Published: 2021-10-12 08:50:14
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Who needs It? , she asks the readers to take on a whole new mindset and perspective on the institution of motherhood. In Rollin’s decade she talked briefly of overpopulation; flashing forward some forty years later the issue has only grown. It is time for us to re-visit Rollin’s essay and rethink the idea of “motherhood”; as well as, think of the possibility of limiting the amount of children a household is allowed o have.
I believe that our nation needs to start thinking of the idea of limiting the amount of offspring a couple or single parent is allowed to have per household. If we embrace the idea now as well as look at the reasons for doing so; we are effectively preparing ourselves for the future when such restrictions could be made into laws. China could be the first country that comes to mind when one thinks of laws limiting child births; as it stands the people of China are limited to one per couple to reduce the overall estimated population of 1 Statistics provided by the U.
S Census Bureau have shown as of October, 2011, our current world population is 6,970,354,749 people. When Betty Rollin published her essay in 1970 it was estimated that the world population was at 3. 7 billion people. If we look at the numbers we will see that each decade the world population grows by one billion. The U. S Census Bureau projects that in April of 2012, the Earth will be home to an estimated seven billion inhabitants. This staggering number is to share all of our earth’s resources along with preserve them for future generations; this concept is known as sustainability.
If our population continues to grow at the current of 1 billion people per ten years; how are we to reach a point of sustainability? Resources such as: potable water, fossil fuels and even fertile soil are presently at stake. It is popular belief that these resources can be replenished, which they can, but the length of time in which the resources need to replenish far exceeds the life expectancy of a human. Tens of thousands of years will go by before bones of dead life forms will break down into oil.
Fertile soil can be depleted through over harvesting or grazing of livestock; as a result, will destroy the integrity of the soil. Hundreds of years could pass before the rock cycle breaks down the minerals in rocks, and distributes them throughout the land creating fertile soil. Even more freighting is that certain resources will not replenish. Aquifers that are tapped into for their clean potable water are a perfect example. The Ogallala Aquifer that lies miles beneath the United States Mid-West is an aquifer that once depleted will not replenish.
It does not matter what our current population is; our citizens will consume our resources regardless. If we begin to limit the amount of children now; as a result, we could alleviate the problem of dwindling esources little by little. There is another factor that is contributing to growth of our global population. Technology and science have allowed the human species to have allowed us to grow rapidly; hence, lowering deaths in child birth and lengthening life expectancy. This would seem like a blessing to most but to others it can be seen as a future problem.
It is a problem because our planet is only equipped to maintain a percentage of our species, as well as, all abiotic and biotic life forms. There is always a chance of a natural disaster, plague or war that will affect the verall population; consequently, thinning the population of our species. However, our advancements have seemingly allowed us to fght against natural selection in all aspects. If we as humans have the mental capacity and fortitude to combat mortality; certainly, we have the power to fght our own biology.
Some could attempt to argue that motherhood is a biological instinct that is programed into women. Could this be the reason why there is such an influx in population growth? Is “motherhood” truly an instinct that is embedded in all women, or is merely a trait that is learned from our upbringing? Rollins suggest that mothering behavior is learned, not instincts. Her essay explores animal research that showed when an adolescent member of a species is placed with an older member, of the same animal species; the older will act in a “maternal” manner.
This applied to both male and females who were “mothered”; meaning that the elder was once nurtured by a previous elder. When these methods were applied toa human baby the same effect could be seen; the child would respond to whoever is acting as a mother, regardless if the person is a male or female. The terms “mothered”, “maternal” or “motherly nstincts” could be viewed as a fallacy in light of the animal research Rollins had found. It is false because to suggest that only women can be endowed with these “instincts” is wrong; both male and females can be viewed as the “mother”.
So long as the infant species is nurtured by an elder of the same species; consequently, the infant being nurtured will have learned “motherly’ behavior. If we are to believe this research then we must not use biology as a means to Justify having children. If biology can be ruled out of the idea of “motherhood”, what else can be misleading to a female? Presumably that it is expected of a women and it is her duty as a female. Because a woman is bestowed with child bearing equipment so then should a woman procreate?
Rollin’s writes in her essay, “To choose not to use the equipment is no more blocking what is instinctive than it is for a man who, muscles or no, chooses not to be a weight lifter” (Rollin 16) Just because a woman has the means does not necessarily mean she is required to have a child, and is not breaking a “maternal instinct” in the act of being childless. It would appear that there is another force at work in the motherhood myth, society. It is no secret that society plays a definite role in shaping the ideas of motherhood.
Rollin goes over some of the pressures brought on by society more so with religion; in her essay she writes about the “be fruitful and multiply’ idea. This is referring to what God said to Adam and Eve upon casting them out of Garden of Eden, and instructing them to go forth reproduce. Religion also plays a major role in child rearing by stating that intercourse is only for procreation and not for pleasure; the use of birth control and other contraceptives is frowned upon if not downright rong.
We as a nation are millions of people shy of reaching the one billion mark like such countries as China and India; however we all share the problem of reaching a amongst couples, and possibly implementing the act; we could save future generations. Can we not look at their current situation as an example of the effects of overpopulation on a country, and the strain it puts on the resources of the country; or is it Just in our human nature to multiply beyond our means? Advancements in technology and science are being made every day and could help us reach a point of ustainability; this is an assumption that could turn out to be a gamble.
What we do have in the meantime is the ability. We have the ability to deny our biology, social stigmas, and misconceptions. We have the ability to limit our numbers to save ourselves and the generations that will follow. The time might come when laws are passed limiting the number of children we could have; as I have said, we must begin to think of this possibility. This is why I believe that we should begin to embrace this idea; that procreation is a necessity for survival, but we do not all necessarily have to do it.

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