Turns out there are some benefits to being allowed not to have babies besides being allowed not to have babies. A new study out this week shows that women with access to birth control make more money and have better careers over their lifetime. Maybe the story here isn't this obvious finding, but the fact that anyone is surprised by it.
This University of Michigan study is good news for those of us who've ever thought "Thanks, but I'll pass on the babies this month." According to its findings, women who had access to the pill in their late teens and early twenties ended up making eight percent more money over the course of their careers than those who didn't.
Obviously there are some other factors at play here, like the fact that women with access to the pill tend to live in states and cities where you might have better career opportunities to begin with. That said, the study also found it was women from disadvantaged backgrounds who benefited most from having early access to the pill.
"One thing I think is important to point out is that we didn’t see a change in the number of children these women had," said Martha J. Bailey, the author of the study. "But we did see changes in when they decided to have them. That slight delay in the birth of their first child translated into some pretty big gains in terms of lifetime earnings." Again, all of this is pretty intuitive, but it's always good to have some figures to back up what we all know. Birth control isn't just about the freedom to be a slut. It's about the freedom to create a life for yourself.