1st Edition

People Who Count Population and Politics, Women and Children

By Dorothy Stein Copyright 1995

    Originally published in 1995, this book confronts the contentious political issues on all sides of the population debate, including immigration, demographic competition, gender ratios, reproductive research and children’s rights. The book argues that lower fertility rates are preferred by women themselves; are beneficial in their own right to both women and children; and should not be used as a bargaining chip in any other area of the development debate. Drawing on a large body of research in anthropology, child psychology and population studies the book presents evidence that the poor do not necessarily have large families as form of financial security, or to put them to work; people without offspring are less lonely in old age; immigration and refugee controls in the Northern Hemisphere have been more driven by politics than rational calculation and human rights; social security does not require a large cohort of young workers. This book is a challenging contribution to the development debate. It presents a persuasive case for policies which recognise hopeful trends in relieving the environmental and social pressures of a globally increasing population.

    Part 1: Positions and Politics 1. Population, Resources and Rights Part 2: Pronatalism 2. Background Noises: Ideology in Religion, Culture and Nature 3. Children: Value Added 4. The Zero Option 5. The Myths of the Only Child Part 3: Population Policy 6. India: Forty Trying Years 7. Kerala: The Economical Model 8. China: Bearing Pressure 9. Tibet: Dragon Tales 10. Immigration: Artificial Increase.


    Dorothy Stein helped establish the Department of Women's Studies at the University of Hawaii where she also taught child psychology and population studies.