Women who dared to prioritize an education or career before family may have earned a spinster label once upon a time. Even contemporary films never fail to represent career-oriented childless women as cold and unfeeling monsters incapable of looking up from their BlackBerries. But times they definitely are a changin’, as new research reveals that these women are having babies after all.
In what philly.com describes as a “a turnaround from previous decades,” childlessness in college-educated women in their late 30s and early 40s fell by 5% between 1998 and 2008. Bruce Weinberg, an economics professor at Ohio State University and the co-author of the study, says that these findings break with the cultural narrative of career-minded women often sacrificing having children:
“One of the major economic stories of the second half of the 20th century was that highly educated women were working more and having fewer children. It is too early to definitively say that trend is over, but there is no doubt we have seen fertility rise among older, highly educated women.”
Weinberg speculates that although fertility treatments are a factor in this shift, they don’t entirely account for it. But considering that marriage is now being perpetuated by the upper-class, the same socioeconomic class that is procuring these degrees and obtaining these careers, a delay on motherhood could easily factor into that privileged timeline.