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Birthrates of Hani and Humans; connection with stability of the Hani society

This thread originates in some technology issue discussed in the time of the hole.


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>From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1993 13:33:37 +0200 (MET DST)
> >From: Lesley Grant <lgrant@maths.tcd.ie>
> > >From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
> > 
> > Just a moment - humans have a high birth rate? Humans _can_ produce a lot
> > of offspring, but compared to other earth species, the number is small.
> > Over here, the average family has about 1,4 children (our politicans start   
> > to worry about that). A family with four or more children is highly
> > unusual.
> > Pyanfar had two children we know of. That is just enough to keep the 
> > population stable if nobody dies early. 
> 
> middle and upper classes. (BTW, Onno, what's the average birth-rate for
> lower class German families, especially those of Middle Eastern origin?
> Politicians probably don't take those into account because the secure
> votes come from the middle classes).
I just had a look at the official population statistics, and they were not really heplful. (They group households into 1 person, 2 persons and 3 or more persons.)
My mother had read our local statistics (but couldn't find them), and she said that lower classes are still likely to have more children. The problem with the germans with middle eastern anchestry: there are very few of them. The german laws make residence much easier to get than citizenship, and a lot of "foreigners" live here in the third generation. If they were allowed to vote, the politicans would care more for them :-(
> 	So, the point, you all cry! The point is that hani society, while
> having opportunities for upward mobility (go kill Lord Whoosis, brother),
> is fairly rigidly class based. Pyanfar is upper-class, and so likely to
> have fewer children than lower class people, as there are only so many
> resources to go round. She is also a spacer, and rarely gets home, and so
> has, I suspect even fewer children than might be normally expected. Lower
> class hani (ie from less important clans/no likely male relations to kill
> Lord Whoosis) most likely have more. Chur had a son in her youth, Tiar had
> two. Non-spacefaring hani women would have the opportunity to have a lot
> more children by men in Hermitage, and, presumably, do, as they can't really
> have kids by their clan lord without getting into trouble from his wives,
> who would probably suspect they were trying to get favour for those children.
> In short, Pyanfar with her two children (and Huran (?) Faha with her
> apparent only child) are not typical of the bulk of the hani species, and
> we can't draw conclusions about the stability of the species from them
> 
This may be true if (a) the poor classes depend on their children for their pension and (b) a child will have a higher return than the initial investment. If every hani is part of a clan more than part of a family, the clan will attempt to manage the population growth to stabilize the economy, and the younger generation will pay for the retirement of the older generation. And if 50% of the children are male (and they won't be aborted(sp?)), a child is a very risky method of insurance.

(...)
Onno Meyer


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>From: Lesley Grant <lgrant@maths.tcd.ie>
>Subject: Cherryhlist
>Date: Fri, 3 Sep 93 14:01:11 BST
(...)
> > In short, Pyanfar with her two children (and Huran (?) Faha with her
> > apparent only child) are not typical of the bulk of the hani species, and
> > we can't draw conclusions about the stability of the species from them


> This may be true if (a) the poor classes depend on their children for > their pension and (b) a child will have a higher return than the initial > investment. If every hani is part of a clan more than part of a family, > the clan will attempt to manage the population growth to stabilize the > economy, and the younger generation will pay for the retirement of the > older generation. And if 50% of the children are male (and they won't > be aborted(sp?)), a child is a very risky method of insurance.
Hani society doesn't seem to have anything in the way of state welfare, so everyone is going to be depending on their family to look after them in old age, which ultimately means their kids.
Children will give a higher return for their mothers' investment as they will eventually be useful for making links with other families, running family business, and generally making sure the clan doesn't go down the tubes. It is probably in clan interests to have as many female members as possible to decrease the risk of losing them in illness, through shady business dealings, and so on. The only hani who need to limit their families are the upper-class ones, as they will want to preserve family assets (Pyanfar decides against a third Chanur offspring for Mahn, Hilfy thanks the gods she doesn't have a kid to link Chanur and Sfaura). Clans as a whole, however, want the next generation to grow -- if there's too many of them, they can always go start a sister/vassal clan somewhere else.
In modern hani society, the male:female ratio may be much less than 50/50. Tiar is "old fashioned" for not aborting her sons, and it's certainly implied that many (if not most) women would have got rid of the foetus in such an instance. The pressure in hani society is to have daughters, not sons, and those daughters will be pressured to have more daughters, and so on. This may eventually lead to a shortage of men (not "enough" challenges, too few men for unmarried hani to have children by [all the married hani we see are very upper class, all the unmarried are 'lower class' -- perhaps marriage is reserved for upper class links between clans? It certainly has nothing to do with the legitimation of children])

(...)
		Lesley

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