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The data in this paper are drawn from interviews with a probability sample of 2652 once-married women under the age of 60 currently living with their husbands in 1971 in metropolitan Melbourne. Although drawing from other material from the 2½ hr interviews the discussion concentrates upon the family size ideals of these wives. In addition to the customary measures of ideal family size, new measures of the upper and lower limits of acceptable family size are described, together with the reactions of the whole sample to a wide range of specified family sizes and the reasons for accepting or rejecting them. It is shown that the eventual achievement of zero population growth will almost certainly depend upon the two-child family becoming the norm for the great majority of couples, since childless or one-child marriages are desired by only 2% of couples. Currently, however, 20% of wives consider two-child families to be undesirably small. The marked religious, country of origin and educational differentials in acceptance of the two-child family are also discussed.
The performance of population programmes suggests that even the more successful ones have acceptance rates that are only a fifth or so of what is needed to reduce population growth rates to the 1% a year that permits significant improvements in income per head. It is also clear that no programmes use bonuses at anything approaching the monetary values per recipient that are justifiable. There is no guarantee that such bonuses will produce the number of acceptors that are needed, but it is fairly evident that without larger bonuses there will not be enough acceptors.
Briefly, if bonuses are to become an effective and acceptable feature of national family planning programmes, they must meet at least the following requirements:
(1) The various bonuses must be an integral part of an evolving and expanding system, and such bonuses must be evaluated in terms of the same criteria used to evaluate the overall family planning programme.
(2) Bonuses should be substantial, equal to perhaps one-half or more of the maximum that society, through government, can afford to pay for reduced fertility.
(3) Bonus qualification and administration should be reasonably cheat-proof, and the majority of couples using contraceptives should not be able to collect more than one kind of bonus.
(4) Selective discrimination among acceptors, at least by age, should be attempted by government to reduce payments of unnecessarily large bonuses to those who would practise effective contraception for a smaller bonus.
(5) Bonuses should be used to gain the acceptance of more cost-effective methods, or of more fertile couples, even during early stages when a family planning programme is generally supply constrained.
Finally, because in a real sense transfer payments are less costly than more customary activities incurring resource costs, bonuses should be used whenever their budget cost is no greater than more traditional expenditures that are equally effective in terms of reducing births. As such bonuses are really a form of compensation, paying for valuable services undertaken at some inconvenience and sacrifice, there is nothing morally reprehensible in paying them. Moreover, inasmuch as poorer people are most likely to respond, there is a favourable income redistribution effect and, of course, a prospect of higher average incomes because of the fertility reduction.
A matched group of women who conceived during a 2-month period in 1971 was used to trace some parameters involved in their decision to carry their pregnancies to term or to seek an abortion.
Several specific indices to the decision were considered: whether coitus was anticipated; whether the pregnancy was planned; whether birth control methods were used; and how the pregnancy ended. The effects of age, marital status, religion, reasons for the abortion or carrying the pregnancy to term, and attitude towards a possible delivery were also studied.
It was found that coitus was anticipated by the majority of women, but pregnancy was unplanned for. Two-thirds of the women who did not want to become pregnant were not using a contraceptive method; yet, regardless of whether pregnancy was planned or unplanned, one of three women chose to have an abortion.
Among the most common reasons for women indicating that contraceptive measures were not used were: ‘I didn't want sex to seem planned’ and ‘I thought I was in a safe period’. The decision to have an abortion usually depended upon the woman's marital status, age, religion, and previous use of birth control. Surprisingly, among women who had not planned to become pregnant, the percentage of women choosing abortion was the same from both subgroups of women who used or did not use contraception. It was also surprising that no strong relationship seemed to exist between the type of contraceptive technique used and the decision to have an abortion.
Women who planned ahead to have an abortion if they became pregnant were more often using contraception; thus for these women abortion was not a primary method of family planning but a back-up for failed contraception. Women who had their babies, infrequently considered abortion as an alternative.
It was predicted and found true that women who positively viewed the prospect of having a child chose to carry the pregnancy to term while those who expressed unhappiness at having a baby chose abortion. Unexpectedly, we found the overwhelming majority of women who claimed ‘I would be neither happy nor unhappy to have this baby’ chose to have an abortion. Thus a woman's so-called neutral statement regarding a desire was generally seen not to be neutral.
Our use of a pregnant population of women who conceived at the same time (conception cohort) for the analysis of the decision of whether to have an abortion or carry to term, when abortion is legal, thus seemed to be feasible and practical.
Cranial measurements and somatotype indices were compared in two groups of patients, one with recurrent depressive illness and the other suffering from a first solitary attack of depression. Certain statistically significant differences in stature, somatotype and cranial measurements emerged; the group with recurrent episodes of depression tended to be shorter and more brachycephalic than those with solitary episodes of depression.
Marriage distance is an important variable in human genetics. The distribution of marriage distance has been studied among the Santals, a large agricultural tribe of eastern India, in the neighbourhood of Giridih, Bihar. A Type III Pearsonian curve was fitted to the observed distribution; the fit was found to be good. Possible explanations have been suggested for the distribution pattern among the Santals and for the difference with respect to this pattern between the Santals and other populations.
Intra-uterine contraception is a useful method of fertility control, because of its applicability at all levels of socio-economic development and it has been the mainstay of the fertility control programme in many countries.
The present evaluation is based on the hospital follow-up records of 4067 IUD cases from randomly selected mission hospitals for the years 1967 and 1968. Of the insertions, 97·7% were non-post-partum, and 60% of the acceptors were from the age group 25–34 years with a median age of 29·8 years; nearly 70% had fewer than four living children. The pattern of distribution by religion is similar to that of the 1961 census figures.
The average number of women months (6·7) of IUD use is very low in a follow-up study of 24 months but is more or less consistent, both by age and parity.
The incidence of expulsion, removal and pregnancy was 8·2, 12·9 and 0·6 respectively for all ages and although these rates were higher with the 27½-mm loop than the 30-mm loop the differences are not statistically significant.
The rates of expulsion, removals and complaints were greatest during the first 6 months of use and decreased gradually with increase in duration of use.
Bleeding, or other symptoms associated with bleeding, were the main reasons for the removals.
Incidence of re-insertion was higher among those aged <25 years than among those aged ≥25 years and the difference in the proportion of re-insertions between the two age groups is statistically significant.
The size of the loop seems to have no bearing on the incidence of re-insertions.
Total termination rates at the end of 6, 12, 18 and 24 months were 9·9, 15·2, 25·0 and 55·9 per 100 first insertions respectively.
The names we use for our own species represent general attitudes, many of which were adumbrated by the Greeks. Linnaeus called us Homo sapiens, or thinking man, and his image may be represented by Athene, the goddess of wisdom and my favourite deity. Equally justified is Homo faber, man the maker, represented by Vulcan or Hephaistos. Another aspect of man has been given confusing prominence recently; for man the warrior I have had to invent a name, Homo pugnax—Mars or Ares. Homo ludens has also been proposed (Huizinga, 1970); his counterpart was perhaps Hermes.