Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dogs vs. Children: only in America

This is America decides that children are an unimportant part of marriage- dogs are just fine, thank you- a Russian governor urges couples to play hooky & hook up (I couldn't resist):

Skip work, make babies, says Russian governor

Wed Sep 12, 6:02 AM ET

The governor of a central Russian province urged couples to skip work on Wednesday and make love instead to help boost Russia's low birth-rate.

And if a woman gives birth in exactly nine months time -- on Russia's national day on June 12 -- she will qualify for a prize, perhaps even winning a new home.

WORLD magazine reported in their July 21st publication:

Pew found that only 41 percent of Americans now view having children as "very important" to a successful marriage, down from 65 percent in 1990.

Faithfulness, at 93 percent, topped the list of key marriage ingredients, followed by happy s*xual relationships at 70 percent. But even sharing household chores (at 62 percent) and earning an "adequate" income (at 53 percent) beat out having children. Out of nine options given, having children came in eighth. Only the importance of spouses agreeing on politics drew less support.

The talk of the town has been that Seattle has more dogs than children. From the Seattle Times:

There are about 125,000 dogs in Seattle, going by both the Seattle Animal Shelter's estimate and an independent analysis by The Seattle Times.

In the 2000 census, there were fewer than 90,000 children in Seattle.

But to be fair:

This says more about the number of children in Seattle, which has fewer households with children than any other large city besides San Francisco. There are a lot of students and other young people here, plus childless professionals putting in long hours, and a sizable gay and lesbian population. Houses are either too small or too expensive for most families with children. The dog numbers are actually pretty average. One in three households has a dog.

So overall, birthrates are down, but most Americans think nothing of it. In fact, most people I pass think I'm crazy for having more than 2.1 children (the newest statistical average). I mostly get wide-eyed looks and often get comments. One woman in particular stands out as saying, "Boy have you been busy procreating!" (I guess it was better than being called a breeder- see the Christianity Today article here). We get made fun of, we get the old line about over-population, we get dirty looks, but whose going to take care of all those people when they get older? It won't be there dogs, that's for sure.

In 20 years we'll be a free country with "labor shortages, fewer buyers in the future to prop up stock and real estate prices, [and] a dearth of customers for business." Barbara Dafoe Whitehead of National Marriage Project says, "The popular culture is increasingly oriented to fulfilling the X*rated fantasies and desires of adults. Childrearing values--sacrifices, stability, dependability, maturity--seem stale and musty by comparison."

And just for kicks, here's a line graph by Steve Sailer (I didn't want to read it all either):

Ht: mommylife

1 thoughts:

Rebecca said...

Good post. I am becoming increasingly sensitive to the subtle and not-so-subtle bias against children that is even prevalent, sadly, within the church. Just today, I heard of missionaries being pressured, by their supporters, to have fewer children.

How about these statistics: a child born and raised in a Christian home has a 50% chance of walking away from the faith after the age of 18, but in the 19 and up age categories the statistical probability of a person who hears the gospel trusting Christ is only 6% (statistics from Larry Fowler of Awana Clubs International and George Barna of Barna Research Group).

Missionaries should have more kids!