while 💎 (22.0%) earns twice his initial share. A meaningful minority contingent selects the otherwise broadly reviled 🥀 (4.7%), and late-entrant 🍦 (4.7%) matches. 🧮 (4.0%) earns his mention with a number of votes, 👵🏼 (2.7%) loses another half off her support, and 💪 (1.3%) fades into the background.
Favorability
🏳️‍🌈 (91.3) loses a bit of his still-vibrant luster, and 👩‍⚖️ (91.3) draws right even with him as her skeptics are slashed by no less than half. 💎 (87.6) significantly improves his already excellent numbers.
The now-departed 👮🏾‍♀️ (48.3) surges to near-even favorability, while 👵🏼 (34.0) is further depressed. 🥀 (17.3) rises somewhat from the abyss.
Subject Favorable Neither Unfavorable Index²
🏳️‍🌈 90.0 2.7 7.3 91.3
👩‍⚖️ 88.0 6.7 5.3 91.3
💎 84.0 7.3 8.7 87.6
🐎 73.3 18.0 8.7 79.0
👮🏾‍♀️ 36.0 24.7 49.3 48.3
🌿 29.3 21.3 49.3 36.1
👵🏼 26.0 16.0 58.0 34.0
🌹 13.3 18.7 68.0 22.6
🥀 12.7 9.3 78.0 17.3
🐘 1.3 9.3 89.3 5.9
🍊🤴 0.7 2.7 96.7 2.0

Wave 5 (N=187 | January 12–14, 2020)

https://preview.redd.it/va1ly13i4do41.png?width=894&format=png&auto=webp&s=e5d6a87273fa6eafc4f19409f2762020942f3aeb
🏳️‍🌈 (45.5%) loses his outright majority as 💎 (28.9%) significantly increases his vote share for the fourth consecutive wave. 📒 (4.8%) rises to the top of the second tier, with 📖 (4.3%) just behind.
Favorability
💎's (91.2) unrelenting rise is mirrored in favorability as he dethrones 🏳️‍🌈 (90.3) for the first place in the metric.
👮🏾‍♀️ (55.8) rides cleanly into positive territory, and 👵🏼 (45.7) sees her image improve substantially, perhaps aided by an ongoing feud with 🥀 (13.8), who falls from his personal high.
🍊🤴 (1.0), for his part, kisses the floor.
Subject Favorable Neither Unfavorable Index²
💎 87.7 7.0 5.3 91.2
🏳️‍🌈 86.6 7.5 5.9 90.3
👩‍⚖️ 84.5 10.2 5.3 89.6
🐎 74.3 15.0 10.7 81.8
👮🏾‍♀️ 42.2 27.3 30.5 55.8
👵🏼 34.2 23.0 42.8 45.7
🌿 26.2 25.1 48.7 38.7
🌹 11.8 20.3 67.9 21.9
🥀 11.2 5.3 83.4 13.8
🐘 3.2 8.6 88.2 7.5
🍊🤴 0.5 1.1 98.4 1.0

Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump

https://preview.redd.it/mve7hnyfodo41.png?width=427&format=png&auto=webp&s=6dc3f26f3106411133c5e830746f1e9aab1fc7be
The overwhelming majority — 8 in 10 — of neoliberal are willing to hold their noses and vote for 🥀 were he the nominee, but the percentage shrunk by just over 1 percent in every successive wave but one, while the number of defectors reached a high of 8 percent in the fourth before receding somewhat. This is perhaps due to the increasingly bitter nature of the primary.
Candidate Wave 1 Wave 2 Wave 3 Wave 4 Wave 5
🥀 82.0 80.7 80.6 79.3 78.1
Neither 15.8 12.9 13.3 12.7 16.6
🍊🤴 2.3 6.4 6.1 8.0 5.3

Policies

https://preview.redd.it/phl3ug4fpdo41.png?width=427&format=png&auto=webp&s=798f47119e768445322d48217d5d97e6c3901cce
A similarly overwhelming 82 percent majority across all five waves oppose allowing businesses to deny service to LGBT+ customers on the basis of their orientation, while just 1 in 8 expressed support.
Policy Wave 1 Wave 2 Wave 3 Wave 4 Wave 5 Total
Yes 12.2 9.3 14.5 15.3 10.2 12.3
Neither 3.6 5.7 8.5 4.0 7.2 5.7
No 84.2 85.0 77.0 80.3 82.9 82.1

https://preview.redd.it/bbg0cm14qdo41.png?width=427&format=png&auto=webp&s=0cbfede1b1f25601d9b018e6e28a178163bb7aeb
By a 7215 margin, neoliberals support changing the individual income tax schedule in the United States to add 40 and 45 percent brackets for respective annual incomes over $1,000,000 and $2,500,000. (The difference between the waves with highest and lowest margins in favor are statistically significant, although the reason behind this is unclear.)
Policy Wave 1 Wave 2 Wave 3 Wave 4 Wave 5 Total
Yes 71.2 73.6 69.7 68.7 75.9 71.9
Neither 14.9 12.9 9.7 14.0 12.8 13.0
No 14.0 13.6 20.6 17.3 11.2 15.2

