Choosing Motherhood Over Career? A Trend Among Young Women at Elite Universities

Choosing Motherhood Over Career? A Trend Among Young Women at Elite Universities

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
September 22, 2005

The New York Times reports that a growing number of college young women are aiming for full-time motherhood as a major career aspiration. This is big news in itself, but the fact that the report appears in The New York Times makes this development all the more interesting.

Consider this: At Yale and other top colleges, women are being groomed to take their place in an ever more diverse professional elite. It is almost taken for granted that, just as they make up half the students at these institutions, they will move into leadership roles on an equal basis with their male classmates.

There is just one problem with this scenario: many of these women say that is not what they want.

Many women at the nation’s most elite colleges say they have already decided that they will put aside their careers in favor of raising children. Though some of these students are not planning to have children and some hope to have a family and work full time, many others, like Ms. [Cynthia] Liu, say they will happily play a traditional female role, with motherhood their main commitment.

Much attention has been focused on career women who leave the work force to rear children. What seems to be changing is that while many women in college two or three decades ago expected to have full-time careers, their daughters, while still in college, say they have already decided to suspend or end their careers when they have children.

In effect, these young women are launching a counter-revolution to the trends of the last four decades. This article represents a witness to the enduring power of motherhood, not just as a matter of emotion and sentiment, but as a calling and a passion.

Now, if only this generation of young men would get equally serious about marriage and family.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

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