Cultural and religious factors still influencing family size

In many parts of the world, culture and religion influences family size and as a result, affects the population growth rate. Religion can have a profound effect on family planning. Some religions promote large families as a way to further their religion or to glorify a higher power.
Extended families are popular in Africa
Extended families are popular in Africa

In many parts of the world, culture and religion influences family size and as a result, affects the population growth rate. Religion can have a profound effect on family planning. Some religions promote large families as a way to further their religion or to glorify a higher power.

For example, the Roman Catholic Church has opposed abortion, sterilization or any other use of artificial birth control. Some devout followers of a religion with such values often have large families even in the face of other economic hardships.

There’s no doubt that once it was necessary that people should multiply and be fruitful if the race was to survive. But now to preserve the race it is necessary that people hold back the power of propagation.

It’s also absurd to learn that Cultural values still influence parents to procreate many children. Among a range of cultural factors influencing population are values such as virility, prestige, security and others.

“It’s true having many children in our days was a status symbol, a man was respected based on how many wives and children he had,” said Yosam, Gakwerere an octogenarian, adding that, “But unlike today, back then we had large chunks of land and cows to sustain our large families.”

Gone are the days when having many children was perceived as an investment of sorts, which, though initially expensive to maintain, eventually allowed a  family to accumulate wealth by creating a large and diverse labor pool, by gaining bride price for its daughters, and by strategically marrying off children to create new alliances with other families.

We should all adjust to the new reality of overpopulation, embrace family planning and hop out of the outdated religious and cultural beliefs that push for maximal fecundity even though such fecundity is no longer appropriate.

“Think of the earth as a living organism that is being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every forty years. Either the host dies, or the virus dies, or both die,” said author, Gore Vidal.

martin.bishop18@yahoo.com

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