Submitted by Shelby D Burns Sat 12/21/2013
Woman A new study shows that the longer women spent in casual or temporary employment, the more likely they were to be childless by age 35. The association between precarious employment and childlessness at 35 was irrespective of the socioeconomic status of the women. Challenges current thought on reasons for delay in childbearing “Our findings suggest that, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances, women generally aspire to economic security prior to starting a family. This finding is important because it challenges the pervasive media representations of delayed childbirth as a phenomenon arising from highly educated women choosing to delay motherhood to focus on their careers,” wrote the authors whose work is published Human Reproduction. Delayed childbirth not just for highly educated Researchers found that the likelihood of maternity at 35 was reduced for every year spent in temporary employment. One year of casual work equally an 8% reduction compared to women who had no temporary jobs. This was irrespective of socioeconomic status as indicated by educational attainment, partner’s education and also their parents’ birthplace. Any kind of temporary employment: low skilled and highly trained “Our results showed that 61% of women who had received a university education had at least one casual job after achieving their first qualification and 30% of these jobs were managerial or professional. This highlights the fact that temporary employment is no longer the sole domain of low-skilled, poorly paid people. 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. These over-arching determinants deserve more attention and study so that we can better understand the barriers to family formation,” said the authors.