Thursday, March 10, 2016

Births, Marriage, & Inequality

Thank you to KPFK for the About Letters and Politics feature on the 2014 book 

Marriage Markets: How Inequality Is Remaking the American Family by June Carbone and Naomi Cahn

on International Women's Day.

Here's the biggest statistic to emerge from the research by Carbone and Cahn:

Less than 10% of births to college-educated women are out of wedlock; for mothers without a college degree, more than 50% are.

In the KPFK interview, we learn that unequal access to contraception shapes women's lives from age 13 or so.

Young women in the top half of society economically are typically given contraceptives at an early age for problems including acne and menstrual cramping.  The have protection when they become sexually active.  They are less likely to give birth until they have completed their educational goals.  

Young women in the lower half of US economic order do not access contraception until after the birth of their first child.  As single mothers with low education, their opportunities are curtailed.

See this review:

A review of the book in the Wall Street Journal takes different tack on the reasons for the discrepancy.

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