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Natalism promotes child-bearing and parenthood as desirable for social reasons and to ensure the continuance of humanity. Natalism in public policy typically seeks to create financial and social incentives for populations to reproduce, such as providing tax incentives that reward having and supporting children. Adherents of more stringent takes on natalism may seek to limit access to abortion and contraception, as well. The opposite of natalism is antinatalism.
Many religions (Judaism and some branches of Christianity, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Catholic Church) encourage procreation. The Amish are among the fastest-growing populations in the world, with an average of 6.8 children per family.
A recent movement among conservative Protestants, known as the Quiverfull movement, advocates for large families. Some scholars[which?] note that Quiverfull resembles other world-denying fundamentalist movements which grow through internal reproduction and membership retention, such as Haredi Judaism, the Amish, Laestadians in Finland and Sweden and the Salafi movement in the Muslim world. Many such groups grow relative to other categories, as seculars and moderates may have by contrast transitioned as far as below-replacement fertility, in certain groups.
Intention to have children
An intention to have children is a substantial fertility factor in actually ending up doing so, but childless individuals who intend to have children immediately or within 2 or 3 years are generally more likely to succeed than those who intend to have children in the long term. There are many determinants of the intention to have children, including:
- The mother's preference of family size, which influences that of the children through early adulthood. Likewise, the extended family influences fertility intentions, with increased number of nephews and nieces increasing the preferred number of children.
- Social pressure from kin and friends to have another child.
- Social support. However, a study from West Germany came to the result that both men receiving no support at all and receiving support from many different people have a lower probability of intending to have another child, with the latter probably related to coordination problems.
- Happiness, with happier people tending to want more children.
- Secure housing situation.
Some countries with population decline offer incentives to the people to have large families as a means of national efforts to reverse declining populations. Incentives may include a one-time baby bonus, or ongoing child benefit payments or tax reductions. Some impose penalties or taxes on those with fewer children. Some nations, such as Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan, have implemented, or tried to implement, interventionist natalist policies, creating incentives for larger families among native stock. Immigrants are generally not part of natalist policies.
Paid maternity and paternity leave policies can also be used as an incentive. For example, Sweden has generous parental leave wherein parents are entitled to share 16 months' paid leave per child, the cost divided between both employer and State.
The Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán in 2019, announced pecuniary incentives (including eliminating taxes for mothers with more than 3 children, and reducing credit payments and easier access to loans), and expanding day care and kindergarten access.
Antinatalism, or anti-natalism, is a philosophical position that assigns a negative value to birth. Antinatalists argue that people should refrain from procreation because it is ethically bad. In scholarly and in literary writings, various ethical foundations have been adduced for antinatalism. Some of the earliest-surviving formulations of the idea that it would be better not to have been born come from ancient Greece. The term "antinatalism" was used probably for the first time as the name of the position by Théophile de Giraud (born 1968) in his book L'art de guillotiner les procréateurs: Manifeste anti-nataliste.
- Human population control
- Political demography
- Population ethics
- Sub-replacement fertility
- Tax on childlessness
McKeown, John (2014). "1: Natalism: A Popular Use of the Bible". God's Babies: Natalism and Bible Interpretation in Modern America. Cambridge: Open Books. p. 2. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
Natalism is an ideology that advocates a high birth rate within a community.[...] The central message is that parents should have additional children.
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- W. Tatarkiewicz, O szczęściu (On Happiness), Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1979, pp. 420-421.
- K. Akerma, Antinatalismus – Ein Handbuch, epubli, 2017, p. 301.