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Why Fewer Young People Expect to Become Parents

Why Fewer Young People Expect to Become Parents | Business Brainpower with the Human Touch | Scoop.it

Several high-profile women in business have recently stepped forward to speak openly and personally about the challenges of balancing work and family in the United States, from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s blockbuster Lean In to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s much-debated 2012 Atlantic essay about the challenges of “having it all.” Now, a groundbreaking cross-generational Wharton study led by Stewart D. Friedman, founding director of the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project, provides a valuable window into how both men’s and women’s views on work and family have changed over the past 20 years.


Friedman studied two generations of Wharton college students as they graduated — Gen Xers in 1992 and Millennials in 2012 — about their views on work and family. The study revealed that the number of graduates planning to become parents has dropped precipitously. Friedman’s new book, Baby Bust: New Choices for Men and Women in Work and Family, explores why young people are opting out of parenthood.

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor's insight:

A new book by Stewart D. Friedman, founding director of the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project, reveals the surprising results of a 20-year study into men’s and women’s changing views on work and family.

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Scooped by Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor
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How Older Parenthood Will Upend Society

How Older Parenthood Will Upend Society | Business Brainpower with the Human Touch | Scoop.it
Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor's insight:

Over the past half century, parenthood has undergone a change so simple yet so profound we are only beginning to grasp the enormity of its implications. It is that we have our children much later than we used to. This has come to seem perfectly unremarkable; indeed, we take note of it only when celebrities push it to extremes—when Tony Randall has his first child at 77; Larry King, his fifth child by his seventh wife at 66; Elizabeth Edwards, her last child at 50.


This new gerontological voyeurism—I think of it as doddering-parent porn—was at its maximally gratifying in 2008, when, in almost simultaneous and near-Biblical acts of belated fertility, two 70-year-old women in India gave birth, thanks to donor eggs and disturbingly enthusiastic doctors. One woman’s husband was 72; the other’s was 77.


These, though, are the headlines. The real story is less titillating, but it tells us a great deal more about how we’ll be living in the coming years: what our families and our workforce will look like, how healthy we’ll be, and also—not to be too eugenicist about it—the future well-being of the human race.

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