population control policies
Human Populations and the Environment
Discussion 4: Population Control Policies
In 1979, the Chinese government implemented a population control policy that, generally speaking, limits all Chinese couples to having one child and penalizes a couple for having more than one. This policy was meant to reduce the population growth rate in China in order to maintain sustainability and a viable economy, prevent nationwide food shortages, reduce poverty, and reduce the problems associated with overpopulation such as urban slums, crime, and health care costs. How would you react if your government mandated how much you or your loved ones would be allowed to procreate? What does your reaction convey about your values about individual rights and the rights of a society?
Questions about this assignment? Post them in the Ask the Instructor area under Course Home. That way, everyone in the class will see and benefit from the Instructor’s response.
To prepare for this Discussion:
• Review Chapters 6 and 7 in the course text, Environmental Science.
• Review the information from “Population Pressures” at the People & the Planet website.
• Explore the information provided at the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Database.
• Consider your feelings on whether national governments should be able to mandate population control policies.
• Reflect on your reaction if your government decided that you or your loved ones could have only one child and penalized you for having more.
• Consider the possible limits you might be willing to agree to with respect to population control, such as one- or two-child-only policies. Which particular limits do you consider reasonable and why? Should the rights of individuals to procreate be ignored or altered for the good of future generations? Is there any type of population control policy by which you would abide?
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 3 a 2- to 3-paragraph response that analyzes attempts to bring down fertility rates and population growth rates. Your post should include the following: (answer each question in 2 different ways, in separate paragraph)
• A description of some of the population control policies used around the world
• Whether or not you think population control policies violate the human right to procreate
Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to this week’s Learning Resources or to something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced.
• Ask a probing question.
• Offer and support an opinion.
• Validate an idea with your own experience.
• Make a suggestion.
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