Thanks to my pal, Veronica, I saw this article about how women who are now between the ages of 33 and 46 (Generation X) are working harder and having fewer children. In an interview about the study with Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the founding president of the Center for Work Life Policy and author of “Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Woman are the Solution,” we find out a whole lot of things we might not have known about this generation. Like this gem (emphasis mine):
The data show that at age 40, college-educated women in this generation do not have children, and that’s obviously towards the end of the childbearing years. I call it a ‘creeping non-choice’ because it’s nuanced: You don’t wake up one day and say, ‘I’m not going to have kids.’ It’s a decision that falls out of other circumstances. Other important factors and opportunities crowd out the possibility of having children.
36 percent of Gen X men also don’t have children by age 40, but women are paying a more permanent price because guys can have children when they’re 55.
Well, thanks for those sweeping generalizations, Ms. Hewlett, and I hate to bust your over-generalized bubble, but some women actually do wake up wone day and say, ‘I’m not going to have kids.’ Or, at least, it’s a decision that is made in the same way that the decision to have kids is made. You think about it, talk it over with your partner, and you make the choice that’s best for you.
Also, can we discuss the rhetoric she’s using here? “Women are paying a more permanent price” for not having children? Right, because we’re all going to get to the end of our childbearing years and regret the decisions we made to have a fulfilling career and a wonderful romantic partnership. Obviously, those who are childfree at 45 will wish they hadn’t, you know, done other things.
The whole article is filled with gems like this one, and I could go on and on, but go ahead and read it for yourself and let me know what you think.