Most Stay-at-Home Moms Aren't 'Opting Out': Census

Contrary to 'opt-out revolution' notion, most stay-at-home moms start that way
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2009 11:39 AM CDT
Jenna Kagan, a stay-at-home mom, checks on dinner on July 31, 2008, at her home in Maple Valley, Wash., near Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – The so-called opt-out revolution by stay-at-home moms “is not and never has been and will not be a revolution,” says one sociologist—and statistics from the most recent census support that point. The term was coined to describe well-educated women leaving high-powered careers to raise children, but census figures show most stay-at-home moms are younger, less educated, and have lower family incomes.

“I do think there is a small population, a very small population, that is opting out, but with the nationally representative data, we're just not seeing that,” a demographer tells the Washington Post. The report contrasts with the recent pop-culture focus on opting out, including books and television shows like Desperate Housewives that explore the balancing act between work and family.