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A New Track for American Women: Delaying Motherhood?

Two articles from The Washington Post and The New York Times examine the declining birth rate in the United States and the phenomenon of delayed motherhood, interrogating the systemic factors that have made women willing to put off or decide against having children.


Pundits (mostly male) are bemoaning the decline in the United States' birth rate;

perhaps, as Monica Hesse suggests in The Washington Post, "the unreasonable expectations placed on American mothers" contribute to many womens' decisions to either delay having children--or to not have them at all.

Read more from this story in The Washington Post


"Why American Women Everywhere are Delaying Motherhood" in The New York Times reports that many young working-class women have discovered a "desire to set their lives on track," and that track does not necessarily include motherhood.

An Excerpt:

Kristal Wynn, 36, grew up in rural Florida. Her best friend from high school had three children by the time she was 19, and Ms. Wynn knew she did not want that. She eventually became a nurse. Now living in Denver, she is going back to school to earn her bachelor’s degree, a longtime dream and something no one in her family has done.

“It was something no one ever expected me to do, I never expected myself to do,” she said.

As for children, she said she still wants them but that “it won’t be the end of the world if it doesn’t happen.” She loves learning, traveling and living in Denver. “I’m at the point in my life where I could be fulfilled by other things.”

Read more from this story in The New York Times


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