What is the most useful piece of information?

Suppose you were asked: what is the single most useful piece of knowledge that universities could convey to their students?

Perhaps this is a contender:

Although most women were aware that fertility declines with age, they significantly overestimated the chance of pregnancy at all ages and were not conscious of the steep rate of fertility decline. Surprisingly, women overestimated the chance of pregnancy loss at all ages, but did not generally identify a woman’s age as the strongest risk factor for miscarriage.

Education regarding the rate at which reproductive capacity declines with age is necessary to avoid unintended childlessness among female academics and professionals.

(Hat tip: The Breviary)

Many women are delaying childbearing until later in life. Many of those are ending up with fewer children than they would have liked. Simple awareness of plunging fertility (and steeply climbing miscarriage) after about age 30 may be one of the most useful single things a young woman could know. That’s why this is a contender for one of the most useful pieces of information universities (and other institutions too) could convey.

Any other contenders?

 

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