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Tax cuts for mothers - interesting idea. It would be more appealing to me personally if it were a tax cut for custodial parents, rather than sex-specific. As a stepmother, I do perform various functions that are traditionally a mom’s, and it does (mildly) affect my work life and especially my ability to move for a job. This is even more true for my husband. The idea that our household would pay full freight while the kids’ other household took a tax cut would have me writing angry letters to my legislators.

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I was thinking about the discussion on ideal age for marriage and children as I listened to this. I married in my mid-20s and was divorced within two years - I had hoped to remarry reasonably quickly and have children reasonably quickly after that, but ultimately didn’t remarry until I was 39. I had a lot of longtime single friends in my 30s, and I will say that it feels like there’s a widespread belief that women have perfectly good marital options on the table but choose not to settle down because they’re looking for someone perfect, have standards that are too high, etc. Even setting aside my own life, I didn’t have a lot of single friends who were turning away from great guys who were eager to get married in search of someone better. What I saw much more frequently is that my female friends (and I) struggled to find men with whom we shared values and could form a real connection. What I think this speaks to is that the modern post-college mating market is not aligned to female preferences, priorities, and typical female modes of sexual and romantic connection. Most women I know are oriented to find real connection and compatibility with men that they have met and gotten to know outside of a pure dating context, and sexual attraction often follows getting to know a man, instead of coming immediately. But app-based dating is context-free: you are meeting solely for the purpose of determining if you have potential sexual and romantic interest in each other. It’s the difference between meeting a guy in, say, running club and becoming friendly while attraction/interest develops vs. meeting him via an app and, within two hours of your first face to face meeting facing the question of whether you’re willing to be physically intimate and if so to what degree (from a kiss goodnight to full-on sex). That just wasn’t a model that worked for many women that I knew, but it is completely dominant now - and even if you are working hard to meet men outside of that context, it can be a struggle since many of the activities that interest women (church, community volunteering, etc.) don’t draw a lot of single men. So even women with pretty realistic standards and expectations for a relationship could take a long time to find a partner.

I suspect this is also the case for men who are lower on sociosexuality, more introverted, or more shy, btw, but I don’t really know. My now-husband is extremely introverted and was a single dad when we got together, and his personality and priorities also didn’t mesh well with app-based dating (we were ex-colleagues).

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Large portions of the world are in the process of killing each other, do not pay heed to those asking for fairness. Fight to have your families and your happy lives with confidence that the responsible parties will rise the tide for all. Mothers should be paid a salary. Their husbands should be required to pay them. That is essentially the religious mode of living. However, explicit taxable or tax-exempt pay does allow for monetary freedom, which has the potential to decrease the number of abusive situations. In all earnestness, is it true that men prefer variety? It would seem to me that women would be interested in as many options as possible to produce strong children. If their husband cannot father the necessary kids they would sensibly look around for a donor. Obviously that is socially verboten to mention. I may also be atypical. I think society works to convince men, through media and other venues, that they prefer variety, so social mores can be excused should the need for capable children be required.

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Great episode!

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founding

100% agree on education and fertility. Academia is one of the worst career paths for motherhood because you can’t even relax after a terminal degree. I know several women who got a PhD and then decided to delay kids until after *tenure* which means you’re in your mid-to-late 30s if everything goes right.

I quit after my postdoc, and I know I wouldn’t have my family if I had stayed.

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founding

Fantastic episode

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This was a great episode. In 2015, Claire was willing to publish many of us on topics we couldn’t address in academic journals. I’ll always be grateful to her for this. Also appreciated your policy proposals for boosting family and fertility!

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