It turns out that more American women are having kids with multiple fathers. A new, extensive study from Cassandra Dorius, PhD, who's a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, takes a close look at families and fertility.
When it comes to women with two or more children, 28% of them had children with at least two different fathers. Dorius says the pattern - which she calls multiple partner fertility - spans across all racial, economic, and educational levels. It also spreads across family structures, from married, to divorced, to single parents.
Dorius discovered her findings while analyzing data from 4,000 women interviewed for the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Those women were first interviewed in 1979 when they were 14 to 22 years old and were interviewed more than 20 times over the following 27 years. Apparently the women who had children with more than one man ended up having more children than they had considered "ideal" when they were first interviewed.
According to a news release, Dorius said, "Raising children who have different fathers is a major factor in the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage. Juggling all of the different needs and demands of fathers in at least two households, four or more pairs of grandparents, and two or more children, creates a huge set of chronic stressors that families have to deal with for decades."
Dorius presented her findings on April 1st at the annual Population Association of America meeting in Washington, DC.