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Development. 2006 Mar; 49(1):18-22.Marsha J. Tyson Darling reflects on the issues she explored in her plenary commentary at the AWID Forum. She brings to the fore the unprecedented challenges posed by the emergence of rapidly developing and largely unregulated new reproductive and genetic biotechnologies. (author's)
Asian Journal of Women's Studies. 1999 Mar 31; 5(1): p..For many centuries, the kitchen has been regarded as the world of women. However, it has gradually become a world of both men and women. Changes in women's roles in the kitchen reflect the transforming social position of women. Accordingly, change in men and women's performance of housework mirrors a shift in the sexual division of labor. This is accompanied by changed attitudes as well. For example, according to one investigation made by the undergraduates of the university where Ms. Wang works, only 28 percent of the women undergraduates agreed with the proposition: "A woman should try her best to be a good wife and mother, whether or not she is successful in her career." This percentage is much lower than that of women of Ms. Wang's generation. Moreover, Ms. Wang's daughter, [Lian Lian], who is much younger than the undergraduates, not only has a great longing for advanced kitchen facilities in the future, but has her own views about cooking and housework. When asked if in the future, she would like to prepare meals for the whole family as her mother has done, Lian Lian replied definitely: "I would not like to." Lian Lian likes to play with one of the boys in her class, and she once told her mother: "If I get married to him in the future, I will be a very lucky girl, because his father is a chef, and I may not have to cook much then." (author's)
Journal of Nutrition. 2003 Nov; 133:3319-3322.Even in a world with adequate food supplies in global markets, which is the situation today, biotechnology offers important opportunities to developing countries in four domains. First, many agronomically hostile or degraded environments require major scientific breakthroughs to become productive agricultural systems. Few of these breakthroughs are likely to be achieved through traditional breeding approaches. Second, biofortification offers the promise of greater quantities and human availabilities of micronutrients from traditional staple foods, with obvious nutritional gains for poor consumers, especially their children. Third, many high yielding agricultural systems are approaching their agronomic potential. Radically new technologies will be required to sustain productivity growth in these systems, and only modern genetic technology offers this hope. Finally, many cropping systems use large quantities of chemical inputs, such as herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers that can be unhealthy for people and soils alike. Biotechnology offers the potential to reduce the need for these inputs in economically and environmentally sustainable ways. Applying these new technologies to society’s basic foods raises obvious concerns for both human and ecological health. For some, these concerns have become outright fear, and this has mobilized a backlash against genetically modified foods in any form. These concerns (and fears) must be addressed carefully and rationally so that the public understands the risks (which are not zero) and benefits (which might be enormous). Only the scientific community has the expertise and credibility to build this public understanding. (author's)
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY REVIEW. 1993; 18(3-4):135-54.There are many ways in which individual, societal, political, and religious agendas affect the interpretation and application of new knowledge and technology. The sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s is attributed to the introduction of the birth control pill without regard to the societal shifts in greater gender equality and the social acceptance of both male and female sexual fulfillment. China's fertility policies have tremendous social consequences. Gender equalists protest new findings of neurological differences between men and women. Interpretations of research on sexual relationships in marriage and gender orientations may be biased. Individual responsibilities must be exercised in deciding what the future will be. Humane choices must be made with the help of natural and social scientists revealing the hidden values and biases behind all research, possible technological applications, and future planning. Citizens must educate themselves so they can make humane and informed decisions. Social changes and changes in priorities are made smoothly with a public which is informed of alternative and possible scenarios. There is no justification for the low status in the US of preventive medicine, basic prenatal and perinatal health care, and family support. The potential for abuse of power and reproductive knowledge is real and can only be offset by critical and on-going dialogue involving everyone. The challenges of bias and social consequences are in contraceptive technology, reproductive technology, gender differences, and sexual relationships. For example, sexual attitudes have changed to the point where about 66% of Americans believe that there is nothing morally working with an extramarital affair. But outdated data on American sexual behavior interferes deleteriously with efforts to deal with AIDS. Attention should be directed to the on-going research of sexologists on gender orientations, those performing social research on patterns of sexual relationships, and the work of religious activists on changed sexual values.
