More Babies Can Mean Less Education for Moms, Study Shows

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Ever feel like the more children you have, the dumber you get?

There may be some truth in it -- at least if you're young when you start having babies. A new study says having more kids can keep women from continuing their education, Time reports.

Lead researcher Joel Cohen, who heads up the Laboratory of Populations at Rockefeller University and Columbia University, set out to find out how education influences fertility, according to the magazine.

"There are a lot of people who think it's education that interferes with fertility," Cohen tells Time. "For example, more educated people are better at using contraception, or more educated people want to have educated children and they realize that to have children of high quality is more difficult with many children than with fewer children."

However, the study, which analyzed a registry of women's fertility and education in Norway, showed women who had children by their mid-20s "were much less likely to continue their education beyond the required first two years of high school; they were also less likely to achieve a higher degree later in life than women who delayed childbearing until they finished their education," Time reports.

"It seems to be fertility that gets in the way of education," Cohen tells the magazine. "If the opposite were true, we would not have seen that the women who put off childbearing had so much more education than the women who bore children early."

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