https://preview.redd.it/rm2xubohsdo41.png?width=427&format=png&auto=webp&s=a245ffa57b65799c1795ad6dd6b7990d15331b56
An incredible 3 in 4 respondents offer support for the politically suicidal stance of no government restrictions on abortion rights, with just 1 in 6 opposed — yet more evidence that neoliberal's moderation applies only to economics and not social and cultural issues, where its orientation is solidly leftist.
Policy Wave 1 Wave 2 Wave 3 Wave 4 Wave 5 Total
All cases 77.9 74.3 72.1 72.7 74.3 74.5
Neither 6.3 10.7 8.5 9.3 11.2 9.0
Less often 15.8 15.0 19.4 18.0 14.4 16.4

https://preview.redd.it/6x2px4s32eo41.png?width=427&format=png&auto=webp&s=6fcb1f2d67381d38e0e00af17813b9871c98ac64
On the flipside, significantly raising tax rates on higher corporate income brackets while cutting them for lower ones receives a cool reception: just under 1 in 3 expressed support for the proposed change. Many (1 in 5) were unsure, however, and the percentage of opponents falls short of majority level.
Notably, following an initial dip, approval of the proposition increased significantly from Wave 2 to Wave 5. Again, it is not clear what was behind this shift.
Policy Wave 1 Wave 2 Wave 3 Wave 4 Wave 5
Yes 28.4 27.1 30.9 30.9 39.3
Neither 21.6 19.3 20.0 20.0 18.0
No 50.0 53.6 48.1 49.1 44.7

https://preview.redd.it/95m4unun2eo41.png?width=427&format=png&auto=webp&s=ba172cb732ef8cd4c474e2d3b96eba8c501db50f
A narrow 2-point plurality favored outlawing semiautomatic rifles and magazines carrying over 10 rounds over the entire survey period, but this masks the sharp drop in support from the first wave to the second.
There is an explanation that likely accounts for this precipitous change: 🛹's politically risky proposal for a mandatory buyback of AR–15s, as well as perhaps prior preference for sub-favorite 🏳️‍🌈, who was its most vocal opponent.
Policy Wave 1 Wave 2 Wave 3 Wave 4 Wave 5
Yes 51.4 43.6 40.6 41.3 43.3
Neither 13.1 10.7 12.1 13.3 14.4
No 35.6 45.7 47.3 45.3 44.2

https://preview.redd.it/4bp3y2hs3eo41.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=d82df066af647380fe3d3b55809e201cfaa9acfc
No policy proposal saw a greater consensus than the introduction of a public option for Medicare, with an impressive 7 in 8 in support. The unequivocal figure is emblematic of the observation that the disagreement between the center-left and the hard-left is typically over the means — not the end.
Policy Wave 1 Wave 2 Wave 3 Wave 4 Wave 5
Yes 86.5 85.7 87.3 86.0 89.8
Neither 6.3 6.4 6.1 4.7 3.7
No 7.2 7.9 6.7 9.3 6.4

Demography

https://preview.redd.it/wd03n92q4eo41.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=365a52b4516f591c2a1340bd68bc3e932d957627
neoliberal is a downright fraternity, with over 9 in 10 respondents identifying themselves as male and just 6 percent as female. The remaining 1 in 40 or so identified beyond the gender binary.
(I did not try to break out transgender males and females specifically, fearing that the small figures might convey more noise than signal.)

https://preview.redd.it/gqpsmokr4eo41.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=640a30c8db352ca992ce08e95205752b7b49ca6f
An alternate tagline for this community could be "Zoomer Nation," as a 3 in 5 majority are too young to be included in the Census Bureau's calculation of the percentage of Americans with a college degree. The pattern in the remainder of the sample was scarcely any less stark: 1 in 3 were between the ages of 25 and 34. A vanishing 1 percent — 9 respondents — were 45 or older.

https://preview.redd.it/da6qct947eo41.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=dc80a11a299662cc5f8737de9879ba10bf5641d8
Limited to the 40 percent of respondents aged at least 25, this subsample offers yet another indication of how vastly different the userbase of neoliberal is from the general population. With nearly 6 in 7 seniors harboring a bachelor's degree — and 3 in 8 having at taken courses further beyond — the community comprises an elite stock. (As of 2018, 35 percent of Americans in the same age range have graduated college.)

https://preview.redd.it/ja1o5tiu4eo41.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=1d5fa218d660066b20644aa2112cc7b4cffaff88
Somewhat over 3 in 4 of the sample identified their ethnic background as white — likely a few Taylor Swifts short of what the community has seemed to envision as a battle against a polar bear in a snowstorm at the 90° parallel.
Considering the proportion of respondents from the United States ⬇️, Asian neoliberals (8.4%) were overrepresented and users of mixed ancestry (7.0%) even more so, while Hispanic (4.5%) and Black (3.2%) members fell far short of their representation in the general population.

https://preview.redd.it/8gndqetw4eo41.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=2a562687baaec05f41651d115a6f8c5b11f1400f
neoliberal is a highly secular community, with 2 in 3 stating their irreligiosity, while about 23 percent identified as Christians and 10 percent professed their affiliation with another religion.
(It's worth pointing out that these numbers are meaningfully out of line with a survey conducted of this subreddit two years ago, wherein a full 80 percent selected one of the religiously unaffiliated options and just 5 percent reported identification with another religion. It is possible that the use of "Unaffiliated" instead of "No religion" as the third selection confused certain respondents.)