Report of the ESCAP/UNDP Expert Group Meeting on Population, Environment and Sustainable Development: 13-18 May 1991, Jomtien, Thailand.
Bangkok, Thailand, United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP], 1991. iv, 41 p. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 106)The 1991 meeting of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific considered the following topics: the interrelationships between population and natural resources, between population and the environment and poverty, and between population growth and consumption patterns, technological changes and sustainable development; the social aspects of the population-environment nexus (the effect of social norms and cultural practices); public awareness and community participation in population and environmental issues; and integration of population, environment, and development policies. The organization of the meeting is indicated. Recommendations were made. The papers on land, water, and air were devoted to a potential analytical model and the nature of the interlocking relationship between population, environment, and development. Dynamic balance was critical. 1 paper was presented on population growth and distribution, agricultural production and rural poverty; the practice of a simpler life style was the future challenge of the world. Several papers focused on urbanization trends and distribution and urban management policies. Only 1 paper discussed rural-urban income and consumption inequality and the consequences; some evidence suggests that increased income and equity is associated with improved resource management. Carrying capacity was an issue. The technological change paper reported that current technology contributed to overproduction and overconsumption and was environmentally unfriendly. The social norms paper referred to economic conditions that turned people away from sound environmental, cultural norms and practices. A concept paper emphasized women's contribution to humanism which goes beyond feminism; another presented an analytical summary of problems. 2 papers on public awareness pointed out the failures and the Indonesian experience with media. 1 paper provided a perspective on policy and 2 on the methodology of integration. The recommendations provided broad goals and specific objectives, a holistic and conceptual framework for research, information support, policies, resources for integration, and implementation arrangements. All activities must be guided by 1) unity of mankind, 2) harmony between population and natural resources, and 3) improvement in the human condition.
Development. 1989; (4):52-5.The Brundtland Commission on Environment and Development has contributed the critical concept of sustainable development. The objective at present for developing countries is to deal with the limits of the global life support system's capacity to absorb the impact of human activity. In each country and in a cooperative global effort, attention must be given to the impact of global warming for the survival of mankind. Development must follow the priority of human survival. Carbon dioxide emissions which have a substantial impact on global warming need to be limited or held constant. It has been suggested that sharp limits would require a sharp reduction in economic growth for both developing and developed countries. A collective effort is needed which aims to increase energy efficiency globally, to reduce destructive energy sources, and to develop alternative energy generation and technology. Scientific cooperation is needed for understanding the impact of weather changes on agricultural patterns and animal life. Notwithstanding the problem of safe technologies, population growth must also be curbed. Migration flows already reflect the income disparities. The gap between rich and poor must be narrowed. A mandate has been proposed for expansion of the UN Security Council to include environmental crises, and to replace the mandate of the Trusteeship Council with maintenance of the global environment. A constraint is the lack of representation of Third World countries in economic summits. The Group of 5 or 7 is concerned with the coordination of the economies for their respective countries. International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank issues can be de facto vetoed by the Group of 5 or 7. Longterm economic and political sense dictates a more cooperative arrangement in the UN with developing countries, such as occurs within the IMF. There is a lack of accountability to any body of the global economy and the priority access of giant corporations. National, cultural, and religious continuity is desired. Nongovernmental organizations must be included in the UN network and regional bodies. With the decline in world detente, regional and indigenous conflicts will emerge. The question is how prepared is the UN or the world to make the necessary changes.
ASIA-PACIFIC POPULATION JOURNAL. 1990 Jun; 5(2):73-8.Technology and population rely on each other for sustenance and growth. Technology has helped produce more food, provide better health care, better communication, faster modes of travel, better consumer durables, greater amenities, and increased the quality of life for millions of people. There has been a price in terms of the widening gap between the technology of the developed and developing countries. There has also been rapid population growth that has resulted in a host of ills. Further, technology itself has produced toxic wastes and consumed a large amount of natural resources. This situation is easily seen as a dilemma between the limitless promises of technology and the limited resources created by large populations. The solution to the dilemma is sustainable development, a concept often talked about but seldom realized. The 90s will be a crucial decade for sustainable development as population is growing by 90 million/annum. 90% of the increase is occurring in developing countries. Within each country there is a trend towards urbanization. By 2000, 75% of Latin Americans, 42% of Africans, and 37% of Asians will live in urban environments. By 2050 there should be 100s of millions of migrants running from the slowly rising sea. The survival equation is sustainability S equals resources R time ingenuity 1 over population P. This is a conceptual equation, but it does illustrate that the impact of human ingenuity is just as important as resources. World commitment must come before any meaningful change will occur. The almost universal acceptance of human rights and fundamental freedoms exceeds the will to change in decision makers and expert consultants.
