Sadly, Sonia Sadha Appears Not To Understand Human Fertility

Sonia Sadha – a woman in her 30s with no children – is very excited by the idea of being able to delay the menopause. And why not, obviously enough. Except she’s managed to not understand the particular point being made here. Which is that delaying the menopause doesn’t extend human female fertility. It just delays the menopause. Which is not, in fact, the same thing.

For women like me, postponing the menopause would be a blessing
Sonia Sodha

That’s fine, sure, why not?…

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Of Course Gaby Hinsliff Is Wrong About Falling Fertility Rates – Of Course She Is

If we wish to solve a problem – even, work out whether to describe something as a problem or not – we’ve got to be able to correctly decide the cause of the thing we’re looking at. As well as, you know, get the numbers themselves right:

Yet somehow, despite all this incessant collective nagging, we seem to be heading for a baby drought. This week brought news of yet another fall in British birthrates, and for the first time they’re falling even among immigrant mothers, whose tendency to have larger families has for years quietly propped up the nation’s declining fertility rates.

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World Population Day – It’s Not Contraceptives That Matter

One of the little amusements of current day fashionable opinions is the manner in which they collide. For example, we are told that mere technology just won’t save us on the grand environmental questions. We must change our ways, it is necessary to become New People in order to save Gaia.

Yet when we come to population then it’s all technology, technology all the time. Everyone gets contraceptives and the problem’s done. Rather than, for example, thinking that we all become new people by shagging a bit less.…

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So Here’s A Nice Lie About The National Health Service

We’re used to lies about the NHS of course – Wonder of the World it is, so much so that no one copied the system. It’s more efficient to have no competition when the NHS is actually worst among rich nation systems at actually curing people – mortality amenable to health care.

But here’s a nice one. We can see what the argument coming down the pike will be. If private fertility clinics cost the NHS money then we should either tax the private fertility clinics, or close them down, to save the NHS.…

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It’s True, People Have Fewer Children About The Time They Stop Being Farmers And Become Workers

This is something we all generally knew – or at least those who had any interest did. It’s the move off the land and into the factories – or perhaps urban environments – that cuts fertility. Young children are an economic asset in peasant farming, they’re a cost in a city. Humans do more of what is economically beneficial, less of what costs. But it’s always possible to examine the details of such:

From the farm to the factory floor: How the structural transformation triggered the fertility transition
Philipp Ager, Benedikt Herz 16 May 2019

The transition from high to low fertility rates is regarded as one of the most important determinants of sustainable long-run growth.…

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This Is Winning – Fertility Doctor Uses Own Sperm To Father 49 Children

We don’t recommend that people do this and it’s obviously not all that great for everyone involved, but this story of the fertility doctor who used his own sperm to father 49 children is also known as winning.

Winning at the main object of the game of life that is. Which is to have descendants:

A Dutch fertility doctor used his own sperm to illegally father 49 children, DNA tests have shown. Jan Karbaat, who died two years ago, impregnated the women at a clinic near Rotterdam.

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India’s Very Strange Discussion Of A Two Child Policy

An old argument from a less enlightened time seems to be arising in India -a legal ban on procreation in the form of a two child policy. That this is an abnegation of human liberty and freedom seems obvious enough but it’s made rather ridiculous by two other India specific points. The first is that force has already been used there to try to achieve something similar and it didn’t work. The second that not using force has worked and there’s no real point in the policy anyway.…

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Surprise! Fertility Varies By Race, Social Status And Income

This should not come as all that much of a surprise, fertility in the US varies across such selectors as income, race, social status and so on. It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise because the economic resources available to bear and raise children quite obviously vary by those same selectors. So, obviously enough, given that incentives matter, so does fertility. Still, interesting to see the detail. From The Conversation:

Falling U.S. fertility rates have been making headlines.…

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CDC Says Abortion Rate Down Over Decade – Sex Education, Abortion Restrictions Both Involved

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released the abortion statistics for the US for the years up to 2015. These show both a crop in pregnancy rates and also in the abortion rate. This leaves us with room for the most delightfully virulent arguments about what has happened and a useful guide will be that everyone shouting will be doing so from atop their own prejudices. How unlike politics in general that is. It’s also possible to make an informed guess or two from the numbers themselves which is what we’ll try to do.…

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To Explain Botswana’s Fall In Fertility

The Guardian wants to tell us that something special has happened in Botswana. The fertility rate has fallen from 7 children per woman in the 1960s to under 3 now. What actually happened here? The answer being not as The Guardian tells us:

Outposts like these – offering family planning services, contraception, education – have helped bring about one of the world’s most remarkable demographic shifts. In a continent where fertility rates are the highest in the world and populations are soaring, Botswana has a different story to tell.

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