Lifetime childlessness in western Germany has hit 30 percent among university-educated women, and is rapidly rising among lower-class men. In Britain, the number of women remaining childless has doubled in 20 years. In Japan, where the birthrate stands at a dismal 1.25 per woman, a record 56 percent of 30-year-old women are still childless, up from 24 percent in 1985.While the jury is still out on exactly why this is happening, there seems to be a strong correlation with higher education and empoyment for women. I reckon that can be one of the answers to last week's big debate on HR: the baby gap between blue states and red states isn't caused by ideology near as much as it is caused by education and economy. (it's the economy, smarty pants!)
Most conservatives I know who have kids generally waited till they were done with at least an undergraduate degree (sometimes a Master's) and had a jobby job.
Primary and secondary education is also generally better across the 'blue states' than the 'red states,' and that allows people to end up in college at higher percentages. People in college generally put off having kids till after college.
With the economy warmer in the 'red states' than the 'blue states,' however, a lot of these recent grads may be moving to Southern states for economic reasons, and having their children there - bumping artificially the numbers for the red/blue baby gap.
I'm not willing to rule out ideology as a tertiary factor, but cultural factors also contribute more directly: the cultural pressure on folks, especially in the deep South, is to get married and have babies as soon as you're able. That permeates despite Southern Liberalism or Southern Conservatism. If you hit 30 and you don't have rugrats, total strangers begin to tell you that you need to get your rear end in the bedroom and get to work. I am dead serious. If your excuse is that "I got no partner for this partikkular crime," busybodies will often have a ready made list of 18-32 year olds & phone numbers (& sometmes pictures) that you "need to meet" in order to get you 'back on track,' and actual compatability matters much less than you might think.
These conversations are very odd to have, let me tell you.
But even wierder conversations than that (and ones relating to this thread in a tangential manner) are the ones where folks tell men to fear women who have jobs and educations. (Since that's the kind of lady I'm attracted to, I feel as if I've entered some parallel universe when these partikkular conversations kick up from strangers...) What's weirder than that? reading the 'fear women with money and brains' line in Forbes Magazine.
Culture war, continuing...