Our comrades to the north are reporting findings from a study conducted by a team of researchers at Australia’s University of Adelaide showing that delayed childbearing ain’t just for highly-educated professional women anymore. It seems even women in casual or temporary jobs, at least those who work longer in such jobs, are waiting longer to have kids.
Why is this news, you ask? Well , two reasons: 1) to this point, most research has found that it’s women in more professional, steady jobs who delay having kids so it’s interesting to see that may no longer be the case; 2) perhaps more importantly, it’s news because we’ve got a cultural bias toward wanting women to make babies (a.k.a., pronatalism). The Loop has clearly reported these findings because it assumes its readers will worry over the trend toward delayed childbearing .
What’s most fascinating about the article is what’s implied but not actually said. When Lance and I first read the article, our thought was: So what? Then we realized… we’re supposed to be concerned that women are delaying childbirth; we’re supposed to agree that governments should promote “policies aimed at helping couples start a family.” And we’re supposed to assume that “start a family” = “have kids.” Eh. We don’t buy it. But we thought this most excellent example of the cult of pronatalism was worth a share. Have a look.
Casual work increases chance of women being childless at 35: study
by CTVNews.ca Staff, November 20, 2013 8:18:43 AM
The longer women work in casual or temporary jobs, the less likely they are to have their first child by their mid-thirties, a new study suggest.
Researchers out of Australia’s University of Adelaide found that the likelihood of childbirth by 35 is reduced by eight per cent for every year a woman spends in temporary employment.
“Our findings suggest that, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances, women generally aspire to economic security prior to starting a family,” the study authors write.
Researchers say the finding is important because it challenges the widespread notion that highly-educated women are delaying motherhood to focus on their careers. The study found the effect of temporary work on beginning a family was consistent among the study participants, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
“This highlights the fact that temporary employment is no longer the sole domain of low-skilled, poorly paid people,” study co-author Dr. Lynne Giles said in a statement. “Our results also show that having children at an older age and childlessness are not just a matter of individual women’s choices. They reflect the broader structural arrangements in society.”
In their paper, the authors note that governments tend to provide financial support to parents after they have children, but say policies aimed at helping couples start a family should be considered.
Continue to source article at The Loop