Hypothesis by Bruce Charlton, an evolutionary psychiatrist. I excerpted
some of summary, and my comment is in brackets like these []:

>>>> Thirdly, I put forward the hypothesis that the major cause of PN
[psychological neoteny, which means delayed maturity or something like that]
in modernizing societies is the prolonged duration of formal education. Here
I present a preliminary empirical investigation of this hypothesis of
psychological neoteny. Marriage and parenthood are indicative of making a
choice to �settle down� and thereby move on from the more flexible lifestyle
of youth; and furthermore these are usually commitments which themselves
induce a settling down and maturation of attitudes and behaviors. A
sevenfold expansion of participation in UK higher education up to 2001 was
reflected in delay in marriage and parenthood. Increasing number of years of
education is quantitatively the most important predictor of increasing age
of the mother at the time of her first birth: among women college graduates
about half are aged 30 or older at the time of their first birth � a rise of
400% in 25 years. Parenthood is associated with a broad range of
psychologically �maturing� and socially-integrating effects in both men and
women. However, the economic effect is different in men and women: after
parenthood men are more likely to have a job and work more hours while women
change in the opposite direction. The conclusion is that psychological
neoteny is indeed increasing, and mainly as a consequence of the increasing
percentage of school leavers going into higher education. But at present it
is unclear whether this trend is overall beneficial or harmful; and the
answer may be different for men and women. <<<<

It looks like I need a subscription or student/faculty status to see the
whole thing. For those who do have access, here's the link:


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