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The Future Belongs To Those Who Show Up For It…

April 2nd, 2011

One has to wonder sometimes if Western Civilization is even going to bother showing up for the the future of the world.

Well, not the way things are going in America lately, at least not according to recent government data as reported in the LA Times:

LA Times:
The maternity business has experienced a recession, too, it appears. Births fell 4% from 2007 to 2009, the biggest drop for any two-year period since the mid-1970s, according to federal government data released Thursday.

Meanwhile across the pond, our British cousins are procreating, but not bothering to get married. Consider a few items published recently by their Office for National Statistics:

from independent.co.uk:
Marriage rates in England and Wales are at their lowest since records began, new statistics show.

The rates were the lowest since calculations of rates began in 1862.

The number of people available to marry, the unmarried population aged 16 and over, has been increasing over the last few decades, so this is not the reason for the drop in marriages in 2009

Maybe if they had more realistic expectations for themselves:

Research shows us that the aspiration to marry is still high amongst the younger generation of the UK, but fewer and fewer are fulfilling that aspiration.

Of course marriage is not the only option for long-term relationships. But there is evidence that couples are setting themselves a ‘to do’ list before getting married – perhaps buying a house, getting the perfect job or buying the dream car.

As money gets tighter, these things get harder to achieve, and we could see less couples tying the knot as a result.

On a more positive note (if you’re not too worried about overpopulation, that is) cbcnews reports that India’s population is at an all time high. However, thanks to sex selective abortion and the persistent cultural preference for male heirs, they’re still having trouble with the ratio of males to females:

India’s new national census puts the population at about 1.21 billion people, or 17 per cent of the world population, the census commissioner says.

The census indicated a continuing preference for male children over females in a country where female infanticide is still common and the government has banned hospitals from revealing the sex of unborn children to their families.

A gender breakdown among children showed fewer girls than boys are being born or surviving, with 914 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of six, compared to 927 for every 1,000 in the last census.

“This is a matter of grave concern”

Perhaps the movement in Canada to legalize polygamy is an attempt to get in on one of the few marriage institutions that may still be thriving. The Wall Street Journal says it’s “More Common Than You Think”, anyway.

Too bad polygamy is so detrimental to the welfare of civilized society, though. Just ask author Rose McDermott about that:

There are more serious problems that come with the practice of polygamy. My research over the past decade, encompassing more than 170 countries, has shown the detrimental effects of polygynous practices on human rights, for both men and women.

According to the information I have helped to collect in the Womanstats database, women in polygynous communities get married younger, have more children, have higher rates of HIV infection than men, sustain more domestic violence, succumb to more female genital mutilation and sex trafficking, and are more likely to die in childbirth. Their life expectancy is also shorter than that of their monogamous sisters. In addition, their children, both boys and girls, are less likely to receive both primary and secondary education.

This is at least partly because polygynist cultures need to create and sustain an underclass of unmarried and undereducated men, since in order to sustain a system where a few men possess all the women, roughly half of boys must leave the community before adulthood. Such societies also spend more money on weapons and display fewer social and political freedoms than do monogamous ones.

When small numbers of men control large numbers of women, the remaining men are likely to be willing to take greater risks and engage in more violence, possibly including terrorism, in order to increase their own wealth and status in hopes of gaining access to women. Whatever their concerns about protecting religious freedom, or demonstrating cultural sensitivity, Western nations should think twice before allowing the kinds of family structures that lead to such abuses.

Somewhere I heard that wishing for a person to live in ‘interesting times’ is considered to be a curse in some cultures…

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  1. April 4th, 2011 at 11:39 | #1

    Rose McDermott is obviously only looking to the past, not the present or the future. What she writes is only true if:
    -only men are allowed to have multiple partners. Nowadays why would there be a need to do it like that? Women could also have mutiple partners, and just think of same-sex or mixed-sex relations.
    -has Miss McDermott realised that western societies have masses of singles who never have children? Would it not be good for society if some of them became involved in polygamous relations and actually had children?

  2. Leland
    April 5th, 2011 at 16:08 | #2

    @Viktor Leberecht

    Viktor Leberecht :
    Rose McDermott is obviously only looking to the past, not the present or the future…

    Uh Viktor, the very first paragraph of the quote from Rose McDermott’s article is:

    Rose McDermott:
    There are more serious problems that come with the practice of polygamy. My research over the past decade, encompassing more than 170 countries, has shown the detrimental effects of polygynous practices on human rights, for both men and women.

    Do you seriously consider research that has been conducted over the course the last ten years evidence that Ms. McDermott “…is obviously only looking to the past…”? That sounds fairly current to me, Viktor. And do you not think research that covers “170 countries” is very thoroughly broad-based, as well.

    Viktor Leberecht :
    What she writes is only true if:
    -only men are allowed to have multiple partners. Nowadays why would there be a need to do it like that? Women could also have mutiple partners, and just think of same-sex or mixed-sex relations.
    -has Miss McDermott realised that western societies have masses of singles who never have children? Would it not be good for society if some of them became involved in polygamous relations and actually had children?

    Maybe you need to read what Ms. McDermott’s research can tell us about the effects of polygamy on a culture again, Viktor.

    So let me get this straight: In light of the multitude of harms (to everyone involved in the practice) that are cause by polygyny, you actually figure things will get better if we add polyandry to the mix???

    What are you thinking?

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