Edumacated Dads

June 1, 2006

They may not have as many kids, but men who are college graduates are more likely to fuss over them, according to a new federal study.

Researchers say men who’ve earned their degree expect to father two children. On average, that’s about one less than men without a high school diploma.

The better educated dads tend to be more involved with their little ones. According to the study, they’re more likely to play with their children and help out with things like bath time, compared to fathers who didn’t make it out of high school.

I don’t know whether these findings are true, but it piques my curiosity. What is is about the college experience that would compel a man to want a smaller family? Or be more involved with childrearing? It’s not like there were many men in all those Women’s Studies classes I took, except for a smattering of shit-stirrers and masochists 😉

Perhaps the costs of college limits family size. A college grad might be saddled with student loans, or hold the expectation that his own children will obtain college degrees, which costs lots of money.

Financial considerations play a big role in our family size, and we have college degrees. Why would I have more children if my earning potential was constrained by not making it out of high school?

Perhaps it has nothing to do with money at all, but orientation to parenthood. If one has no prospects for a “career,” family life will be the receptical of all one’s hopes and dreams. Or the differing orientations between having a “job” and a “career.” Or having lots of children being evidence of accomplishment, when other avenues of accomplishment are unavailable. Dunno.

I’m casting about wildly. I’d love to hear your theories. What is it about college that would lead a man to deeper involvement with fewer children?