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You can thank several large die-offs for that. | 244 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
You can thank several large die-offs for that.
Authored by: Wol on Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 02:19 PM EDT
That was what this was thought to be. I've seen an interesting article that
implies otherwise!

In hunter-gatherer societies, males are females are more or less socially equal.
Birth rates are low. In "civilised" societies, the same is true.

As we shifted from hunter-gatherer to agrarian, social inequalities grew, and
females became more and more an underclass and were treated as property. Birth
rates rose - there seems to be a strong correlation between female abuse,
valuing sons above daughters, and a high birth rate. Not that surprising
really.

What's caused the change? TV SOAPS!!! In pushing the agenda of female
emancipation and equality, it has also resulted in a massive drop in birth
rates. The drop in birth rates seems to have a very close correlation to the
spread of TV infrastructure.

Which is why sub-Saharan Africa currently is resistant to dropping birth rates
(war keeps destroying the infrastructure) and people studying this apparently
expect a sharp drop as it spreads.

It does all make a weird sense ... I know here in the UK we have several birth
spikes over the last few decades - all linked to a tv outage of one sort or
another (the rolling powercuts of 1974, various street-parties where kids were
taken care of and parents had free time, etc etc ...)

Slightly drifting the topic, I was puzzling over where this 2.2 or 1.8 or
whatever "average family size" came from, and it suddenly struck me -
the maths is very simple. Assuming a steady state, divide the number of births
by the number of first time mums, and it will give you an accurate figure for
the eventual average size of those families. Very easy to calculate. Going
through the continents, obviously, the Chinese have driven that number close to
1. I know from stuff I've picked up that the UK figure is about 1.8, and that's
one of the highest figures in Europe! South America is a lot lower than expected
- I think it might well have dropped below the 2.2 for a stable population.

The shocker is India - I gather that figure has dropped to 2.3! The US is also a
shocker in that it's still above 2.2 there.

Cheers,
Wol

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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