Blame?

This is a few days old, but I keep thinking about it. Here’s a headline from NPR’s News Blog: U.S. Birth Rate Drops; Do We Blame Recession Or Abstinence?

It’s a decent article, and there’s a thought-provoking map. But why is it a question of blame? I’d have thought NPR would ask who should get the credit. Not because I think a smaller population is better, but because that’s what the liberal mainstream has been saying for years: The birth rate is too high. The population explosion is going to kill us all. Malthus! Darwin! The Rainforest! Aaaah!

I think that’s at best goofy, and I think a declining birth rate is a bad thing. But when did NPR decide it was a bad thing? I mean, isn’t that kind of homophobic, or at least hetero-normative?

Maybe it’s not that at all, and instead the mainstream media are simply knee-jerk alarmists. Any news item must be presented as a threat, to engage the reader. So if the birth rate rises next year, it will be again a question of blame. I don’t know. Any thoughts?

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6 Replies to “Blame?”

  1. If it bleeds, it leads. That’s always been the story with the media. Good news doesn’t sell. That’d be my guess before going to the radical step that NPR has any actual issue with declining birthrates. :)

    1. Hmm, that might be one reason every weather report is evidence of global warming. It lets them present a sunny day as an ominous threat.

    1. A study cited in the article talks about a trend toward abstinence. Another suggests “virtual sex is competing with the real thing – and winning.” C.S. Lewis wrote something about that in his “Planetary Trilogy,” but I can’t find the quote. There’s Eliot’s The Wasteland, and here’s Kipling:

      “On the first Feminian sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
      (Which started by loving our neighbor and ended by loving his wife)
      Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

      Of course if forty years ago a man had said pornography on ARPANET and general depravity would cause the birth rate to drop, all the best minds would have said he was a religious nut and a male chauvinist, and a racist too for even mentioning Kipling, and that anyway a lower birth rate would be a good thing.

      Another explanation for “blame:” Maybe now the wretched baby-boomers are starting to retire they want other people to have children for the payroll taxes, and so there will be enough CNAs to take care of them, and the estranged children of their first marriage won’t put them in a “home” until the money runs out and then euthanize them. But I digress.

  2. I’d guess that things like my OBGYN automatically offering a tubal on my first baby appointment in that clinic has some involvement, too. And this in a Catholic allied clinic. >.<

  3. What is so shocking that I didn’t even get it the first time I read this post is that abstinence only decreases the number of illegitimate births. No one encourages abstinence for married couples. So blaming abstinence for a decrease in the number of births is like saying, “Darn all those teen girls for not going out and getting knocked up by their boyfriends! We need all the babies raised in poverty by young single mothers that we can get! Who cares what it does to the lives of the kids and the single mothers!”

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