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#1 2020-01-21 11:44:30

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
Website

Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

As countries have become more prosperous and educated, their fertility rates have tended to decline, to the point that Israel stands alone as the only developed country to have a fertility rate above replacement.

Mars, of course, will be a highly educated and developed world from the start, so it will not be immune to the anti-natal effect of prosperity. If space colonisation is to be considered a success, it can't be a population sink that relies on continued immigration from Terra to keep numbers up. We will have to learn from the Israelis about how to promote fertility.

https://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/israel … c-miracle/


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#2 2020-01-21 14:45:27

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

Want to raise national fertility rates?   Close down the abortion clinics and restrict access to the contraceptive pill.  The contraceptive pill was a disaster for national fertility.  Not because it allowed sex without fear of pregnancy.  It is precisely because it allowed unprotected sex without fear of pregnancy.  It allowed the full intimacy of unprotected sex,  whilst denying the biological consequences of unprotected sex.  Women crave that intimacy and the pill allowed them to avoid the consequences.


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#3 2020-01-21 16:08:06

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,858

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

It's an interesting question. If we want to grow the population of Mars we should be encouraging large families.

But on the other hand the strong likelihood is that most women on Mars will be highly educated and highly independent-minded - precisely the sort of women who don't have large families on Earth.

One lesson I think we could take from Israel, from the Kibbutz movement, is to provide full childcare. In the Kibbutz movement the commune took over the lion's share of the responsibility for raising the child. However, over time the Kibbtuz has tended to be supplanted by more traditional family structures. People like to feel part of a close family, not part of a social commune.

Of course there is a bigger issue of whether we can procreate successfully on Mars. The answer is probably yes - even if we have to resort to  artificial 1G environments (maybe in LMO).

Scientists have been able to keep premature lambs alive in artificial wombs:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/21 … r-4-weeks/

One day it may be possible to transfer a human foetus at an early stage in pregnancy to an artificial womb, so minimising the difficulties for the mother in terms of pursuing her career.

It might be possible to use fertility treatment methods to create multiple pregnancies - maybe non-identical twins would be standard.

Perhaps there could be strong financial incentives for large families as well as extended child care. A woman might be prepared to have two twin pregancies - one in her mid 20s and one in her mid 40s.

Last edited by louis (2020-01-21 18:39:26)


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#4 2020-03-07 10:43:28

Dayton3
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Registered: 2002-06-03
Posts: 137

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

If one thing in recent years regarding this issue has become clear is that governmental policies have relatively little effect on the decisions about women having children and how many they have.    Government policies are way down the list on the major factors influencing those kinds of decisions.    Family,  culture and various other factors are far, far more prominent.

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#5 2020-03-08 08:47:41

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,858

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

Really? Not so. Take a look at this article about Hungary.


Dayton3 wrote:

If one thing in recent years regarding this issue has become clear is that governmental policies have relatively little effect on the decisions about women having children and how many they have.    Government policies are way down the list on the major factors influencing those kinds of decisions.    Family,  culture and various other factors are far, far more prominent.


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#6 2020-03-08 10:28:07

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,078

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

This is the ideology of politics of a culture and unless you are living in a bubble you will carry this with you to mars even if you try to supress it from being visible to others. It is why allowing cummunities in America small areas of like kind people are such an issue as they are keeping the bad of the culture still growing with hate and not lessoning it in deversity.

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#7 2020-03-08 15:24:48

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,858

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

China is a one race - one culture state (Han Chinese). The USA is probably the most diverse country that has ever existed but is built around a fairly minimalist core culture: loser consent democracy, free speech, rule of law, and loyalty to the Republic. Trying to build a working society on diversity alone without that central focus of loyalty is a doomed enterprise. You end with either civil war or dictatorship.

SpaceNut wrote:

This is the ideology of politics of a culture and unless you are living in a bubble you will carry this with you to mars even if you try to supress it from being visible to others. It is why allowing cummunities in America small areas of like kind people are such an issue as they are keeping the bad of the culture still growing with hate and not lessoning it in deversity.

Last edited by louis (2020-03-08 15:25:15)


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#8 2021-04-12 11:37:16

Quaoar
Member
Registered: 2013-12-13
Posts: 600

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

I'm sorry to have noted this very interesting topic a bit later.
I've some question to discuss about birth rate in a martian colony where the life support system can sustain a limited number of people.

