New research suggesting women with higher IQs are statistically less likely to become mothers has set off a war of words among psychologists and women’s health specialists, The Washington Post reports.
Satoshi Kanazawa, with the London School of Economics, analyzed data from the United Kingdom’s National Child Development Study and found that the higher a woman’s intelligence, the less likely she is to have children, even when accounting for variables such as economics and education.
While there are accomplished, brilliant women who do not have children (among them Oprah Winfrey and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice), there are also accomplished, brilliant women who do (former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.)
Linda Hirshman, a scholar in women’s issues, questioned the research, telling The Post: "Reproducing is a tremendously culturally inflected decision." She noted fundamental changes are occurring in society that are having a direct impact on the increasing number of women bypassing marriage and motherhood, such as the impact of income inequality on child-rearing. "I think the story is a much bigger story than a bunch of brainy women sitting around in earth shoes with their legs crossed," she said.