Today, the number of hours a Brazilian woman spends watching telenovelas, or domestically produced soap operas, strongly predicts how many children she will have. These soaps, though rarely addressing reproductive issues directly, typically depict wealthy individuals living the high life in big cities. The man are dashing, lustful, power hungry, and unattached. The women are lithesome, manipulative, independent, and in control of their own bodies. The few who have young children delegate their care to nannies.
The telenovelas, in other words, reinforce a cultural message that is conveyed as well by many Hollywood films and other North American cultural exports: that people with wealth, people with sophistication, people who are free and self-fulfilled, are people who have at most one or two children, and who do not let their roles as mothers or fathers dominate their exciting lives.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Quote: The Empty Cradle
From The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity And What To Do About Itby Phillip Longman