Did y'all know the rise of 'hook-up culture' as Boomers called it, actually resulted in a FALL in the rate of unwanted pregnancies & transmission of STDs?
This is because the Boomer mentality is exactly wrong--it is prioritizing sex as being within couple-hood that leads to un-wanted pregnancies & STD transmission, bc it leads to more regular, more risky, and more-normative sexual relations.
Additionally, people are more likely to use contraception during 'hook ups' (god this terminology is so dated, lmao--im reading some demography stuff from a decade ago) than they are in couples.
A funny book attempting to be a second Freakonomics came out a decade ago called 'More Sex is Safer Sex' and it made the point that bc frequency & riskiness are correlated for individuals, increasing the rate of low frequency people reduces it on avg in the total population.
Secondarily to this, in the last decade the rate of coupling, of sex, of drug use, of partying, of in-person socializing, of social capital, and of participation in organizations continued to fall.
The convergence of these 3 patterns (hook ups vs. coupling, more uniform distributions of sexual behavior, and their overall decline in general) has lead to a secondary 'demographic transition' most prominently seen in Japan etc, but in basically all Global North countries.
The Scandinavian Social Democracies, Japan, and Australia are finding they literally can't *pay* people to have kids, lmao.
This is why tradleft pro-natalist lamentations about the Fertility gap in Jacobin etc are so off the mark. Societies with paid maternal lead, early childhood education, social democratic subsidies etc have the same fertility gap as those without, or even bigger ones.
What's more, such pro-natal policies don't actually shift *up* the rate of fertility, they just push it younger, AND, if paid parental leave is gendered & heteronormative, it results in higher gender inequality in income, etc., not in its reduction.
It's not hard to see why these attempts at soc-dem pro-natalism don't work--by lowering the costs of childrearing (if they aren't discriminatory), they end up softening the gender gap & encouraging women to get more education & work more, thus paradoxically lowering it
Whereas where child-rearing is costly, it becomes detrimental to the person's life, speeds their exit from the labor market, and leads to lower rates of education, bc of structural incentives, thus, they end up actually having more children.
What's more, where soc-dem policies of education, healthcare, etc are successful, they push up the implicit cost of 'human capital' (an onerous term in this context), which makes it more marginally profitable to not have a kid (one gets higher wages & kids cost more on net)
There are policies that do reduce the cost of childrearing AND increase fertility (as opposed to merely moving it younger), but these invariably increase gender inequality, as well as cause other things (declines in general education rates, resources expended per child etc).
Never mind the fact that for the vast majority of the world, especially in poorer & more structurally deprived areas, overwhelmingly and above the issue is forced birth, thru a mix of state, economic, social, cultural & interactive mechanisms.
Because all extant social democracies are racist, they refuse to accept the incredibly easy solution to the budgetary, economic & social problems their cratering fertility rates entail due to their political structure, namely open borders.
If climate change weren't going to kill us first, we might've actually ironically seen the thing libertarians claim would happen but never has, where racism is the undoing of a producer & society bc it means they've tied themselves to continually diminishing revenues & producers.
Between everything I just described, and the other issue I mentioned recently, that nearly all socdem & socialist societies use standardized iq style testing at a young age to slot people into schooling (but it's free! yayyy) I'm starting to think mb social democracy isnt so good
Rly makes u think
In the same way that the US actually has a more accessible education system, statistically speaking (tho obvi a more individually burdensome one), the US also had, until Trump, a more realistic understanding that you can’t continue a state based on continual growth if ur autarkic
One of the irony all of the Anglo states was they, until very recently, had vastly more educated & more diverse populations than any of the other Global North states, and had more ‘liberal’ immigration policies (also more brutal ones too tho)
Conservatives are obviously more erroneous in general, more ignorant, and less theoretically apt, and the far right is that on steroids, but the fact is that liberal, progressive, soft left, social democratic, tradleft & similar understandings is nearly universally clueless.
Everyone subscribes to these common sense dogmas (for ex: ‘obviously early child hood education should lead to higher fertility & obviously states should encourage fertility’) that just don’t track the stats.
The problem is that in a society built in the state & capitalism, the nature of property, capital, money, rents etc make nearly all social democratic policies a game of trade offs, a fact many seem to ignore.
For example there is basically no way universally free education would be self funding or that a generous welfare state can be equitable in distribution and still achieve many of these secondary sentimental fantasies (my stance is who gives a shit, bc that’s not the point)
I like to focus on issues which have clear ‘free lunch’ policies, not only are they vastly more just & humane, but they reduce net trade offs—open borders, prison abolition, changes in land ownership, ends to monopoly rents & IP, ending all support to fossil fuels & agriculture
Anyway reading about fertility always makes me mad like this haha bc i find the biopolitics of pro natalism to be so nauseating
I also, for different reasons, dislike bad social science methodologies & sentimentalism getting in the way of good ideas.
I also despise when barely dressed up racial discrimination, gender inequality, extractivism, ableism, the Protestant work ethic and/or retributivism are portrayed as progressive or socialist.
What if, and this is wacko I know, the object of social organization shouldn’t be to control human behavior according to normative ideas but to maximize people’s capacities, freedom, autonomy, resources & social relations to pursue whatever the heck they want w/o destroying us.
And if a single frickin nerd says ‘you don’t want to impose normative concepts on people yet that itself is a normative concept,,,,curious!’ I’m gonna give u an atomic wedgie sufficient to power the earth for 100 years
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