Guest / Limited Access /

I am writing not as a single cultural aberration, but as part of yet another cultural trend: the rise of the larger family. In March 2004, USA Today ran a front-page story with the headline, "For More Parents, Three Kids Are a Charm: Professional, educated women lead the trend." The headline on the inside page read, "Opportunity to Raise Big Family Is 'a Tremendous Liberation for Women.'"

"We're undergoing a gender and family revolution," Stephanie Coontz, national co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families, said in the article. From 1995 to 2000, the number of women of childbearing age giving birth to three or more children rose 7 percent (to 18.4 per 1,000 women). "Women with impressive resumes … no longer see life as a choice between work and motherhood," Coontz continued.

The Families and Work Institute, a New York–based center for research on the changing work force, reported in a recent study that female managers and professionals are having more children. In 2002, such women had double the number of children under 18 at home as women in the same positions had in 1977. Women with four-year or higher college degrees had triple the average number as women with similar educations in 1977.

A number of demographers, journalists, and sociologists have noted a strong correlation between religious values and fertility rates. The more frequent the church attendance, the higher the birthrate. "White fundamentalist Protestants" who attend services weekly show a fertility rate 27 percent higher than the national average. Mormons show twice the national birth rate.

David Brooks, in a New York Times opinion piece, calls this "little- known" movement natalism. The significant difference in fertility between the religious ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only New Life for Nepal
Hindu monarchy abolished; churches can now register.
RecommendedMaking Married Sex Mutual
Making Married Sex Mutual
Pervasive ideologies distort our view of female sexuality. God’s Word shows us a better way.
TrendingWhy Tim Keller, Max Lucado, and Hundreds of Evangelical Leaders Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban
Why Tim Keller, Max Lucado, and Hundreds of Evangelical Leaders Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban
Regardless of court fight’s final outcome, fewer persecuted Christians will make it to America under president’s plan.
Editor's PickChallenging the Narrative: How Race Complicates the Latest LifeWay Debate
Challenging the Narrative: How Race Complicates the Latest LifeWay Debate
Black Southern Baptists weigh in on the issues around removing Sho Baraka’s album.
Christianity Today
A Counter Trend—Sort Of
hide thisAugust August

In the Magazine

August 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.