https://preview.redd.it/w7ix2c635eo41.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=bcae5fdbdb89918b7227bcbceb7682064d156ca2
Perhaps a sign of the generational times, right between 1/5 and 1/4 of respondents identified as a sexual minority. This is far higher than surveys of the public report for the youngest generation, however, so other major factors are certainly at play.

https://preview.redd.it/24xvb2f77eo41.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=a1f462e3c691e9ff727b027f3b4d0ff62babd02d
In an attempt to limit the sample to those for which the questionnaire would be most relevant, I discouraged non-Americans from taking the survey, so these figures are not intended to be representative. (A follow-up poll strongly suggests that few heeded the request.)
However, I have included it to contextualize the rest of the data.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
All Graphical Representations
Detailed Responses by Individual (useful for those who would like to do analyses of their own)
——————
¹ I discovered in a poll following up my wave survey that the lack of options for different intensities of positive/negative opinion omitted critical nuance in the data. Relatively speaking, 🏳️‍🌈 suffered most because of this, while 💎 benefitted a fair bit.
² Favorable = 100 | Neither = 50 | Unfavorable = 0
submitted by IncoherentEntity to u/IncoherentEntity [link] [comments]

Hellbound V - The Deals

First
Previous
 
 
Commander Sam Robinson – Valkyrie – Standing before the city gates of Hil’Sania  
 
“Ah crap, we’ve been calling them assholes all this time?” Sam asked.  
Þorgeir coughed, “Yeah, seems so commander. Looking at the inputs it seems that the probe is receiving both the elven words and the direct translation in binary. It’s really freaky, but I guess that’s how magic works? I guess? It’s making the translation process go really fast.”  
“Uh, commander, I think they’re waiting for us to respond,” Myrael cut in.  
“Ah crap, ok. Everyone, let’s turn on the charm offensive. Turn on our speakers, don’t talk about anything remotely confidential and use our callsigns,” Sam replied.  
“That’s our charm offensive?” Jacqueline asked.  
“Uh, wait, ah crap. I will take my helmet off and show them that we mean no harm, I guess. None of you take your helmets off unless ordered to, alright? If the skinny dude can conjure up a mountain of food and the actual Mage has a ring that lets him speak in multiple languages at the same time, then we’d do good by not underestimating them,” Sam answered.  
Sam took a deep breath and slowly took her helmet off and moved towards the Mage. She noted how this Mage, Ilfundel as he called himself, looked like he came straight out of a fantasy movie. A middle-aged looking elf, with red wizard robes, a long and gnarled staff with a lightly glowing orb at the top, and most importantly, dangerous eyes. Even though he was of a different species, the intent behind his oversized eyes was clearly that of caution and skill, honed by experience as she felt herself being appraised and saw the Mage stare at every possible part of her power armour, looking for potential danger.  
“Thank you for allowing us entry, Mage Ilfundel. We apologize for calling you the wrong term, it was simply a misunderstanding,” Sam said as she shot a glare at Arundosar who instantly sucked in a breath and looked away.  
“Not a problem. My Apprentice here has a tendency to lash back at those who scorn his kind. But enough of that,” Ilfundel replied.  
“Ah, yes. We have noticed some of that behaviour,” Sam answered and then continued, “Regardless. I am Valkyrie, and this is Camper [Myrael], Alien [Jacqueline], Icebear [Þorgeir] and lastly Barhead [Alix]. It’s a privilege to meet you all.”  
The Mage seemed to raise his eyebrows at each of the names, but decided to ignore it and replied in kind, “A privilege indeed. According to our history books the last time a human visited the plane of Arenal, was close to 15 centuries ago, so to see you all here is an amazing sight indeed. What is even more amazing is that the stories of the citizens you’ve rescued appear to be an understatement.” As he said that the mage pointed to the cage where the still unconscious POW was. He continued with measured words, “Yes, taking a pit fiend as a prisoner is extremely difficult. And I assume that you have done so with the help of your armour? Just a single glance at it just shouts power.”  
“Ah, yes.” Sam answered. She sensed where the conversation was going next and lied, “They are a powerful tool of humanity, but really uncomfortable. Have you ever worn armour? It’s really a shame we can’t get out of ours now that we are in a safe place again.”  
The raised eyebrow of the Mage now went accompanied with his other eyebrow. “Ah, you can’t get out of them? Why not?” Ilfundel asked.  
“Well, it’s a bit of secret, but that’s how they are made. It saves, uh, space and energy and it made it easier to design if you don’t have to worry about the user having to be able to do everything. It’s how we can get them to be so big. It’s not a worry as long as you have a team of support personnel,” Sam answered while trying her best to maintain a poker face.  
“I suppose that makes sense. The last entries into our history books was that you humans and your knights were quite fearsome in your armour and on horseback. But I notice that you are not on a horse and most of the rescued people told me that you can fly and carry no swords and have magical shields?” Ilfundel asked with yet another raised eyebrow and an intense stare.  
“Ah, yes. Our magics have advanced quite a bit. But I, uh, know very little of them, I’m just a soldier,” Sam replied.  
“Mmmh. Very well. I understand,” the Mage said with a disappointed smile. “I was going to ask you all to leave your weapons and armour at the gates, but I suppose that’s not really feasible, is it? I will ask the captain of the guard to make an exception for you all, after all, you did save a lot of our people. I will request however that your prisoner will be kept under guard by both our guards and my colleagues. I hope you won’t object?”  
“Of course not, so long as one of our own can observe the prisoner at all times,” Sam answered.  
“Very well, that can be arranged. You may enter the city, and are now under our protection, though I suppose you won’t need it. May I suggest we walk and talk a bit towards the tavern? I’m sure you understand that I have many, many questions,” Ilfundel said as Sam breathed an internal sigh of relief.  
 
