Koropeckyj-Cox speculated that some women may not be choosing motherhood because of the burden of how difficult the dual roles of mom and working women are. "Other studies have documented that men tend to experience pretty strong economic and social rewards from being a dad, whereas women experience more of the pressures and more of the demands of the immediate day-to-day reality of parenting and juggling work."
The study argues that even though its data is at least 10 years old, that gender gap still may be pivotal in shaping attitudes toward childlessness. Conditions in terms of work and other issues for women considering parenthood don't seem to have changed much, Koropeckyj-Cox noted, but "one of my next steps would be to keep looking at it with more recent data."
At first, the findings seem "counterintuitive," said Irene Goldenberg, a professor emerita of psychiatry at University of California, Los Angeles. "People would say that women care more" about children. But, as the study implies, "women know the costs more."
The finding that women's acceptance of childlessness increases with the amount of education they have shows that "the smarter you are, the more you know about the costs," Goldenberg added. "You understand that it's difficult to do both things. The whole idea of doing both is really tough. Doing both at a high level is maybe possible for only a few women. Ordinary women can't handle it all."
Goldenberg added that she thinks "women are not really going for childlessness, but that they are more attuned to the demands -- both economic and social demands -- of parenthood, and they carry more of these responsibilities."
Nadine Kaslow, chief psychologist at Emory Medical School in Atlanta, viewed the findings similarly, adding that "women who are successful professionals make a choice that they don't want to have children in their lives, because they have other th
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