You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Many women are choosing to have children later in life. Why is this? Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is true that many women now prefer to start a family later in life. I believe that there are both financial and social factors which help to account for this trend, and I would argue that this change has more advantages than disadvantages.
The option of having children when they are older is preferred by many women in today’s world for a number of reasons. Firstly, in a family often both the woman and the man need to work in order to make ends meet. Before embarking on parenthood they must take into account their financial ability to support a family of one or more children. Secondly, in social terms, an increasing number of marriages end in divorce, and women are concerned about maintaining a single parent household. In the past, members of the extended family helped with child-minding, but working mothers now generally have to pay for this.
I consider that the positive aspects of this trend outweigh the negative ones. On the one hand, many women, when they are still young, would love to have children, because children bring happiness and laughter. On the other hand, the explosion of the human population has put enormous pressure on the environment and led to the depletion of natural resources. By having children later in life, women have fewer children and this may help humanity to avoid an ecological crisis which could threaten our existence. For example, the one child policy introduced in China in 1980 led many women to have their first child later, and as a result the population could continue to be fed.
In conclusion, for economic and social reasons many women are choosing to have children later in life. Despite the disadvantages, I believe that these are outweighed by the positive environmental consequences.
Vocabulary from family and children:
to start a family later in life: to begin a family later rather than earlier; in the past couples used to start their families at younger ages, like 22, 23 or 24; nowadays they are having babies, which is how you start a family, in their late 20s or even 30s and 40s;
Example: They decided to start a family later in life, preferring to work on their careers during their 20s and early 30s. They finally had their first baby when they were both 38 years old.
embarking on parenthood: to embark on something means to start something; in this case it means to become a parent; parenthood is what you call the role of being a parent; you are always a parent once you have children, but this refers to the time you spend raising them; childhood is the time period when you were a child
Example: They will be embarking on parenthood this summer, when their new baby is born.
to support a family: to have enough money to be able to look after a family
Example: Young people often delay marriage because they do not earn enough money to support a family.
to end in divorce: to end a marriage legally
Example: It is increasingly common in my country for marriages to end in divorce.
a single parent household: a family in which one person takes care of their child or children without a husband, wife or partner
Example: As a result of changes in society, single parent households are no longer considered unusual.
an extended family: a family group with many members, including parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins etc
Example: In the past, the extended family was a form of support when any members were ill or suffered some misfortune.
child-minding: caring informally (not in schools) for children when parents are busy or working
Example: Working mothers with very young children face the problem of organising child-minding while they are away from home.
working mothers: women who have a job and also have to take care of their children
Example: As more and more women have entered the workforce, working mothers have to balance the demands of home and work.
Vocabulary from business and money:
to take something into consideration/ account: to consider or remember something when judging a situation
Example: No business will succeed if it fails to take the needs of customers into account/into consideration.
Vocabulary from the environment:
to deplete natural resources: To reduce the amount of natural resources.
Example: Timber companies must not be allowed to deplete natural resources by cutting down trees without planting new trees to replace them.
an ecological crisis: a serious situation that occurs when the environment of a species or a population changes in a way that destabilizes its continued survival
Example: Environmental degradation caused by human activity is provoking an ecological crisis which threatens our existence.
to make ends meet [expression]: to earn just enough money to live and survive
Example: By selling newspapers in the street, he is able to make ends meet.
explosion [noun]: a large or rapid increase in the number or amount of something
Example: In April, there was an explosion in the number of corona virus cases in the UK.
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