Lecture Details :
Global Problems of Population Growth (MCDB 150)
Reproduction is not simple or easy, nor is it fair. Females often bear a larger reproductive burden of child bearing and child rearing. Reproductive strategies can be simplified into two primary strategies for males and two for females: males often either engage in sperm competition or physical competition while females strategize to get resources from males, or to find the best male genes for the offspring. Rape and violence, as reproductive strategies, occur in few species, but violence is especially prevalent among the great apes, probably because eggs are so scarce in these species. In orangutans, rape is common. For gorillas, infanticide is a common form of reproductive violence, and male chimpanzees regularly fight each other and batter females.
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2009.
Course Description :
(MCDB 150) This survey course introduces students to the important and basic material on human fertility, population growth, the demographic transition and population policy. Topics include: the human and environmental dimensions of population pressure, demographic history; economic and cultural causes of demographic change, environmental carrying capacity and sustainability. Political, religious and ethical issues surrounding fertility: infanticide, abortion, contraception, son preference, government coercion, migration and the status of women. The lectures and readings attempt to balance theoretical and demographic scale analyses with studies of individual humans and communities. The perspective is global with both developed and developing countries included. Controversies on the causes, cures and effects of rapid population growth are also addressed.
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