Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Catholic Women, College, and Contraception

I was talking to a single Catholic man at a dance Saturday night who lamented that the young women he knows graduate from Texas A & M already engaged or wed. It occurred to me that such situations probably encourage contraception, which is still a sin, even though most Catholics don't hear much about it from the pulpit. With new degree in hand, I would think that most young women would want to embark on a career in order to get some return on their investment of time and money.

Alternatively, they get the degree, work, and then look for a husband only to find that the prospects are few. The lucky ones marry but find their chances of raising a large family greatly diminished.

The same pro-contraception situation occurs when a woman marries a man who is not finished with his education, and she must work.

I think this is why the Church offers the vocation of the single life. The first purpose of marriage is procreation, so women who desire careers are probably better suited to the single life.

The funny thing to me is this: the young man I was talking to and his Catholic men friends all wanted to know where Emma wants to go to college and were puzzled when she said that she doesn't want to go. I wonder if this is a knee-jerk reaction from the influence of our culture or if it is something that they have truly thought through in the light of Catholic teaching?

I have thought for a long time that the incessant pushing by the media of the importance of saving money for your children's education is a back-door method of discouraging large families. If you welcome all the children that God sends you, it is unlikely that you could save enough for them all to attend college.

I am not anti-education for women whose vocation is the married life. I think a liberal arts education greatly enhances a woman's preparation for being a help-meet and mother. I don't think college is required to get it, though, and I have a B. A. from Auburn University. I would trade it without regret for a baby for each of the years I spent getting it and working!

No comments: