Evangelical Christian private schools. There is a great blog that tracks research and what data exists on homeschooling, and in this link there’s a discussion of some research into whether homeschooled kids marry and have kids differently than kids educated other ways (particularly public school kids).
In a nutshell, evangelical Christian private school attendees end up marrying before 25 and having their first kid a few years later. Catholic school attendees marry around 28-30 and have their first kid ASAP. Homeschool and public school kids have higher rates of teen and early 20s pregnancy and marriage (still fairly low in raw numbers) and higher rates of being unmarried at 39.
Without extreme religiosity, which drives most of the homeschool early marriage, homeschool family formation and childbearing is pretty much the same as public school family formation and childbearing, which is useful information for homeschoolers to have now that the extremely religious are a much smaller minority of homeschoolers these days.
I still haven’t cross-referenced this fully with lifetime births per woman, but I suspect based on demographic patterns that this means homeschoolers and public school kids have slightly fewer lifetime children per woman and probably per man than religious private schoolers of either Catholic or Evangelical Christian persuasion.
Anyway my rapscallionate brood has ended up doing some time in evangelical Christian schools.
For a young (preferably Christian) woman looking to marry and become a mother, it may seem strange that a divorce between the richest man in the world and his wife could offer any useful tools on securing a (hopefully God-fearing), supportive, decent husband. But there are a lot of strange things in the world and Mrs. Former-Bezos offers three valuable lessons for secular women and Christian ones undertaking the difficult quest for a husband in a rough, uncaring world.
- Be where the fish you want to catch are. Mrs. Bezos threw herself into a pool of men who were going to be very big fish financially. The very-near certainty was that this day would come, and her luck or blessing was that it took a little longer than is usual with that kind of man. But make no mistake, she knew she wasn’t swimming in a pond of men offering lifelong devotion. So particularly for young Christian women, you have to go to where the men who want or plan for lifelong marriage are.
- Line up connections that aren’t dependent on your husband. Mrs. Bezos appears to have spent quite a bit of effort as a very young college kid connecting with Toni Morrison. That connection certainly panned out in a lot of big ways for her, allowing her a creative outlet once supporting her husband in his crazy dotcom scheme started to look up and pan out. Which leads to the third lesson.
- Have a creative outlet independent of your husband and your children. Having this means you create the space to maneuver for yourself when you need to. It doesn’t mean it has to come first, but without something for yourself, the risk is always there of collapse when the nest is empty or emptying. Mrs. Bezos’ four children are all teenaged. Her husband giving in to adultery and stupidity could easily have left her in a position to lose it as her kids were also leaving and have a breakdown.
The profile above is where I got the details about her life. For young (Christian) women, the goal is not to have an escape route planned, to the contrary, the goal is to do the best you reasonably can to arrange the conditions for a robust and stable marriage environment.
There are spaces and places where men interested in lifelong marriage are, but due to atomization, it takes more time and effort to place yourself in those spots. But if you do, you’re putting yourself around the kind of men who are already part of the way there as far as marriage goals and views.
Having connections outside your husband is about having safe emotional outlets if your husband is in a busy season or is of a different social nature than you, or both. It’s also about having a broader social and economic network, two people combining their networks is always better than being totally dependent on one person’s connections.
A creative outlet that isn’t husband+kids means you aren’t frustrated when the kids inevitably grow up and out of the home.