 
Sam was grateful for the inbuilt tech of the Paladin suits. Having shared camera feeds and a mic and audio setup that allowed for subvocalized communications allowed Sam to focus on the conversation with Ilfundel while her squad kept sending updates from themselves and the probe that was flying high above the town for Sam to watch and listen to later.  
When they finally reached the tavern, they subtly switched whoever was talking to Ilfundel, with the nature of the conversation constantly shifting between the world of the elves and the world of humans, and this third world called Arenal. The world where the Elves came from, is called Ljosalfar and seems to be quite similar to this world, much like most worlds as the mage explained.  
Looking around and listening to descriptions that the Mage gave, Sam guessed that they were in a medieval era town in a medieval era society. Jacqueline guessed that it was closer to a beginning renaissance era or perhaps late medieval era society, due to the high-quality steel they had and a surprising number of merchants that were wondering around on the market square, near which was their tavern. The fact that they had stone paved roads, and not all-too shabby houses with plenty of flourishes and colourfully painted doors and windows added to the sense that the city they were in wasn’t poor.  
More questions were asked and answered. It seemed that the elves were unified under the rule of the Ljosalfar empire and that the empire extended its reach quite far into this third world, Arenal. Arenal was the common dimensional plane that bordered all other planes and as such, any border tensions, new settlements, colonies and the occasional vassal kingdoms were in Arenal. The only exception was a vassal subterranean kingdom named Dokkalfar, home of the drow. They were in open revolt against the elves after they had rejected their rule after being subservient to them for well over 5 centuries when another emperor had united all the people on the world of Ljosalfar. This knowledge had answered a bit of the questions Sam and the squad had about Arundosar, his heritage and why the other elves were quite clearly being hostile to him.  
The conversation quickly turned to the situation on Earth and how humanity had progressed so far so quickly. Sam answered what questions she could but often played the role of being just a dumb soldier far from home who didn’t know about much about the complex nature of how exactly their technology and magic worked. She did explain that the humans were still divided and did not serve a single ruler. The Mage was clearly sceptical and explained that every civilized species only truly made advances when a powerful centralized ruler could allocate all the funds necessary to perform ambitious projects that increased the people’s knowledge of technology, magic, or other matters. The Mage explained that this was the way that the gnomes, halflings and even the orcs and giants did it. The dwarves were an exception, but their ways were strange, and perhaps so were the humans as well he conceded.  
Sam just nodded as she tried to comprehend that they were now fully stuck in a fantasy novel full on with fantasy races. At least knowing that this dimensional plane of Arenal bordered all other dimensions, made it quite clear how it was that things such as grass and chicken, as well as human words had seemed to migrate here. And the idea of elves and other mythological creatures had migrated to Earth.  
Eventually they reached the Mage tower in the middle of the square. It was a 60 meter tall round tower made of blue-grey bricks and a flat top. Ilfundel explained that it was a repository for knowledge, arcane materials, and an academy for what few magical practitioners there were that visited this close to unclaimed territory. There they dropped off their devil prisoner and left behind Alix and some obviously nervous city guards to watch over the POW in the dungeons as they went to the massive round library to continue their conversation.  
“Alright everyone, just a few more important questions and then we’ll go to the tavern and have dinner. After that Þorgeir relieves Alix and we re-assess the overload of information we just got and re-plan,” Sam sub-vocalized to her squad. In rapid succession she heard 4 soft “affirmative” through her earplug and contemplated sitting down on the luxurious dark wooden polished seat in front of her. The other tables and chairs, floors, walls and bookshelves were all of the same material in this library. There were easily thousands of books all around her as the library continued to spiral up another four or five floors, with a stone spiral staircase in the middle of it all. Sam wanted to sit down, but quickly didn’t as she realized that only stone or steel could support her suit’s weight. She remained standing, while the rest of the squad were slowly walking around and secretly taking tons of footage of interesting looking books.  
“Mage Ilfundel, I thank you very much for your introduction to your world, I only regret that I do not know more about mine to be able to give you more information about my world in kind. And I am sorry that I impose on your hospitality again, but I must insist on asking one more pertinent question,” Sam said as she looked Ilfundel intently in the eye. “You’ve told us that you need magical crystals and a magic user to be able to open up a portal. And that depending on how large you want the portal and how long you want to keep it open, the bigger the crystal or more powerful magic users you would need. But we don’t have any crystals at all. And we are just soldiers and aren’t capable of magic. Could you help us get home?”  
The Mage rubbed his chin and contemplated the question a bit before he answered, “Yes. I had been wondering about that. It’s quite strange really, the history books clearly state that humans didn’t practice magic when they first came to Arenal and thus were always reliant on the other species to open up a portal. And yet here you stand before us with a very magical suit of armour.”  
Sam could feel the doubt of the ever-skeptical Mage on his tone of questioning, but continued nonetheless, “Ah yes. Like I’ve explained earlier, our magic is a bit different and there is just an extremely small portion of humanity that is capable of magic. Like, one in a million.”  
The Mage sighed once more as he seemed to get an answer that he didn’t really like. “That’s alright, I can still help you. I can lend Arundosar to you, he is capable of opening up portals and could use the practice. He is not an expert on it and would require a larger crystal to open up a portal for your size, but if you keep the portal open for only a few days instead of a few weeks, then it wouldn’t be a problem. In return,” Ilfundel said as he gave a sly smile, “I would like to take custody of your prisoner and thoroughly study him. Don’t worry, you can have him back when you return to Earth.”  
“Everybody hear that?” Sam subvocalized.  
“Aha! You were lying!” Ilfundel boasted out, “You are telepathically speaking with your fellows right now, aren’t you?”  
“Uh-“ Sam said as she looked like a deer in headlights. “Ah, crap. No. I mean, we don’t have magic. It’s the suits that allow us to talk to each other. Please, we didn’t lie. If we really lied about knowing magic, would we really ask for your help, or even come here in the first place to get help to get home?”  
“Mmh, true. Alright fine. I’m sure there are many secrets you are keeping from me, I can see it in your eyes. But you are not enemies of the empire, so I’ll let it be. But I must insist on getting something out of this for me, or else this would have just been a massive waste of time. Let me experiment and study on your prisoner and I will keep to my word and help you all to get home, alright?” Ilfundel said as he folded his arms and looked a bit discontent at how this negotiation was going.  
“We get him back when we return to Earth?” Sam asked.  
“Yes, and you’ll have my Apprentice on loan until he has opened up a portal,” Ilfundel replied.  
“Sounds like a good deal, commander,” Myrael said along with some positive murmurs from the rest of the squad.  
“Wait!” Jacqueline cut in, “Is Arundosar going to use that magical ring of translation? How else are we going to understand him?”  
“Good one,” Sam subvocalized back and turned her attention back to Ilfundel. “Alright, we accept, as long as Arundosar gets to use your ring. He won’t be very useful to us if we can’t understand him.”  
Ilfundel looked at Sam and then at his magical ring and pondered her request before answering, “That’s reasonable. Alright, I agree. It’s a deal then.”  
“A deal, let’s shake on it,” Sam replied.  
“The soldier you had guarding the devil can leave now. Don’t worry, you can come see him anytime, and you’ll have him back when you return to Earth. Just ask me and I’ll arrange it,” Ilfundel said as he took off his ring and then slowly turned to Arundosar who was at his side and started speaking in hushed tones in elven that Sam could suddenly no longer understand.  
“Record everything,” Sam subvocalized, “I want to know what he really wants from us.”  
 
