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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Contraceptive Culture

I do not think that Griswold vs Conneticut has preserved the privacy of the marital bedroom. In fact, I think the contraceptive culture in which we live has emboldened people to scrutinize other people's spacing of, number of, lack of children. Since contraception is assumed, there is a deficiency in those who don't use it, or who choose to use it sparingly. Since infertility treatments are available, a couple's sexual habits are now something that can be discussed in common society. There is also a sense, that since there is contraception, and people should use it both to limit their family size and to keep children from being "too close," that if people have larger families or their children are spaced closely that somehow this was an accident, or a misfortune.

I especially like the people who think that the "population explosion" is being worsened by larger families and feel the need to inform said larger families. Malthus was wrong, so was Erlich. Now, even the UN is admitting that no, there won't be any surge of 10 children families any time soon to make up for the below replacement level child bearing in all developed countries and the rapidly reducing family size in developing and undeveloped countries. There is no boom, there is a bust. Two interesting books on the subject of population size, from rather different perspectives: The Empty Cradle by Philip Longman and Fewer by Ben Watternberg. I just finished the former book, read the latter sometime last year.

We at the Arabian Knits household are doing our part to pay for other people's retirement, by producing far above the normal replacement level for our family. We're trying to make up for our parents who had one child each (Rich's brother is adopted), and our kids' godparents who adopted their son. So, if you start collecting Social Security in about 10-15 years, please remember to thank us, and our children, who will be paying for it.

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Comments:
Amen! I am a mom of 8, because I choose to be :)
 
And I second that...mom of 5 here, and if I thought I could have gotten through another pregnancy without severe damage, I would have. Instead, I'll adopt a couple of more. Thanks for sticking up for the big families.
 
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