Deprived people have more children. Why?

Geneva Hagen geneva at
Mon Aug 5 17:56:08 EST 2002

I'm new to the group.  Is this a joke?  No neurological explanations are required here.  
(However, there are neurological consequences.  People who have never received adequate nutrition, health care or 
education obviously will not have optimal brain function.)

Deprived people have more children because:

(a)  Deprived people have less access to family planning technology.

(b)  In male-dominated cultures, the woman may have no say in the matter. Large families are accepted and expected.

(c)  Infant mortality is high among deprived people.  To make sure one or two children will survive to support them in old 
age (which may kick in around age 40), parents may need to have eight or more offspring.  (Many of our own great-
grandparents did the same.)

(d)  Children are an economic asset to the desperately poor.  Rather than being plied with expensive toys and private 
schooling, these children are put to work at a very young age.  The saying is that "every extra mouth comes attached 
to two extra hands."

(e)  Where there is no money, children (and making more children) provide the main source of fun, entertainment and 
self-esteem.  See Germain Greer's book, Sex and Destiny.

In 1990, the largest gathering of world leaders in history came together and promised to take steps to end child poverty. 
These promises have not been kept anywhere in the world, and most places (including North America) have been 
backsliding.  Type "child poverty" into any search engine, and you'll learn far more than you want to know.

For more about children's issues, see:

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