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Haven't read the whole article yet, but I'll tell you what I think the underlying reason for this cultural shift is -- the Pill. Beginning in 1957 starting families within a few years of initiating sexual activity was no longer a foregone conclusion. People in their 20s have always fucked like rabbits, but before the Pill the law of averages dictated that many of them would suddenly have a lot of responsibility on their plate, leading them to "completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child." Even the people who weren't getting knocked up or knocking someone up still felt the pressure to keep up with peers who were moving into that next stage of adulthood. Now that anyone who's not a fucking idiot doesn't have to get pregnant unless they want to (or at least 99.9% of the non-idiots) that incentive to move on with life, either from responsibility or pressure to keep up with peer group, no longer exists. It's taken essentially two generations for this change to occur. That is some lightning quick shit in terms of cultural shift. Might post more when I finish reading the article.

Ojo Rojo

The Pill was Audra's reason too. It's interesting that the doctor and the feminist would say the Pill caused it. The cultural anthropologist and economist in me is saying it's a cultural/economic thing. I've got a buddy who says it's all about self-indulgence, but I can't tie his reason to his career or leanings. The Pill makes a lot of sense as the root cause. The cultural/economic/life choice aspect could actually be effects. And now, possibly, the net effect of those effects has been given a name.


It's clearly an oversimplification to call the Pill the sole cause, but I think it's the cornerstone. The other major factor was timing. If the Pill had been invented in the 1930s financial pressures would have probably still limited a protracted "emerging adulthood" whether people in their 20s were popping kids out or not. But since it was introduced at a time of economic prosperity young adults had the option of taking advantage of those few extra years.

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