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Culture and human fertility. A study of the relation of cultural conditions to fertility in non-industrial and transitional societies.
Paris, France, UNESCO, 1954 Oct. 510 p. (Population and Culture)The study attempts to develop coherent interpretations of a large mass of diverse demographic, anthropological and other scientific evidence. The committee believes these formulations have value, especially as presenting hypotheses for research and revealing points at which more precise information is needed. Professor Firth, as an anthropologist, and I, as a demographer, have reservations with respect to some of the interpretations. Other scholars who have seen the manuscript support interpretations with which we would disagree. Professor Lorimer himself has indicated that his inferences at many points are tentative formulations. The committee, like the author, presents the study to the public, not as a definitive formulation of the many complex aspects of this subject, but as a significant and valuable, though necessarily subjective, interpretation. The committee shares the author's hope that the publication of this work will lead to more intensive scientific investigations and more definitive knowledge in the future. We believe that Professor Lorimer's work, because it is his own untrammeled product, will accomplish more, both constructively and provocatively, than could be expected at this stage from a study that achieved unanimous agreement by an emasculating compromise. Finally, we wish to express our deep gratitude to Professor Lorimer for the energy, imagination and scholarly dedication with which he has approached his arduous task. (excerpt)