quick look at a few articles and books from unlikely places is
confirming what the Church has known for many decades. Want better
sex? And stronger marriage? Hope to avoid breast cancer? Want fewer
social problems? Don’t contracept.
first surprising article, which received a lot of attention when it
came out a few months ago, discussed a
new study in U.S.
News and World Report that
asked which demographic has the best sex life. It seem that
weekly-Mass-attending Catholics "have the most enjoyable and
study, done by the Family Research Council, generally pointed to
weekly church-going, monogamous married couples as the happiest. What
is interesting is that many religious denominations could fit under
that model, but the FRC report specifically speaks about Catholics.
And what is it that Catholics don't do [or shouldn't do] that most of
their Protestant counterparts do? Contracept.
study did say that knowing one partner was a significant factor in
the couples' evaluations. One can speculate that better sex, as a
result of increased communication and self-giving that comes to a
couple when they don't use contraception, also translates into
involved with infidelity and porn, the study reported, not only did
not rate high among those satisfied with their sexual activity, but
was also linked to such negative effects as "poverty, domestic
abuse, crime, drug addiction and loss of job."
non-contracepting couples, the divorce rate is under 5%, which is
appealing enough, but it appears that there are other dividends. A
story in the Los
shows that not only parents who are open to life are less likely to
get divorced, but so are their children. "Children with a lot of
siblings are more likely to marry and stay married than are
only children or those who grew up with one or two siblings,"
the article explains.
the article didn't speculate as to the cause, other than that perhaps
children need to "suppress the urge to strangle a bullying older
in his sleep," it seems the explanation is common sense. Growing
up with more brothers and sisters comes with all sorts of advantages
a better understanding of the opposite sex, growth in essential
virtues like patience, and less time being taught that life is "all
about you." There is only so much room on mamma's lap.
next selection appears to the be first of its kind: a book by a
feminist who truly looks at the harm done to women by the
birth-control pill. With the rise in natural and organic foods, and
general concern about what we put into our bodies, somehow the
carcinogenic feature of the pill, or its other miserable side
effects, have been overlooked by the 14 million American women who
are currently taking it (as well as left unmentioned by those
her edgy book, Sweetening
the Pill: Or How We Got Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control
(Zero Books, 2013), due out in the States next month, but already
available in Kindle format, Holly Grigg-Spall discusses how the pill
can wreak havoc on every system and organ in a woman's body, leading
to things like rage, depression, anxiety, breast cancer, blood clots,
and more, with risks increasing the longer the Pill is taken.
chronicles how the one-size-fits-all approach to women's fertility
health is difficult to criticize because of the societal and economic
pressures pushing it upon more unsuspecting women, starting largely
during the teenage years when girls are not autonomous enough to make
decisions about their health.
the author isn't quite informed as to the real reasons why Catholics
reject the pillat one point she pins it upon misogynyher
courageous take on this taboo topic is much needed, helping to inform
women about the truth of that little pill they pop daily.
News reported that September 12th was the "day of
conception" in the Volga River Region of Russia, which allows
everyone to take the day off for procreating, to help bolster
plummeting birthrates in the region. Russia is not alone in its
concern about dramatically declining populations.
decades of hearing about over populationwith no discernible
explosionthe pendulum of concern has swung in the other direction.
to Expect When No One is Expecting: America's Coming Demographic
(Encounter Books, 2013) Jonathan Last joins the voices of others
(inclduing David Goldman, Mark Steyn, and George Weigel) and asserts
that America faces a demographic crisis because women are having too
few children. Such a shift in population puts tremendous pressure
upon the young to carry the burdens of the aging, particularly
straining resources for pensions and health care.
in February of this year, the book explains that as a nation, our
birth rate is currently 1.94. In the 1960's the average birthrate was
3.4. Replacement level is 2.1. This shrinking of the younger
generations can have dramatic effects on any society as the older
members need greater assistance. Japan, Italy and China are among the
front-runners in this demographic disaster. In Japan, more adult size
diapers are sold now than infant diapers.
ownership, however, is on the rise, Last reports that dogs are
outpacing babies 4 to 1 among Americans (the rate is also very high
in Japan and Italy). Without something changing in this calculus, one
can only hope that these aging pet owners are teaching Fido how to
feed them jello, since there won't be any children to do it for them
in their twilight years.
ever, Janet Smith and
Why Not. is
a great resource on this topic, as is Mary Eberdstadt's recent book,
and Eve After the Pill (Ignatius
Press, 2012; see her CWR interview, “The