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Are Older Moms More Selfish?

February 04, 2014 2 min read

The idea of an older mother was almost unheard of before the advent of birth control.  Mothers were almost always in their 20s or 30s and would soon stop having children.  Having children later in life was seen as selfish with the belief that these older moms just wanted more "alone time" in life before settling down with kids.

While older moms have the possibility of genetic defects and abnormalities thrown at them as reasoning for not having children later in life, not once has there been a study detailing any sort of detriment to the child who has an older father.  Then there's also the comment that men and continue to father children for as long as they live while most women won't be able to bear children after their 40s.

There's also the fact that a rising percentage of women are postponing marriage and children to have careers, which drastically cuts down on the amount of time she will be able to conceive.  Ashley Pearson, appeared on the BBC's Big Questions to debate the topic of older parents and made the comment that for the most part, for women of this generation, it is quite a challenge to find men who aren't reluctant to commit until their late 30s and 40s.  What is then left for a woman?  There's IVF and donors...but women are still waiting through their 30s for 'Mr Right' to come along.  And then maybe he doesn't.

So perhaps its not really older mothers that are selfish.  Combine biology, postponed marriage, and the new idea of a protracted adolescence in men and it results in drastically reducing the amount of time that women are able to have children.  So maybe the question should be one that Ashley posed, "Is it selfish for MEN to delay or avoid fatherhood and commitment with a long-term partner?"


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