We like to imagine our colonies as brave free people settlements like the Galt's Gulch of Atlas Shrugged. But if our Mars Town life support can keep alive 1000 people and no one more, the birth rate will be very likely regulated by law: every time an old colonist die, a couple of young colonist will get the permission to procreate, to maintain constant population. If new domes are in construction, the colonists will get the permission to generate the right number of child to populate them, but no one more. And probably it will be also implemented some mechanism to equate males and females (i.e. artificial insemination with X or Y spermatozoa).

I know it seems very orwellian and dystopic, but what if air and food are not enough for all?

Last edited by Quaoar (2021-04-12 11:46:28)

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#9 2021-04-12 12:38:35

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,297

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

For Quaoar re #8

Thank you for posing an interesting question that deserves further thought...

As you are an experienced science fiction writer, you would not be surprised that the theme has been explored by many authors, and in many venues, and it will never get old.

The Earth itself has been thought (by some) to already be beyond the carrying capacity of agricultural institutions, and indeed, the day of reckoning has been postponed in some locations by using technology, but in other locations people are starving.

I recognize that were people are starving it is due to a combination of failed agriculture and failed human institutions,  but the combination is clearly fatal.

(th)

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#10 2021-04-12 13:30:12

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,858

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

Depends what you mean by "relatively". Hungary has had success in raising its fertility rate significantly. Housing, childcare, and
child-related income support are all important in encouraging families to have children. On the other side the example of China shows that the state can certainly deter people from having children.

In terms of Mars, the culture would be dominated by the idea of terraformation and the creation of a second home for humanity. I couldn't think of a culture more conducive to child bearing.

Dayton3 wrote:

If one thing in recent years regarding this issue has become clear is that governmental policies have relatively little effect on the decisions about women having children and how many they have.    Government policies are way down the list on the major factors influencing those kinds of decisions.    Family,  culture and various other factors are far, far more prominent.

Last edited by louis (2021-04-12 13:30:42)


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#11 2021-04-12 13:33:21

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,858

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

Why wouldn't a Mars community be able to expand life support? Makes no sense to me, though it might be an interesting plot device!

Quaoar wrote:

I'm sorry to have noted this very interesting topic a bit later.
I've some question to discuss about birth rate in a martian colony where the life support system can sustain a limited number of people.

We like to imagine our colonies as brave free people settlements like the Galt's Gulch of Atlas Shrugged. But if our Mars Town life support can keep alive 1000 people and no one more, the birth rate will be very likely regulated by law: every time an old colonist die, a couple of young colonist will get the permission to procreate, to maintain constant population. If new domes are in construction, the colonists will get the permission to generate the right number of child to populate them, but no one more. And probably it will be also implemented some mechanism to equate males and females (i.e. artificial insemination with X or Y spermatozoa).

I know it seems very orwellian and dystopic, but what if air and food are not enough for all?


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#12 2021-04-12 17:17:47

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,078

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

Quaoar, that is a question that would arise in conditions that are strained and early most likely when the extra energy needs to go into making surplus of everything to be used down the road when more crew and supplies arrive.
It does raise the question of command law until there is a counter part in civilian control to assure that communications of the facts occur so that all can make the correct decision and not make them with no concern to the out come to others.

tahanson43206, possibly the  people are starving due to a combination of failed agriculture and failed human institutions but long ago we did it and it was our up bringing that has changed such that we take the easy way and no longer will do the hard work that it takes to feed one's self from our own labor even if its assisted by machines.
Failure of support institutions has another issue as its fund driven to not supply to all in need.

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#13 2021-04-13 08:46:06

Quaoar
Member
Registered: 2013-12-13
Posts: 600

Re: Pro-natalism - what can we learn from Israel?

louis wrote:

Why wouldn't a Mars community be able to expand life support? Makes no sense to me, though it might be an interesting plot device!

You can expand the life support but it will always have a limit. If the birth rate exceeds the rate of expansion of the life support, the legislators will be forced to intervene.
If you add to this the sad fact that people in command are usually very willing to control and regulate the life of the other people, it would be unlikely they would not overuse the new formidable power tools that a closed ecosystem give them, easily turning a libertarian dream in an orwellian nightmare.

P.S. I wrote a novel about a 3 million people closed cycle building where only the firstborns inherit the right to marry and procreate from their parents. It was not set on Mars but in a post atomic Italy (if you go outside the building you will be eat by cannibals). When I have time I'll translate it in English.

Last edited by Quaoar (2021-04-13 13:39:29)

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