The point to that scene, besides making us tear up for poor Debra Winger in her shabby, threadbare cardigan, was that "successful," progressive women wanted careers of their own, so they delayed having babies until they felt they had wrung all they wanted out of the proverbial employment towel. Well that all may be changing, the Wall Street Journal reports, as new data from the National Center for Health Statistics has found that the average age at which women have their first babies is falling.
"Mothers' mean age at their first childbirth fell to 25 years in 2006, the most recent figures available, from 25.2 in 2005. Women ages 20 to 24 led the shift, with a 5% increase in the rate of first births."There are a bevy of factors as to why the age is beginning to decline for the first time, but overwhelmingly experts see a shift in attitudes. "More young women today just assume they'll have both a career and a family, and on their own timetable," one source told the WSJ. "Young women feel less compelled to spend a decade proving themselves on the job before kids." People, the feminist movement happened to give women the freedom of choice, that is, the choice to have kids, a career, and/or both. Not to choose one in lieu of the other, therefore stigmatizing you by your decision.
Historically, the paper says, recessions have reduced family size, but their impact on the age at which women start families is less clear. What we do know, within the last three years at least, is there may be a correlation with the country's current economic woes and the move toward younger child-bearing. That and we won't have to witness anymore heartbreaking Debra Winger scenes. [Wall Street Journal]