The number of married women in the US with no children has increased over the last 20 years, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the National Center for Family and Marriage Research examined data from the National Survey of Family Growth. Between 2006 and 2010, six per cent of married women aged 40 to 44, had no children, either biological, adopted or step, in their households they found.
In 1988, by contrast, just 4.5 per cent of women had no children living with them, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
The increase reflects a continuing evolution in the social meaning of marriage, the Centre’s Susan L Brown concluded.
Debra Mollen, an associate professor of psychology at Texas Woman’s University, agreed, saying:
“We’ve moved away from the idea that the sole or even the primary purpose of marriage is to produce offspring.” Instead we “want someone to share our lives with.”