 
Admiral Dai – Dimensional plane of Earth – UN Headquarters, N.Y.C.  
 
It had been a busy week, filled with papers, meetings, conference calls, heated discussions over phone calls and tired face-to-face negotiations. Taking stock of the score, admiral Stephen Dai re-evaluated this past tiring week. Disbelief amongst the citizens of Earth quickly turned into extreme and even radical changes. Churches, long-time dying, found themselves overwhelmed by erstwhile atheists now afraid of hell’s portals opening up. The first cries of populists proclaiming an end to peace and safety who needed your vote and support to reform laws and thus to survive were accompanied by madmen proclaiming this to be the coming apocalypse but needing donations to save your soul.  
Nations in the UN were behaving in a similar manner. Every single member wanted to have more information, while demanding more security in the form of returning fleets and warships. They all neglected the Alpha Centauri pirate insurgency in face of personal peril. Countries already started shifting their trading priorities to get more fuel and rare earth materials to be diverted from colonies and to go to Earth, in preparation, of whatever may come. An entire species was panicking.  
Worse yet, some of Earth’s leaders who were not susceptible to panic due to years of political manoeuvring to become a player at the top, were now precisely the people who were the only ones who could rationally respond to this crisis and had zero incentive to do so. The United States proclaimed a state of emergency, recalled 3 heavy cruisers and a dozen lightweight-class ships to help with relief efforts, whilst congress quickly passed a crisis budget that doubled military spending to stave off political and populist pressures, and perhaps cynically, win the vote for the next set of elections. In response, China’s president had issued a similar state of emergency and recalled 1 of 3 dreadnought class ships from the Luyten system, accompanied by a full fleet of an assortment of a dozen capital-class ships and close to a hundred lightweight-class ships. This prompted Russia and India, along with the British commonwealth to recall significant portions of their fleets as well, which meant that Europe could not stay behind and retreated large portions of their fleet back to Earth as well. And just like that, the efforts of decades of peace-making was undone in a week. The bad days where a single press of a button could obliterate millions were back.  
The moments of silence and grief, the endless headlines and talking points, the sheer number of questions, regular commerce grating to a halt, all of it, were extra side-issues that put extra stress and pressure on the now fragile political landscape. The only blessing, Stephen cynically thought to himself, was that those devils attacked almost every major political player simultaneously, dispelling any notion of some sort of conspiracy or powerplay from a single country. Not that that stopped crazy people from spouting these theories. Regardless, the stage before him, the UN assembly room, where he was negotiating with all of humanity for its future, was a chaotic and perilous stage indeed.  
Stephen heard the audio prompt, sighed, and moved towards the podium and was granted the rights to speak to the assembly by the Speaker. To his surprise, almost every country had reacted favourably or positively to his amendment and his proposal to ramp up spending and production to quickly get rid of the Alpha Centauri problem so that they could all focus on this new problem swiftly and cohesively. Almost every country was going to vote in favour of it. All except China. And over the course of the past 36 hours, China had effectively been lobbying, bribing, bullying or blackmailing another 42 countries to join their stance. Stephen took his seat behind the microphones and cameras and turned them live, “Speaker, I am ready for the next round of questions and remarks regarding the amendment of the proposal for the ‘Star Shield’ initiative.”  
“Thank you, admiral. The first question is from the People’s Republic of China. Ambassador Zhang, you may speak,” the UN’s Speaker said.  
Stephen raised his eyebrow and pondered. Usually China would have their proxies talk endlessly to tire out the other countries and would speak themselves much later, sometimes months or years, only to swoop in, talk of ‘this-is-going-nowhere, decide-on-this-now-so-we-can-move-on’, and sway the vote in their favour. If China was willing to talk after 36 hours, then they must have something cooked up.  
Ambassador Zhang turned her microphone on live and began. “We of the People’s Republic of China have been against this proposal for reasons we have already explained in previous sessions of the UN assembly. However, we have a new amendment to submit that if included in the amended proposal of the admiral, would make us amenable to voting in favour of his proposal.”  
As Stephen listened to the translation coming in both of his eyebrows went up. They were being aggressive on the diplomatic scene. Normally they were only aggressive on the military side of things. Something was wrong. Stephen looked down at the inbuilt screen panel and saw an attachment that had the newly submitted Chinese amendment. The 15 minutes of break to allow for quickly skimming through the 40 page monster had caused a greater commotion than last week. China wanted to bring back drone warfare.  
2 hours went by as the planned question session turned into a heated discussion about China’s amendment.  
“The enemy is not spaceborne, it only engaged by land and air, and presumably is further capable of seaborne activity. All the UN members have specialized in space operations, not on terrestrial operations. While both the UN Space Defense Fleet and national armies can perform terrestrial operations, none have the scale necessary to do so sustainably for every major metropolitan area on Earth. The only still-maintained expertise that could perform this task and is available to us is drones and drone operations. The only short-term solution we have to properly defend ourselves adequately is through drones. The UN prohibition on drones must end for the safety of humanity!” the Chinese Ambassador spoke as she gave their main rationale.  
