Wow this week I have learned SO much! I think my brain is on overload! But I have been mind blown by all the information we've covered! I like learning about most things just in general but when we when I get to learn about things that hit so close to home such as the family as a unit in society and how different things affect it (for good or bad) I just get pulled in! It has so much more meaning for me! Which makes sense right? I mean what happens in the family as a fundamental unit of society truly affects everyone in some way or another. One of the preparation assignments for class was watching a documentary on demographics called, "New Economic Reality: Demographic Winter and Viewer Guide" (I've added the URL for part 1, part 2 listed on the same youtube page for those of you who want to check it out! I definitely recommend it!) The documentary started out by addressing the widely accepted notion that the world is being over populated and in a relatively short period of time, we will have depleted all of the world's resources. This idea began to spread like wildfire when Paul L. Ehrlich, professor at Stanford University, published his book, "The Population Bomb". He firmly believed that having as many as five children was irresponsible and selfish because that meant you were taking resources from others and possibly making it so others could not have children.In any case this idea has widely become accepted. I will be honest I had heard that at one time years ago and it was a scary thought! But as time has gone on I have felt that that statement and all it claims just doesn't add up. Then watching this documentary confirmed my suspicions. In the documentary the social scientists and professors explain how in fact the opposite of what Ehrilch claimed is true. The fertility rate is dropping, not rising. In most countries in the world have stopped having big families for a variety of reasons. The one that was talked about the most was the U.S. and how fertility rates have dropped dramatically in a relatively short period of time. Some of the projected causes were the Women's Revolution (with a big help from birth control), Sexual Revolution, Age of Marriage going up, Individualism and the Decline in the Family. It was so interesting to see how all of these are interconnected causing a domino effect in ultimately resulting in a decline in fertility! It was a very eye-opening learning experience!
Some of the things we learned in the reading from our textbook that I thought was interesting was the section on myths about marriage that are commonly accepted as truth. One that I found interesting was the one that states "Having Children Increases Marital Satisfaction". The reason this caught my eye is that I had pretty well accepted that as truth. As I read more about it I learned that that isn't ALL wrong, but it is important to note that this "increase in marital satisfaction" doesn't just come with the children. If you have a lousy marriage having a kid isn't going to fix your problems, in many cases that just might "break" you. The book states, "The impact of children seems to depend on the quality of the marriage: a good marriage enhances the benefits...If the marriage deteriorates with the addition of children, the couple probably already had a troubled relationship."
Another myth which I think most people know is not true, is "Happily Married People Don't Have Conflict". I have known that forever, but it was cool to read that because it states that, "not only is conflict normal, but when it is handled properly, it strengthens rather than threatens the marriage". I thought that was pretty neat!
Anyway this is just a "smidge" of what I learned this week! Until next week!
"Marriage & Family: The Quest for Intimacy" Lauer-Lauer