Racial Differences and Similarities in Childlessness, 1988 - 2002
Jennifer H. Lundquist, University of Massachusetts
In this paper we seek to understand the socioeconomic similarities and differences between white and black women who are childless. Past research has either neglected racial differences among childless women, or attributed childlessness to unique causes for black and white women. While white women’s childlessness has been attributed to increased educational and employment opportunities that conflict with family responsibilities, black women’s childlessness has been viewed as the result of inadequate health care, disease, and coercive sterilization. We re-evaluate these arguments with data from the three most recent waves of the National Survey of Family Growth (cycles 4, 5, and 6).