Korea, Japan and many other South-East Asian countries immediately objected, “We have not forgotten what happened to the territories you invaded with those drones! We will not allow this to happen!”  
“That was well over a century ago, and you do not have veto power,” the Chinese Ambassador responded swiftly and coolly. The resulting screams and shouts were disruptive enough that the whole assembly retreated for dinner. And by sheer coincidence, Chinese state tv had broadcast a new segment showcasing the building of a 4th dreadnought vessel, bigger than the other 3, followed up immediately by another segment that proclaimed that China’s multiple state agencies were talking of starting up agricultural and fuel production subsidies that would make China more self-sufficient on those two sectors within 6 years. TV dinner was never fun at the UN.  
China was being really aggressive. Their play was ‘give us what we want, or we walk and do it anyway’. Was this a calculated move? Or was this reactionary and panic? What was China’s goal? And most importantly, how could Stephen keep the peace whilst ensuring that the ‘Star Shield’ initiative was accepted? It didn’t help that UN members were now completely forgetting formality and protocol and were just acting out of emotion.  
The US delegate, had accused China in backroom talks of wanting to police their own population in an even more totalitarian manner, with China replying that such drones helped prevent massacres in the Luyten systems before, while completely ignoring the question of repressed domestic protests.  
Another 4 hours had now passed, making 27 without sleep. Stephen had to admit, even here the tactic of stalling and patiently bullying and tiring out everyone was working, although usually it wasn’t in such a heated and aggressive manner. In a strange turn of events and almost against protocol, it was now his turn to ask questions, even though he was not part of a member state delegation and was only the initiative submitter.  
Stephen had to take a gamble. Was China taking a calculated move? Or were they panicking and grasping at any straw they had? If it was the first, his question would worsen the situation considerably and set Earth back on the path of drone warfare. If it was the last, he might salvage the situation, and Earth would just maybe set back on the path of drone warfare and he would get his proposal passed.  
Stephen tried to push his stress and tiredness away and began to ask, “Ambassador Zhang. The enemy’s capabilities are on 2 sides of an extreme. They are both superior and inferior. They can simultaneously open multiple and fully functional wormholes within a gravitational body. And yet they fight with swords and shields. My question is, what happens when the enemy engages with your drones and they manage to capture sophisticated gunpowder weaponry, or worse, energy and railgun weaponry, or other technology they can reverse engineer?”  
Something snapped. The ambassador was silent and slack-jawed as she thought over the implications. After a full minute of awkward and oppressive silence, the Chinese delegation started to speak to each other in hushed whispers, despite the Speaker’s prompt for them to answer the question. It was panic then, Stephen sighed gratefully. The Chinese panicked and overreacted. Their rule not being democratic, was always more fragile in that it had to keep its citizens permanently placated and peaceful, violently or otherwise. Drones would’ve been a good solution for that, both against an enemy combatant as well as domestic threats.  
But the Chinese government wasn’t stupid. Giving the enemy any potential whatsoever to gain a disproportionate advantage would be a grave strategic error that could cost humanity everything. The hushed whispers turned into hurried phone calls, and a few minutes of delay turned into another 4 hours of waiting as the Chinese delegation finally returned to the floor of the UN assembly. Admiral Zhang indicated to the Speaker that she was at last ready to answer Stephen’s question.  
“Admiral, we believe that it would be a grave strategic error to allow the enemy any opportunity to reverse engineer human advanced weaponry,” she finally said. “Your question opens a glaring flaw in our amendment, and so we have taken some time to correct that mistake. We propose to the floor that the assembly should take some time to read the new amendment. We believe it will both address our concerns regarding Earth’s safety as well as compromise enough to allow the ‘Star Shield’ proposal to go through unopposed.”  
In the half-hour break that followed Stephen read the amended amendment and then laughed at the brilliance of it. The UN prohibition on drones was targeted specifically on armed drones, but exempted police-keeping forces that did not carry projectile-based weaponry, meaning only humans were allowed to carry and operate firearms, railguns and laser weaponry. The Chinese amendment circumvented this by explicitly stating that the millions of drones that they and other nations had, would only be allowed to carry melee weapons and shields.  
Another 2 hours passed as each delegation talked with their own respective governments and finally the ‘Star Shield’ proposal with its 2 extra amendments was passed. Stephen was silently basking in the victory with his own team of administrative workers and diplomatic aides and thought that perhaps finally he had figured out the political game and that it wasn’t so bad.  
He woke the next early afternoon to the news that the Chinese dreadnought would not reverse course despite the newly signed proposal and that the 4th dreadnought’s construction would continue as planned. In fact, the production facility would be expanded to start mass-producing a new prototype material that would be used for swords and shields. Stephen cursed and realized that he still hated politics as always.  
 
