Yesterday's post contains some interesting data that the author of the survey will no doubt have fun contemplating and interpreting, keeping in mind of course the limitations of such surveys and the inferred demographics of this particular blog's readership. I will not summarize the data -- though I hope we will get a summary eventually! -- but I will note that I found it interesting that the majority of respondents are women (not surprising) with no children (perhaps also not surprising, depending on the reason for the lack of children).
There is no information about age of respondent, but would it be safe to assume that many (most?) of my readers -- or at least the survey respondents -- are at an early career stage and are childless now but plan/hope eventually to have children? Or do the data indicate an inclination towards childlessness, at least among this subset of female scientists and engineers?
At the risk of upsetting my ethically inclined bio-colleagues with another survey, I hope that some of the childless respondents from yesterday (female and male), or anyone willing to share their personal data, will leave a comment today that completes this sentence:
I am [female/male] and I do not have children because.. [rest of sentence].
..in which [rest of sentence] might indicate age/relationship status and/or might indicate whether you eventually would like children, whether you would like to but don't feel you can because of career issues, whether you just don't want to have kids (by choice), whether you think it has nothing to do with career issues, or whatever else is relevant to your life.
If I were answering a survey like this at any time before I was in my early 30s, I would have answered that I had no children because I didn't want any. It wasn't because I didn't think I could balance career and family, I just wasn't interested in being a mother. And then I was interested, had a kid, and have always been very happy that I did. Go figure.
5 months ago