Originally posted by --arti--
I think the explanation that people have too many kids because they are ignorant is simplistic. Obviously sex education and general access to resources is helpful, but what about factors like high child mortality rates? Even in today's world, there are babies and kids who die from treatable illnesses. It's not uncommon for families in rural areas to try to have many kids because it's not a sure thing that all will survive. Children are also extra labour around the house/farm, etc. So there is a case to be made by some, especially in trying circumstances, that there is good economic sense to having plenty of children.
Again - I think rather than ask "how can we reduce population," maybe the question should be, "why are so many people in the world living with so little, while the wealthiest (who have the most messed up consumption habits anyway - using up multiple times the resources of the "have-nots") live completely unchecked, greedy lives. Isn't it pretty sad that the most powerful have produced and sustained ideologies so powerful that actually makes us talk about human lives (especially poor people) the way we talk about pest control or something..
This is a brilliant comment and one I completely agree with.
There needs to be sex education, of course. But the point you make about the disproportionate resources available to the wealthy compared to the poor is certainly one of the causes. I love this line because it's so damn true:
'Isn't it pretty sad that the most powerful have produced and sustained ideologies so powerful that actually makes us talk about human lives (especially poor people) the way we talk about pest control or something.'
One problem India and perhaps certain cultures suffer from is the patriarchal aspect of society - especially in poorer, rural areas that are more traditional and for whom dowries are a real problem. Having girls means mouths to feed and, despite how hard working they are, it also means paying to marry them off. People try and try again to have male children as they provide labour, bring home money, don't cost anything to marry off and also mean a certain elevation among one's peers. Families with only girls are treated with pity and disdain and this isn't even isolated to the poorer classes.
If we are going to think about population control then we have to make people aware of sex education and also make them understand that having a girl isn't a bad thing. We have to eradicate this concept of dowry and address gender inequality issues that stem from the dowry system also other cultural mores.