Julia McQuillan, the author of the study, rightfully notes that "motherhood is so highly connected with adult femininity in the United States that many women feel that they need to be mothers...yet we also found that there are women who have low or no distress about not being mothers, even if their friends and family want them to have children."
The study asked women why they didn't have children and found that if it was a personal choice, rather than the result of infertility or other external factors, the majority of women felt comfortable with their decisions. They also had more money than any of the other women polled.
It's not that we expect women to be unhappy with this no-children choice because there's something inherently wrong with it. We're just surprised, and thrilled, to know that societal pressures and conceptions of womanhood are changing in a way that impacts individual lives. Despite influence from the media, their religions, family, or friends, women only felt uncomfortable with their choice not to have children if that pressure was coming from inside. We honestly wondered if we'd ever be able to truthfully write such a statement in our lifetime — and it's truly inspiring to know that, at least on this subject, we women are living by our own rules, whether that means sticking to your birth control or raising 10 kids. (Jezebel)
Image via Jezebel.