HUMANE REPRODUCTION by Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry


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The GAP calls this a ""psychoecological perspective"" on reproduction and the plea is for a ""compassionate revolution"" which will curtail the birthrate at 2.1 children per family. They argue that today, despite advances in contraceptive information and changing social attitudes, most families still end up with more kids than they want. And psychiatric evidence shows that the unwanted/ unplanned for child is the most likely to become an antisocial or mentally ill adult. For the behavioralists they cite the violent and destructive patterns of rat populations allowed to reproduce themselves wantonly, suggesting ominously that people will also go berserk in overcrowded environments. Less apocalyptically, they point out that despite the sexual revolution the pressures for ""family formation"" are still strong; most women marry and bear their first child too soon; and the WEUP (Willful Exposure to Unwanted Pregnancy syndrome) is known to every family planning clinic. Furthermore our supposedly child-centered society gives the 300,000 children in foster homes and institutions ""a vast amount of undercare."" In a closing chapter the authors plump for child care centers, better dissemination of birth control information and a massive sex education program in the schools. Not that they're very hopeful that the social commitment necessary to change basic attitudes will be forthcoming. A thoughtful, well-documented educational tract which will probably convince the already convinced.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1974
Publisher: Scribners