Modern Parenting Featured Pattern: P0737 February 2015
Abstracts in this Pattern:
Research by economists Moshe Hazan of Tel Aviv University (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Hosny Zoabi of the New Economic School (Moscow, Russia) shows that although the fertility rate of US women with some form of college education has stagnated in the past 30 years, the fertility rate of US women with advanced degrees has increased by more than 50%. Highly educated women tend to make more money than their less-educated counterparts do, and their ability to afford child care and domestic services may be one reason for their increasing fertility rate. Women also pay a professional penalty for parenthood, though. According to a study coauthored by Stanford University (Stanford, California) sociologist Shelly J. Correll, men whose résumés indicated that they are fathers received more job interviews and better salary offers (the fatherhood bonus) than did similarly qualified men whose résumés did not indicate fatherhood. The reverse was true for women (the motherhood penalty). Companies, though, tend to penalize men who take time off from work to care for their children, cancelling out the fatherhood bonus.
The value parents and society assign to children adds a layer of complexity to parenting considerations. Researchers from Utrecht University (Utrecht, Netherlands) and other universities point to narcissism as a cause of parental overvaluation—the unfounded belief that one's children are in every way more special than other children. Overvaluation may cause a distorted self-concept in older children. Japan, in contrast, is struggling with how to value children, and parenting is running into a lack of societal support. Many people who live near nursery schools have complained about noise, resulting in noise restrictions that limit the kinds of play that children require for intellectual development. And older citizens are increasingly avoiding contact with children, which could decrease the sustainability of communities in the long run. More speculative, parental values could directly affect their children. Some nations already allow parents to analyze the genetic information of fertilized human eggs to select the sex of their child. In the future, parents who can afford to do so may review the genetics of each egg and choose the one with the most desirable traits.
The Development of this Pattern
Although the fertility rate of US women with some form of college education has stagnated in the past 30 years, the fertility rate of US women with advanced degrees has increased by more than 50%.
Men whose résumés indicated that they are fathers received more job interviews and better salary offers than did similarly qualified men whose résumés did not indicate fatherhood.
In the future, parents who can afford to do so may review the genetics of each egg and choose the one with the most desirable traits.
Parenting interacts with employment, technology, and society in complex ways, creating friction along social-class lines and raising ethical concerns.
- SoC257 — The Pampered Generation (August 2007)
The parents of many of young adults are assisting in the development of their children's careers by actively participating in the kids' job searches, salary negotiations, and job-acceptance decisions.
- SoC441 — Family and Work Merge (June 2010)
Mutual influences between work and family create a new social fabric in which facets of work interweave seamlessly with those of family, and family structures resemble professional arrangements.
- SoC490 — Family Definition(s) (February 2011)
Family structures are poised for adjustments as traditional notions of what constitutes family change. The ways in which family members relate to each other are changing as well.
- SoC653 — Redefining Gender (May 2013)
This Signal of Change outlines several important shifts in societies' understanding of gender and the effects those shifts could have on a wide variety of organizations.
- P0532 — Shifting Family Relationships (September 2013)
Economic conditions, social developments, and technological progress are affecting families and individuals and their relationships.
- SoC689 — Redefining Families, Reexamining Households (November 2013)
The concept of family has gone through rapid changes, and what constitutes a household deserves reexamination.