Several recent studies have surfaced affirming a trend us young ladies in New York City have applauded for decades: sex is super groovy, but we have work early tomorrow, so please for the love of God no babies!
Women all over the world are choosing time-consuming, highfalutin careers in their 20s and 30s and putting off popping out kids until, well, uh... um. Hm.
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We don't know, exactly.
At first this seems like a classic case of "yeah, so what" news, but these new female child-rearing patterns are beginning to have a pretty significant global impact.
According to the article "The Global Infertility Crisis," by Anita Allen in The Daily Beast and an alarming population study in Japan, this new breed of older Mom is altering population and creating ethical concerns about infertility treatments.
Japanese researcher Dr. Kunio Kitamura discovered that 37% of working couples in Japan have sex less than once a month. A percentage, he notes, that consistently increases, up from 32% in 2004.
"People are working too hard today and the most important piece of advice I would give to couples is to have them come home as early as possible after work and communicate," he said.
Of course, what people do in the bedroom is their business, but all work and no sex makes a very small family.
The Japanese birthrate was 1.34 in 2007, which means if the Japanese keep it up, the country's population could plummet from 127.7 million in 2006 to a staggering 95.5 million in 2050, to 47.7 million in 2100. Which, not to mention, means a near future of many elderly people and a sparse group of young workers to chug along the economy.
As Allen points out, this problem isn't only in Japan. The number of children per couple in Taiwan decreased from 6 in 1954 to 1.3 in 2007. Similar decreases are taking place all over Europe too, which led British professor Bob Sheffield to warn of an "infertility time bomb."
Many times, the same women who don't have time for committed relationships and babies in their 20s and 30s, wake up in a cold sweat at 40 and decide they need a kid. Now.
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Not a huge problem, Allen theorizes, if infertility treatments weren't so pricey (meaning only the wealthy can truly afford them in some countries), if they worked all the time and didn't raise a slew of social, medical and ethical issues (health problems and risks associated with repeated treatments, debates over when life begins, etc.).
Great Britian even passed it's own measure dealing with all this techy, baby-making mania: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, which regulates, researches and licenses things like abortion, IVF and human embryo research.