Last week the actress Gwyneth Paltrow reignited the debate over career versus children for working mothers, saying: "I can't understand mothers who put their career before children. There are certain women in this business who have children and I just think 'you must never see them'. You can't do movies back to back and see your child if they go to school."
Holly Hamilton-Bleakley, of Full Time Mothers, a lobbying organisation, said she abhorred the idea of women buying in child care so that they could simply sit in a coffee shop, but she did not believe this was an accurate picture.
"The dual income, two-career family is becoming outdated. Parents are finally recognising that children need time with them. Time spent with children is well spent and makes a major difference to a child's life."
But Miss Salzman said the reality was that women with older children were increasingly becoming self-indulgent. "They look at the realities of paid work - the stress, the politics, the pressure, the dress code - and they say that it would mean less 'me' time.
"And we are not just talking about women who earn lots of money. Women who earn £27,500, or £55,000, or more than £55,000 did not want to work, and men are feeling a great deal of financial pressure.
"Women think: 'What's mine is mine, and what's his is mine.' "
Women Who Cheat Say They Enjoy the Thrills, Study Finds
Posted July 14, 2003 -- Virtually all of the adulterous women interviewed in a recent survey said they cheat because they deserve all of the pleasure and thrills associated with a secret affair.
Ninety percent of the cheating wives said they suffered absolutely "no guilt" but felt "entitled" to the good feelings they got, according to Susan Shapiro Barash, a professor and author, who randomly interviewed 120 women from a diversity of professional backgrounds, ages and races for a recent book on the issue.
She posted ads in YWCAs to find women who were sexually active, according the report on her study in The New York Post.
She said her research reveals that six in ten women will cheat on their husband at least once during their marriages.
"Women feel entitled because they're not getting what they need in marriage," said Barash, who wrote A Passion for More: Wives Reveal the Affairs that Make or Break their Marriages. "These women would recognize her need - her desire to have more in her life than she had in her marriage. "For the women who choose it, it's with great effort, so they really juggle the affair and somehow fit it in."
Baltimore psychologist Shirley Glass agrees with Barash.
"I don't see women feeling a lot of guilt," said Glass, in her recent book, Not Just Friends: Protect Your Relationship from Infidelity and Heal the Trauma of Betrayal . Women with careers and financial resources can take more risks, she added: "If their partners find out, they can take care of themselves."
But Barash has her dissenters. "I have not witnessed a growing experience of 'entitlement.' Their conscience is bothering them," Kristen Harrington, a marriage counselor in upstate New York, told the Post .
Glass also found surprising changes in men who mess around.
She said that men's affairs tend to be almost exclusively about sex; they're usually just getting "a little on the side" with a female subordinate.