ISSUES IN REPRODUCTIVE AND GENETIC ENGINEERING. 1990; 3(1):13-21.Examining newspaper and magazine articles, the author compares the media treatment of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with sex determination tests in India. Analysis found general media support and glorification of IVF and related technologies, but only mixed opinions regarding sex- determination testing. Mixed support for the latter form of new reproductive technologies is attributed to the debate and campaigning of women's groups, health activists, and some political leaders against amniocentesis. While public opinion regarding IVF from the feminist's perspective is just gaining ground, the author points to the classic, racist, eugenic, and patriarchal nature of both types of new reproductive technology. Anti-women in nature, they reinforce fertility as an important indicator of women's status, and will be used in population control in the future.
Hastings Center Report. 1986 Feb; 16(1):33-42.The prochoice movement in its most political manifestation is particularly vulnerable to recent medical and scientific developments. It has never made sufficient room in its public stance for a serious consideration of the fetus. Simultaneously, by deliberately cultivating a supposedly neutral, therapeutic language toward the medical act of abortion, calling it a "procedure," a "termination of pregnancy," and so on, it mistakenly seems to think it can pacify and comfort the conscience, minimizing and denaturing some unmistakeable realities. Medical and scientific developments which threaten the prochoice movement include the lowering age of viability, the emergence of neonatal medicine, the use of the sonogram, embryological knowledge, and late abortions. In attempting to understand the possible impact of the medical developments on the abortion debate, their interaction with other crucial ingredients in the debate will be important. Of special significance are public opinion, the question of the personhood of the fetus, pertinent court decisions and trends, and feminist arguments and political tactics. There is still time for prochoice adherents to show themselves as willing in practice as in theory to concede the moral uncertainty of abortion decisions. If that is not done, the combination of the new medical developments and too many people for too long holding their doubts at bay may well begin shifting opinions. In that event, the prochoice movement will have done itself far more damage than those who try to stop it by bombing abortion clinics.
In: Hsia YE, Hirschhorn K, et. al., ed. Counseling in genetics. New York, Alan R. Liss, 1979. 189-222.American contraceptive patterns have shown consistent acceptance and progressive improvement in its usage. Efficacious methods which offer maximum contraceptive protection are highly favored by all strata of the American population. The 4 methods which the writer examines from a clinical and psychological viewpoint are sterilization, artificial insemination, abortion and selective sex predetermination processes. The increased popularity of sterilization by males and females is accounted for by its development into a simpler surgical procedure, few unpleasant side effects, shifts in smaller family size planning, and easing of medical and legal age restrictions. Vasectomy and tubal ligation are reviewed in terms of positive and negative reactions to the procedures with particular emphasis about psychological adjustment common to both procedures. Artificial insemination with a donor's semen is used primarily when the husband is infertile or when the husband or both parents are carriers of genetic defects. This method is preferred when parents are dissatisfied with adoption procedures, selection process in terms of infant conception is desired, knowledge of pregnancy 1st hand is wanted and when faith in the donor is strong. Abortion and prenatal diagnosis are seen as means of selective reproduction and biological control in family planning decisions. Legal change about abortion has accompanied a decline of public opposition as seen in tables which chart America's public opinion from 1962 to 1975. Psychological aspects of selecting abortion and prenatal diagnosis include the concern parents have over health of the child, security of the family , fairness to the unborn child, to the living children and to themselves. The writer establishes the need for counseling and emotional support when stress, depression and self doubts associated with each procedure is apparent. Technology involved in sex determination is seen by the author as having a future radical impact on sex ratios of developing nations where a greater cultural emphasis is on having sons. From a psychological point of view, sex determination will alleviate the disappointment some parents feel about the sex of the child as well as encourage fertility.