Coming Apart author Charles Murray has spotted a trend: his daughters and their well-educated friends are taking time outs from their professional lives to stay home and bring up their small children.
It fits in with his view of a new upper class composed of educated couples who, unlike members of the underclass, recognize that marriage is essential for raising children.
Murray blogs on this phenomenon today at the American Enterprise Institute. He cites the work of Vanderbilt University economics professor Joni Hersch, who produced a data-filled research paper entitled “Opting Out among Women with Elite Education.” Going by the numbers, Hersch noticed that is the women with degrees from the more elite schools who are somewhat more likely to opt for a period as a stay-at-home mother:
[A]s soon as Hersh separates out women with children from those without, it becomes obvious that women from tier 1 schools are significantly more likely to be home with the kids than the others — 68% of mothers from the tier 1 schools were employed, compared to 76% of those from the other schools….
So Professor Hersch has established that the next generation of children who have everything from genes to family structure to money going for them are also more likely to have a stay-at-home mom — and not just any mom, but one who has been sifted through the micron-fine mesh of the admissions process at elite schools and been judged to have both the IQ and other sterling qualities that gained her entrance, and who is devoting that package of exceptional abilities to the upbringing of her children. Lucky kids. And a new upper class polished to an ever-shinier gloss.
Murray doesn’t talk about the so-called gender wage gap. But I am betting that if the more highly educated women take time off, it will leave more women who are less well-educated and thus have less earning power in the work force.
Thus feminists activists will undoubtedly claim that women earn less and are victims of discrimination instead of celebrating that women—some women at least—have the option of making a choice to stay home for awhile. That is why I urge you to view IWF’s Straight Talk about the Wage Gap video. It will provide intellectual ammunition when this bogus argument is inevitably made.