childfreeIt’s hard-hitting science here, ladies. Hold onto your aprons (or margaritas?) as a University of Nebraska-Lincoln sociologist just determined that not only do childless by choice women feel more pressure to reproduce than women without children, but that they’re actually cool with never having kids –ever! Blew my socks off, I tell you.

Study author Julia McQuillan queried a national of sample of almost 1,200 American women who did not have children. Upon pressing them about their reasoning, she determined the following:

“Motherhood is so highly connected with adult femininity in the United States that many women feel that they need to be mothers,” study author Julia McQuillan, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln sociologist, said in a statement. “Yet we also found that there are women who have low or no distress about not being mothers, even if their friends and family want them to have children.”

The mythical child-free woman who wants to stay that way reveals herself! Much like a unicorn sighting or perhaps a photo of Big Foot! An individual who doesn’t want kids is hardly headlining news — unless they’re a lady. Then it’s lots of craning necks and whispers of “really?” and odd squinting like she’s a specimen in a test tube. But how can this creature exist?!

According to Livescience, these unicorns are becoming more prevalent as about 20 percent of American women “exit their childbearing years without reproducing.” Only 10 percent of women reportedly followed the same path in 1976 according to 2003 data. And there are quite a few valid reason to choose from: infertility, finances, educational and job demands, lack of the right partner, and last but not least, choice.

In her research, McQuillan also determined that women who had medical reasons for not having babies were, understandably, the most “distressed” of all the women in her study. These ladies also had the lowest family income versus the childless by choice crowd that had the highest family income. Religious women also felt “less pressured by social messages” to procreate than less religious women.

Nevertheless, McQuillan suggests that child-free women shouldn’t all be looked upon with the same pity for not having reproduced. Try as our culture might to sometimes paint childless by choice women with the same heavy-handed brush, they’re actually different individuals:

“While some may be devastated, others are content and finding fulfillment through other avenues such as leisure or career pursuits. Rather than assume that women without children are missing something, society should benefit from valuing a variety of paths for adult women to have satisfying lives.”

Unicorn watch concluded.

(photo: suravid/ Shutterstock)