A few notes from The Third Child

The Third Child is the second stage and second book of the study I mentioned here,and it reveals some interesting things about the parents of the Boomers.

The biggest is the strong pressure to pop out 2-4 children by age 30. This was a recurring theme, that women should complete their families (yep, including the Catholics) by age 30 and not have more kids after that. What’s interesting about this is that what we have now is the opposite, women are under strong pressure to pop out 2-4 kids *after* age 30. The difference, aside from the obvious, was that the Boomer’s moms could rely on a lot more other women around and were younger when their kids were teenagers.

The other interesting thing is the insane sex selection mania. Part of the baby boom was driven by wanting children of both sexes, and popping em out like pez until you got your boy or girl. One might note that Boomers were the first generation to have access to ultrasound that was useful for sex identification during their prime childbearing years.

Boomers were responding to a lot of less than perfect behavior from their parents and grandparents, which doesn’t make them saints, but it gives some perspective on where some of their self-centered tendencies might have come from other than a vacuum.


2 thoughts on “A few notes from The Third Child

  1. Related:


    “In fact, for the first time ever, women in their 30s are having more kids than women in their 20s. Right now, the highest birth rate is in the 30 to 34 age group, with the 25 to 29 group barely behind. The birthrate in the 20 to 24 age group used to be about even with the rate of 25- to 29-year-olds but started falling around 2000 and has more or less decreased ever since, making an even sharper downturn around 2007. The average age of first birth was 21 in 1970; it’s now 26.3, thanks in part to growing social acceptance of older motherhood and a growing menu of fertility-assistance options for women who want to get pregnant later.”


    • Slate’s wrong about the fertility assistance, they looked into that (the vital stats people) and it’s just not really going on. Women are just compressing their births more aggressively.

      I’m concerned about the overall trend, early data shows even the 30-34 birth rate declining now, and that one can’t be made up for by the 35-39 pool.


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