Too smart for motherhood? Correlation between intelligence and childlessness
Are smart women rejecting motherhood? A recent study has established a correlation between intelligence and childlessness.
Smarter women prefer to go the childless way! How true is this? Apparently it is true. A new study has revealed a clear correlation between intelligence and childlessness — with “cleverer” women more likely to reject motherhood.
The study conducted by Satoshi Kanazawa, a researcher at the London School of Economics, found that the maternal urge to have children decreases by a quarter for every 15 extra IQ points.
Childless celeb club
In the USA, Oprah Winfrey, Cameron Diaz and Winona Ryder are rejecting motherhood, with Diaz adding: ‘I have the life I have because I don’t have children.’
In UK the famously clever women who are rejecting motherhood include BBC presenter Kate Humble and actress Helen Mirren. Humble, says, she just ‘doesn’t have a maternal gene’ and resolved not to have children at the age of 14. ‘People are very judgmental,’ she added. ‘It’s as if I made a selfish decision not to have children, but I never, ever, wanted them.’
Jane, a 32-year-old development officer who has been married for three years, is rejecting motherhood because it means a lifetime of having to worry about everything from care to getting them into good schools. She added: ‘It’s too much trouble. I don’t think having kids is worth it. There’s just too much to think about.’
The cost of raising a child is not usually a barrier for these women. Some educated women just do not see the need for children to complete their families, though society usually defines a family as a couple with children. Some women are rejecting motherhood due to demanding work schedules and better career prospects, others just simply have no desire to have a child.
Issue at hand
Several studies have examined the correlation between childless educated couples and falling birth rates. Alarming figures show one in five 45-year-olds is childless. Amongst those with degrees, the figures rise to 43 per cent. In fact the Office of National Statistics reveals that the proportion of women rejecting motherhood has almost doubled since the 1990s.
Many women are rejecting motherhood, not because they wouldn’t love to have a child, but due to the fact that they may not be able to provide that baby with the life it deserves.
Extending maternal benefits
Working mothers are finding ways to balance work and maternal responsibilities. Their daily woes dampen the best maternal instincts in other working women too. Supporting their decision with paid maternity leave, subsidized day care, flexible work schedules, affordable health care and other child-friendly work policies would help more educated women to accept motherhood.
For the women who really don’t care to have babies, they know themselves best. No policy will change their mind. But for those women for whom the choice is about lifestyle and sacrifice, having more child-friendly policies will make a difference.
Motherhood is full of joy but its also hard work. Making it easier for working mothers will help them choose the path of motherhood. Allowing women to continue on their career paths even after having children, is beneficial for women, their children and society. As more role models like Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO and author of “Lean In) come forward and share their successes, the more educated women will choose the path to motherhood.