The Causal Relationship between Measures of Career Salience and the Probability of Having Children: Comparing Commissioned Officers and Enlisted Personnel in the United States Military


  • Chelli PLUMMER Johnson and Wales University, USA


This study examines the childbearing patterns of women in the military, specifically, examining the differences between women in two different career tracks, commissioned officers and enlisted personnel. The study investigates not only the differences in childbearing between these two career tracks but also the effect of career salience on the decision to have or not have children. The author argues that, as career salience increases, women are less likely to have children. While this holds for both commissioned officers and enlisted personnel, the mechanism of career salience is more pronounced for officers than those enlisted personnel. After introducing the topic, the paper provides a comprehensive review of the literature on women and motherhood in the military, presents the research study, discusses findings and results, and offers recommendations for policy reform. KEYWORDS: women, military, career, children, policy reform