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The percentage of married women ages 40 to 44 who had no biological children and no other children in the household, such as adopted children or stepchildren, reached 6 percent in the period between and The increased s echo a wider trend over recent decades, as more American women have reached their 40s without bearing children. Federal statistics on older women suggest some found themselves unable to have children, while others chose not to have them.
Some may still be planning to raise children later in life. In fact, the dropping marriage rate is one of the biggest forces behind increased childlessness, Arizona State University associate professor Sarah Hayford found. But the uptick in childlessness among married women, albeit slight, is another of the evolving meaning of marriage, said Susan L. Marriage is slowly becoming less firmly hitched to child rearing, as ideas about why to wed have shifted, and rearing kids out of wedlock becomes more common. Putting off parenthood also has given married couples more time to weigh whether they want children at all.
Scott said. Growing up in Indiana, Kate Sherrill had assumed she would marry and have children. It was just what people did, she said. But when Sherrill had trouble meeting someone she connected with, she began rethinking what her life might look like.
Did she want children? Was marriage important to her? But neither of them felt the pull of parenthood. A Pew Research Center survey three years ago found that Americans rated love, lifelong commitment and companionship as more important reasons to wed than having children. Earlier Pew surveys found a shrinking percentage of adults who said children were very important to a successful marriage. Couples might also shy away from becoming parents because it has become a more intense job: Parents now spend more time and money on their children than they did decades ago, studies from the Pew Research Center and the journal Demography show.
Couples in groups for the proudly child-free still complain about stigma. Despite the demands of parenthood, the vast majority of Americans — 90 percent — either have children or want to have them, a recent Gallup poll showed. Then came marriage. And the baby carriage? Yet choosing not to have children is still the exception, not the rule. Iran deals paves way for Mainers to open people-to-people diplomatic front.
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