Global Problems of Population Growth

Yale,, Spring 2009 , Prof. Robert Wyman

Updated On 02 Feb, 19


Evolution of Sex and Reproductive Strategies - Sex and Violence Among the Apes - From Ape to Human - When Humans Were Scarce - Why Is Africa Different? - Malthusian Times - Demographic Transition in Europe; Mortality Decline - Demographic Transition in Europe; Fertility Decline - Demographic Transition in Europe - Quantitative Aspects - Low Fertility in Developed Countries (Guest Lecture by Michael Teitelbaum) - Human and Environmental Impacts - Fertility Attitudes and Practices - Demographic Transition in Developing Countries - Female Disadvantage - Population in Traditional China - Population in Modern China - Economic Impact of Population Growth - Economic Motivations for Fertility - Teen Sexuality and Teen Pregnancy - Global Demography of Abortion - Media and the Fertility Transition in Developing Countries (Guest Lecture by William Ryerson) - Biology and History of Abortion - Population and the Environment


Lecture 4: When Humans Were Scarce

4.1 ( 11 )

Lecture Details

Global Problems of Population Growth (MCDB 150)

Hunter-gatherer populations were much less dense than later agriculturalists. The variety of their food supply protected them from crop failures and their sparseness reduced the spread of infectious diseases. Hunter-gatherers were healthier and worked less than early agriculturalists. Why didnt their numbers increase up to the same level of Malthusian misery? Their numbers may have been limited by violence between groups. Agriculture is more work intense and offers a less varied diet. Populations seem to grow rapidly and then die out suddenly. Populations are subject to climatic- or disease-caused crop failure. But farming allows individuals to produce a surplus of food that can then be stolen by warrior tribes or military castes. The surplus allows for population growth, cities and stratified societies. The death rate, until perhaps the 1700s in Europe, is enormously high only approximately a third of women survive to the end of their reproductive period. At this death rate, surviving women who are able to reproduce must have more than six children on average or the society goes extinct. All the great religions and cultures develop in this long period and all stress the requirement for high reproductive rates "Be fruitful and multiply."

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website httpopen.yale.educourses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.



1 Ratings
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Excellent course helped me understand topic that i couldn't while attendinfg my college.

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Great course. Thank you very much.