8.14.2009

New Population Control Method Suggested in India

Reader GW just sent me this one [Less Sex, More TV] saying: "The idea being that if they bring electricity to all the villages in India, couples will stay up late watching TV and be too tired to make babies. I wish I was kidding."

Can you believe this??? Wow!

1 comment:

M.J. Collins said...

Yes, I can believe it. And the idea is not as far fetched as it sounds.

A few years ago a study conducted in Brazil found that TFR (total fertility rate) in the more remote parts of the country dropped coincident with the introduction of television. For the first time many women in these regions were exposed to Brazil's "telenovelas", soap operas where the women were independent, unattached and sexually active, while their male counterparts were presented in an equally exaggerated way. The men were handsome, wealthy, romantic and available. Neither men, nor women were defined by their role of father, or mother. The study found that the number of hours women spent watching "telenovelas" was a strong predictor of family size.

In short, what is being introduced is not so much television as the sexual revolution: new ways of understanding human sexuality, the portrayal of glamorous lifestyles without the responsibilities of children, etc...

Granted, the way the idea has been pitched makes the whole thing sound silly: watch TV and watch the birth rate fall. But, to paraphrase McLuhan, there is a message behind the medium.