In 1979, China enacted a drastic policy that limited the number of children that families could have, despite the fact that China’s Total Fertility Rate had been declining rapidly for close to a decade. The effects of this policy are still felt today, particularly for those who were born shortly before or after the implementation of this policy. At the beginning of 2016, China relaxed this policy in the wake of outrage over brutal enforcement tactics, skewed gender ratios, and an increasingly growing elderly population. But, according to many experts, the damage has already been done.

Below you will find links to three articles, all written in late 2015, each discussing the impact the One Child Policy had on the culture and economy of the country. While the topic is the same, each emphasizes a different aspect of the policy.

New York Times: China Will Feel One-Child Policy’s Effects for DecadesThis link will open in a new window

The New York Times article provides a brief summary of some of the most important impacts on the country.

National Geographic: See How the One-Child Policy Changed ChinaThis link will open in a new window

The National Geographic article provides some context to the history of population growth in China, and has some really groovy interactive graphs to play with.

BBC: Five Numbers that Sum up China’s One-Child PolicyThis link will open in a new window

The BBC article expands on a number of population demographics we have focused our attentions on this week.

After reading all three, answer the following questions in your forum:

Is attempting to limit our reproductive rate really the best method of minimizing the impact that human population growth has on our planet, or is there a more sustainable way that won’t have such a drastic ecological and economic impact on the world?

Thoughtful and logical discussion on this question is encouraged! This is is your opportunity to use some of the vocabulary and concepts you have been studying this week!

What do you believe to the best approach to minimizing the impact of human population growth has on our planet?

The subject title of your post should quickly answer this question, and your post should expand on your idea(s).

To receive full credit, you must:
  • Write in complete sentences that are thoughtful, well written, and free of typos.
  • Address all parts of the forum topic.
  • Use vocabulary presented in the learning materials appropriately.
  • Create a discussion and reply to another discussion by 8:00 pm on Saturday of week 2 (7 days after week 2 module becomes available).

student reply #1:

Do I think china should have limited it to one child ? No. Do I believe that they have the right idea? Yes.  You see our population is expanding more and more and without a real way to curb the growth rate we are running out of land, resources, houses, and are destroying our atmosphere even more quickly.  Birth control can be used as a way to limit the population growth- making it free and accessible to all women would make  it so they would have no unwanted pregnancies. Now I am not pro or con abortion policies however, thinking on this topic I believe Abortion should be a legal and open resource for women to choose to use if an unwanted pregnancy occurs for faulty birth control or other reasons; by sending the child off to an orphanage doesn’t reduce the population effectively.  Maybe perhaps the government should say the average american family is limited to 3 children only. Because based on our economy most families struggled to feed two adults and two children without government aid as is.  I don’t think any of these will change much because our population already exceeds our capacity.

student reply#2:

  1. Is attempting to limit our reproductive rate really the best method of minimizing the impact that human population growth has on our planet, or is there a more sustainable way that won’t have such a drastic ecological and economic impact on the world?

I believe China’s one child policy was not the correct way to approach the increasing population. We have learned from this class that once a population increases it will eventually stabilize once it reaches the carry capacity of the area which these families live. People will limit the number of their children voluntarily if resources are not available for their children to grow up and have a great opportunity to survive and flourish. The one child policy will make it hard in the future to take care of the elderly population and increasing government spending to take care of them. It also encourages a small number to families killing their daughters (infanticide) to try and get a male child.

2.   What do you believe to the best approach to minimizing the impact of human population growth has on our planet?

I believe education is the key to helping the world not over populate. Each countries government has a responsibility to help the population understand the effects of overpopulation has on the environment, education and society as a whole. Family planning and sex education are important steps that could be taken and can be done in local areas as well as regionally.

Leave a Reply