 
Devil Lord Azzazzel – The Horned Death – Dimensional Plane of the 9 Hells  
 
Azzazzel stared into the scrying orb and looked at the fat pig-beast that was clearly overcompensating by covering the top of his head down to the last tip of his tail with spikes and horns. “Gabruziel, how goes the raiding?”  
“Fine enough, though the prey here is hardly resisting. It is clear that none of those petty kingdoms and pathetic towns were prepared for a full invasion force of 50 legions. But I am having some difficulty with sieging a heavily fortified mage conclave as well as 2 deeply burrowed dwarven fortresses. I will need more contingents of siege-breakers from you. Some more pit fiends would do fine,” Gabruziel said in his slow drawl that managed to slobber spit and slime everywhere.  
“While we are of equal rank, our master still chose me as the leader for this invasion. I will not give you anything, you foul beast!” Azzazzel growled out. “Listen to me and obey! Belial has awoken and our master has regained his connection. In turn I have gained his location. He is held captive by a Mage elf whom Belial will surely try to corrupt from within his cage. Irrespective of his ability to break free, you are to move on from your current sieges and march all your forces straight for the border of the Sylvan Empire. It is conveniently near the border with the human’s dimensional plane, so your plans will not change much. I will maintain my plans and reinforce you in 3 weeks from now with the main bulk arriving in another 4 weeks after that. Go!”  
Gabruziel growled back in anger, “I will do no such thing without more support from you! You may be the leader of this invasion, but you will fail without me setting up a proper breeching point and supply chain. I have already suffered enough losses from the dwarves and orcs, and the Sylvan empire outmatches them both, especially in magic! While I may be punished and demoted for failing in my mission, you will be stripped of all power by our God himself! You have more to lose! So if you want to succeed, you will send me more pit fiends and other magic resistant siege-breakers!”  
Azzazzel’s horns flared brightly in an almost white-hot flame out of pure anger, “RAGH! Fine. You shall have your support. But if I still fail, I will drag you down with me and let our master consume you first!”  
Gabruziel grinned, exposing his sickly yellow and many sharp tusks. “It’s a deal!”  
 
