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Why isn't everyone doing it? - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
Why isn't everyone doing it?
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psychohist From: psychohist Date: July 17th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)
To half-seriously, half-facetiously riff on this theme, I think there's a major evolutionary advantage for humans for most of us not to be parents.

One could argue that traditional Chinese society did this. You wanted one son to inherit the farm and carry on the family name, and additional sons to help work the farm, but presumably not to get married and have kids.

It sounds like what you're thinking about is something on a bigger scale, though.
dcltdw From: dcltdw Date: July 17th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I can't speak to the traditional Chinese family anecdote, which I had never heard before. It's an interesting thought.

I guess I am thinking on a bigger scale: namely, population control is a big problem. So how do you go about redoing the social programming so that we have a stable population that continues to make progress? One step, I think, involves "have kids raised by people who like raising kids", which I think is a better solution than the current "willy-nilly go forth and reproduce". (I exaggerate, but only slightly. :) )
psychohist From: psychohist Date: July 17th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not just China, really; all preindustrial farming societies that are limited by land seem to get to the point where sons are preferred to daughters.

As far as population control is concerned, I don't think we really need to go any further than we already do in industrialized nations like the U.S. The U.S. reproduction rate is already slightly below replacement. I also think that some of us people who like raising kids like raising a small number of high quality kids, but wouldn't like raising a large number of mass produced kids, as might be required if we got more specialized than we already are.

I agree that "willy-nilly go forth and reproduce" is a bad idea, but it only really happens these days in certain underdeveloped areas like Africa and India. Even China has dropped well below replacement rates.
chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: July 17th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I recall that number of children born to a couple was inversely proportional to maternal education level.
30 comments or Leave a comment