Consciousness and Fertility of Population
Keywords:low fertility individual reproductive consisnousness
The presence of consciousness in human reproduction is not debatable, since human reproduction, concerning everything, has never been an animal one (as shown by instances of infanticide, behavior of Hutterote population, instances of an early drop in fertility, attitudes of individuals of non-participation in reproduction, etc.). Reproductive consciousness appears in two forms – individual and social, since reproduction itself has two forms. The presence of individual consciousness in the reproduction is shown in the fact that the influences of numerous factors of fertility are synthetized and intermingled. This function of individual consciousness is realized on a qualitative level based more upon belief, and more upon a distinct personal attitude about what is wanted, and less upon spontaneous behavior, emulation or some sort of unverified collective consciousness.
Important changes in the position of the individual within family and society, first of all thanks to the higher level of education and expansion of personal freedoms, individualism and emancipation have contributed to that status of the individual consciousness. Accepting low reproductive standards, the individual consciousness is obviously under the influence of all basic social, economic, cultural and psychological generators of low fertility, but also under the influence of the demands of one's own consciousness for the sake of achieving the goals in other spheres of one's own personal life.
One of the most important questions is whether the individual reproductive consciousness is under the influence of the social consciousness. In that sense the basic hypothesis is that the social consciousness is active in regulating numerous issues relevant for biological reproduction, but only very little active, if active at all, in the part of reproduction referring to the level of standards and participation in biological reproduction. In this way, the social consciousness is not present on the reproduction scene when standards and their realization are in question, leaving the entire responsibility for biological reproduction to the individual, which was not the case in earlier historical periods. This means that modern society does not carry out its functions in the sphere of childbearing, in spite of the fact that the demographic problem is evident.
In conclusion, and according to these evaluations, two complementary questions could be raised. Is the absence of the influence of the social consciousness upon the forming of standards on the size of family one of the explanations of the insufficient reproduction for the renewal of population, and does that gap represent a chance for the solution of the demographic crisis in developed countries?
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Copyright (c) 2015 Miroslav Rašević
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Published by the Institute of Social Sciences - Center for Demographic Research