|Summer 1991||REBOUND Volume 2|
Population Control In America
As populations increase past a certain point in any society, people begin to feel a scarcity and a diminishing of resources, whether real or imagined. When problems such as overpopulation arise, groups of people band together, whether consciously, unconsciously or preconsciously, to eliminate such problems. It is our opinion that the way American society has decided to deal with overpopulation is to encourage women to wait until they are 25 years of age or older before having children. While this was not necessarily a conscious plan on the part of Americans to deal with overpopulation, people in this society did know that women of 25 years of age and older are much less interested in having and caring for children. Because women over the age of 25 are less interested in infants and children, they tend to experience children as a burden, and they tend to be less able to take care of them than younger, teenage parents. This is very obvious now in America. It is not that women over 25 are bad mothers. It is just that the natural time for men and women to bear and raise their young is between 14 and 21 years of age. During these years, human beings have all the right physical, mental and emotional systems in place to have and care for children. Teenage baby-sitters (even teenagers who have been severely damaged by the current educational system) often exhibit more enthusiasm and interest in the children they are caring for than the parents do. Furthermore, since American women have begun to hold off on having their children until after the age of 25, there has been a rapid increase in the number of day-care facilities found in this country. Again, this is only because women over the age of 25 are not as interested in children as younger teenage mothers and so they tend to want to leave the care of their children in the hands of other people.
It is our opinion that Americans concluded that if they encouraged women to defy their natural instincts and to wait until their late twenties and thirties before having children, that maybe some women would not have children at all. This system of population control (whether conscious or not) has, in fact, generally succeeded in reducing the number of children being born each year. There are now more women choosing not to have children than at any other time in American history.
While we cannot prove it, we also think that this system of population control can be traced directly to the introduction of antibiotics. Antibiotics made it possible for American society to multiply without the usual population decreases caused by previously untreatable infections.
However, when this system of encouraging women to wait until they are 25 and older to have their young was introduced, people overlooked the fact that this species was not intended to breed at 25 to 45 years of age. This species was intended to breed like every other living species--at the onset of sexual maturity. This natural system for having children at the onset of sexual maturity was assembled long before the introduction of antibiotics. But, when antibiotics came along and the population of this society began to balloon out, all of a sudden it became wrong or bad for young women between 14 and 21 years of age to have children.
The way that people could know that this is true is to imagine what would happen if this nation (or any nation) was suddenly faced with needing a population increase. Imagine what would happen if some natural or man-made disaster wiped out a vast portion of this society's people. Do you think that women would be encouraged to pursue careers instead of having babies? Do you think that politicians, educators and parents would be telling women to wait until they were at least 25 to 30 years of age before having their children because they were not considered mature enough at 17 or 18 years of age? Do you think that teenage women would be encouraged to do more than parade around in make-up and designer jeans? Do you think that teenage men (most of whom never play basketball) would be interested in something greater than $150 basketball shoes?
We do not object to population control. We just do not think it is a good idea for people to interrupt the natural process of having and raising children during the adolescent years as a means of controlling this society's population. There are many other systems that can be used to limit the number of children being born each year in this society without preventing young women and men from having and caring for their young. We think that if this society would restore childbearing to its natural time in human development (at the onset of sexual maturity) then educators would have to stop treating young adult seventeen-year-olds in the same way that they treat five and six-year-olds. Schools would have to do more than produce aimless, purposeless, unskilled, incapacitated graduates who cannot even take care of themselves, never mind care for and raise children. We are not against population control. We just think that the price of the current system for population control is too high.