More married women are not having children, U.S. study finds
If you mosey through older posts on this blog, you will notice that some conservative Christians, all the way to totally nutty Reconstructionist / Dominionist / Quivering Christian groups, think that the way to win America back to God and/or to bring purity and decency back to American culture, to fight the population decline and so on, is to encourage Christian teen agers to marry young.
Hmm, well, it looks like getting married is not a guarantee of popping out children either.
Getting married and having children is no longer the norm, so Christians need to knock it off with the “Gift of Singleness, only a few are called to singleness, God expects most to marry” horse shit. Whether to marry or stay single is a cultural thing, a personal decision thing, not a “Thus saith the Lord” thing.
- Among married American women, having no children is still rare, but it has become less so as ideas about why to marry have changed.
By Emily Alpert Reyes
December 7, 2013, 10:21 p.m.
First came love. Then came marriage.
And the baby carriage? Meh.
“Just the two of us is awesome,” said Sara Tenenbein, a 31-year-old blogger and consultant living with her husband in Los Angeles. “Maybe we don’t need to add more humans to the equation.”
Not having children is still rare among married women like Tenenbein, but less so than it used to be, according to an analysis by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, which examined figures from the National Survey of Family Growth.
The percentage of married women ages 40 to 44 who had no biological children and no other kids in the household, such as adopted children or stepkids, reached 6% in the period from 2006 to 2010. That’s a small but statistically significant jump since 1988, when only 4.5% of married women had no kids.
The increased numbers echo a wider trend over recent decades, as more American women have reached their 40s without bearing children. Federal statistics on older women suggest some found themselves unable to have children, while others chose not to have them. Some may still be planning to raise children later in life.
Most women who don’t have children are not married — and the vast majority of married women ultimately have kids, federal statistics show.
In fact, the dropping marriage rate is one of the biggest forces behind increased childlessness, Arizona State University associate professor Sarah Hayford found.
But the uptick in childlessness among married women, albeit slight, is another sign of the evolving meaning of marriage, said Susan L. Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research.
Marriage is slowly becoming less firmly hitched to child rearing, as ideas about why to wed have shifted, and rearing kids out of wedlock becomes more common.
Putting off parenthood has also given married couples more time to weigh whether they want children at all.
“There’s a resistance to parenthood being the default after marriage,” Childless by Choice Project director Laura S. Scott said. “People are questioning it in ways that they didn’t perhaps 30 or 40 or 50 years ago.”
Growing up in Indiana, Kate Sherrill had assumed she would marry and have children. It was just what people did, she said. But when Sherrill had trouble meeting someone she connected with, she began rethinking what her life might look like. Did she want children? Was marriage important to her?
The Indiana librarian ultimately found love at a showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
She and her husband, James House, didn’t rule out having children when they married. But neither of them felt the pull of parenthood. Nine years later, that hasn’t changed.
Sometimes they run into people who “can’t seem to wrap their mind around it,” said Sherrill, now 40. “They say, ‘Oh, you couldn’t have kids?’ And we say, ‘Uh, we don’t know. We didn’t try.'”
(Link): US birth rate drops as more women say ‘no’ to motherhood
Related posts this blog:
(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): God’s gifting of singleness is rare – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage and God gifts only the rare with the gift of Marriage
(Link): The Child Free City