THE REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION HAS DECLINED IN IMPORTANCE Sociology Help

THE REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION HAS DECLINED IN IMPORTANCE

True, birthrates are much lower than a century ago, but if one considers only the size of the surviving family, then the family reproductive function is not so greatly changed. A few centuries ago one-half to three-fourths of the children died in infancy or childhood; today over 96 percent reach adulthood. Today's average American family of slightly under three surviving children is
not tar from what it has been through most ofWeslern history. The birthrate in the United States (when adjusted for age distribution) . has been falling, but future changes cannot be predicted. A further decline in family size, aside from its ecological implications, may be expected to increase family harmony. There is, solid research evidence that the smaller families arc less stressful, more comfortable, and "most satisfactory to spouses, parents, and children" [Nye et al., 19701, and are happier and better adjusted (Hurley and Palonen, 1967; Schooler, 1972; Glenn and Mcl.anahan, 11)82J. Even when other variables (such as income, education, and occupation) are controlled, children in smaller families are more healthy, 'creative, and intelligent [Lieberman, 1970). But if small families are goud for children, having no children seems to be good for adults. As shown in.Figure 10-4, the happiest adult categories were those with no child rer at all. Marriage, but not parenthood, is associated with superior contentment [Campbell, 1975),

Posted on September 3, 2014 in The Family

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