Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Casual employment is linked to women being childless at 35

Date:
November 19, 2013
Source:
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE)
Summary:
Women who have worked in temporary jobs are less likely to have had their first child by the age of 35, according to research published online today (Wednesday) in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction [1]. The study shows that the longer women spent in casual employment, the more likely they were to be childless when they were 35.

Women who have worked in temporary jobs are less likely to have had their first child by the age of 35, according to research published online in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction. The study shows that the longer women spent in casual employment, the more likely they were to be childless when they were 35.

Related Articles


The researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, found that this association between precarious employment and childlessness at 35 was irrespective of the socioeconomic status of the women.

"Our findings suggest that, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances, women generally aspire to economic security prior to starting a family. This finding is important because it challenges the pervasive media representations of delayed childbirth as a phenomenon arising from highly educated women choosing to delay motherhood to focus on their careers," write the authors in their paper.

The study was led by Vivienne Moore, Professor in the Discipline of Public Health at the University of Adelaide, and was based on the doctoral study of Emily Steele. The researchers studied data collected from a group of Australian women who took part in the Life Journeys of Young Women Project and who were born between 1973 and 1975 in a large hospital in Adelaide, South Australia. Interviews were conducted with the women in 2007-2009 when they were aged between 32-35 years old to collect information on significant events in their lives such as relationships, childbirth and employment from the age of 15 onwards. If a woman was studying full time, she was considered to be a student and employment during this period was not taken into account.

At the time of the interviews 442 of the 663 women (67%) had given birth to at least one child. At the time of their child's birth or the study's cut-off point, the majority were permanently employed, while 11% were in temporary employment; 225 women (about one-third) had spent no time in temporary employment; one-third had a university qualification and 75% were living with a partner.

The researchers found that the likelihood of childbirth by the age of 35 was reduced for every year spent in temporary employment. One year of causal work was associated with an 8% reduction in the likelihood of a first baby compared to women who had had no temporary jobs; the likelihood of a first baby by around age 35 was reduced by 23% after three years and by 35% after five years of temporary employment.

This effect was seen irrespective of the women's socioeconomic status as indicated by their educational attainment, their partner's education and also their parents' birthplace (as the authors say that migrant families, where one or both parents were born outside Australia, might be more likely to have at least one child at a younger age than other women).

Dr Lynne Giles, co-author and senior lecturer at the university, said: "Our results showed that 61% of women who had received a university education had at least one casual job after achieving their first qualification, and 30% of these jobs were managerial or professional. This highlights the fact that temporary employment is no longer the sole domain of low-skilled, poorly paid people.

"Our results also show that having children at an older age and childlessness are not just a matter of individual women's choices. They reflect the broader structural arrangements in society. These over-arching determinants deserve more attention and study so that we can better understand the barriers to family formation."

The authors write in their paper: "Current policy responses generally provide financial and other support to parents after they have children; there remains a need to develop complementary policies to facilitate the ability of couples to commit to family formation." They add: "Since all socioeconomic groups are implicated, we suggest that upstream labour market reforms could be considered in order to remove barriers to child-bearing."

One of the limitations to the study was that the researchers analysed the women's employment history, but not that of their partners. However, they did take the partner's education into account, and they plan to investigate the employment history of both the women and the men in future work.

Although the specific results cannot be extrapolated to other countries, Prof Moore said: "The argument that women's employment conditions have an influence on the timing of family formation would seem to be relevant, especially for Western countries with neoliberal outlook."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. J. Steele, L. C. Giles, M. J. Davies, V. M. Moore. Is precarious employment associated with women remaining childless until age 35 years? Results from an Australian birth cohort study. Human Reproduction, 2013; DOI: 10.1093/humrep/det407

Cite This Page:

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). "Casual employment is linked to women being childless at 35." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119193511.htm>.
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). (2013, November 19). Casual employment is linked to women being childless at 35. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119193511.htm
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). "Casual employment is linked to women being childless at 35." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119193511.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) — In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled Japan could no longer engage in whaling in the Antarctic, but Japan has plans to return this year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lights out for Earth Hour

Lights out for Earth Hour

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 29, 2015) — Landmarks in cities around the globe turn off their lights to mark Earth Hour. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins