Re: poly: Why Demographic Transition?

From: <>
Date: Wed Jul 29 1998 - 00:25:38 PDT

In a message dated 7/28/98 12:08:39 PM, wrote:

>One question to ask would be: in a tribal context, what reproductive
>advantage would there be to a strategy of having fewer kids
>as one got richer?

My speculation is that it's driven by the need for knowledge. Human
survival depends on adequate knowledge of the environment (well, it
did in the past). In a tribal (non-specialized) situation, as long as
a woman can still be educated, she's "outclassed" by those with more
knowledge of foraging, politics, etc. Child-raising is very time-
consuming, so bearing children before completing education probably
would put her at a lifetime disadvantage. So the advantage would go to
those who delay childbearing until they've learned all they need
to know.

In the modern world, the trip switch of "OK, I've learned enough"
never goes off because there are always people who know lots more
than you about anything.

Men are under similar tradeoffs for marrying and raising children
but of course not for "sowing their wild oats". Hence educating
women lowers the birthrate far more than educating men.
Received on Wed Jul 29 07:30:42 1998

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