 
Apprentice Mage Arundosar – Dimensional plane of Arenal – tavern in Hil’Sania  
 
“It is a strange experience to be sure,” Arundosar said as he kept staring at his new Ring of Translation while the humans kept eating. Arundosar had long given up on the voracious appetite of the humans who after half an hour were still eating, demanding more soup and chicken from the overworked tavern owner. Not that the surly elves behind the bar were to be pitied, they would just send the bill towards the city who would have to pay according to the reward they gave to the humans for rescuing all those families.  
“When you say certain words or especially when you say certain concepts that are strange to us, it seems to try and give me a feeling of an idea that tries to come as close as possible to the figurative meaning of the word, while I actually hear a word or words that most closely resemble the literal meaning,” Arundosar said as he continued the conversation on his own.  
“Can you give us an example?” the red-headed commander asked.  
“Sure, your name for instance. You say f- v-, uh, vall’keeree, right?” Arundosar asked as she nodded in confirmation. “Right, all I heard the first time you said it with the ring on was ‘warrior-maiden’ with a feeling of fierceness, and a deep, red-blooded focus. Like peering down at a ruby in a darkened hallway, and if you angled it just right so that a single ray of sunlight would hit it, you would see a glorious burst of fire from within.”  
Sam nodded while the others smiled and started nudging her. “Yeah, that sounds like our commander alright,” the biggest and most resembling a drow male, Camper, said. His name was directly translatable.  
“Camper is a strange name, are all humans’ names so strange?” Arundosar asked, “I mean no offense of course, just curious.”  
“Oh, no offense taken. They’re not really our names, but codenames, short new names that we use whenever we can’t use our real names. Like when we are in unknown territory, like now,” Camper said.  
“Ah, makes sense. You humans have been absent from Arenal for centuries, so of course it would be an unknown territory to you all. It’s no wonder then that the devils attacked you then. They tend to invade dimensions that are weak or isolated, so that no one will come to their aid. It increases the number of slaves and riches they can take,” Arundosar explained with a sneer.  
“Yeah, bet they’re regretting that decision now,” the large white male with pale blond hair, Icebear, said. His name was also directly translatable, although Arundosar had never seen an ice-bear before. Although, looking at him now, he figured he may as well have. He was a large and pale man who strangled a dire bear to death and was scaring the commoners around him constantly by wearing its fur and growling like an utter madman when his commander wasn’t around. The humans had a strange sense of humour. Funny, but definitely strange.  
“Alright, that was a good meal,” the commander said as was done destroying her second whole chicken. She turned to the Apprentice and asked, “what’s the plan for tomorrow, Arundosar?”  
Arundosar thought for a bit as he replied, “Ah, well, it all depends on you really. My master said that I was to help you all open up a portal to home, and I need a crystal for that. Now the Academy sells-“  
“We’ve been over this. The reward from the city is 50 gold pieces. Buying a crystal according to everyone here is at least 10.000 gold pieces. We can’t afford that,” Valkyrie answered. “And no. We are not selling any pieces of our armour or technology to the Academy.”  
“Yes, I understand, you were very clear about that, haha” Arundosar said half-heartedly. They were understandably adamant against such things, they were truly powerful suits of armour. But the reward he would get for it made him try in earnest. His master had promised him an instant promotion to Journeyman as well as a glowing recommendation to start the process of becoming an official Mage depending on how many secrets, both magical and non-magical, Arundosar could bring back from the humans to his master.  
“Well, that leaves 2 options. We dig for it ourselves and risk a tunnel collapse, getting robbed, finding no crystals at all, or potentially get raided by competing miners,” Arundosar said and noticed that none of the humans looked very impressed or willing. “Or we go win the main prize at the adventurer’s guild. I’ve seen it, it’s quite a sizeable crystal, enough to open up the portal for your size for at least a month, even at my Apprentice-level skill.”  
The humans seemed more enthusiastic, if still sceptical at that option. The one they called ‘Alien’, was the only one who really smiled at that option and seemed consistently ready to skip sleep and go sign up right now. Alien was translated strangely for Arundosar. He heard it as ‘foreigner-from-beyond-Earth’, with a deep and dark feeling along with a mysterious even dangerous after-feeling to it. And yet she looked so sweet and innocent, it was quite bizarre to Arundosar. The other names were quite fitting so far, as although he also didn’t understand the nickname of ‘Barhead’, he could imagine that the smallest of the human women could perhaps drink a lot.  
“However, the adventurer’s guild is a bit of a meatgrinder as the commoners say. You either get lucky or you are very skilled and you win big, or you die on the job either from dangerous and wild animals, gangs of thieves and robbers, a crazed lone mage, poisonous plants and other hazardous terrain, competing guilds, some kind of evil mastermind with an idiotic plot to conquer a kingdom, or stranded in a strange and unexplored planar dimension where the winds could fill your head with nightmares and make you fight each other,” Arundosar almost nonchalantly said with a slight shrug as he listed off the most common ways to die in the meatgrinder.  
“Oh, please commander, puh-lease!” Alien almost shouted as she pleaded with Valkyrie.  
“Gods-fucking-damnit. Fine. If only because we have no guarantee of quickly finding a crystal at all while mining. We’ll get some rest tonight and tomorrow morning we’ll see how much effort it takes to win a damn-fucking magic crystal so we can get home,” Valkyrie replied in defeat.  
“It will probably be a lot more effort, but almost assuredly much, much quicker,” Arundosar said. “Mining a large enough crystal to be of use may take months, if you even know where to look. Winning big in the guilds can take as little as a week, if you are strong enough. And I think you are,” Arundosar said with a wink. “I’ll be here tomorrow morning. Oh, and don’t spend any of that gold.”  
“Why not?” Icebear asked.  
“The sign-up fee for the guild is 50 gold pieces per adventuring party,” Arundosar replied as he got up, ready to go to his sleeping quarters in the Mage tower.  
All the humans simultaneously grumbled and complained about wanting to buy souvenirs, but Valkyrie cut them off and finished the conversation, “Alright. We’ll bring the gold pieces with us tomorrow. Easy come, easy go, I guess.”  
 
 
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