Birth Control Essay

Cheap Custom Writing Service

This Birth Control Essay example is published for educational and informational purposes only. If you need a custom essay or research paper on this topic, please use our writing services. offers reliable custom essay writing services that can help you to receive high grades and impress your professors with the quality of each essay or research paper you hand in.

Be l i e f s , re se arch , and debate about birth control have been present in societies since Ancient Rome. People have had more efficient means available (such as the latex condom and the anovulant pill) since the 1950s. With the advent of these widely available types of birth control has come increased ethical, religious, social, and familial debates. The Catholic Church, in particular, has maintained a position of only approving natural family planning via the calendar method.

On a personal level, birth control enables people to plan for or against pregnancy within their own timeframes. However, birth control can also be a matter of public policy to manipulate population growth. For instance, governments like Israel created noncoercive pronatalist measures that reward bigger families with tax reductions and other incentives. In other cases, the state may have provisions for giving financial help to couples who face infertility problems. From a business standpoint, some corporations provide pay while employees are on adoption leave, particularly when couples are going abroad for international adoptions.

At the other end of the spectrum are governments that have established antinatalist efforts, which are policies to inhibit big families. The most notable example is the one-child policy in China, which has created an imbalance of boys and girls, as many families prefer to have a boy. This imbalance has exacerbated social issues such as prostitution, sex tourism, homosexuality, and forced migration.

In the early 21st century, the world population was more than 6 billion, compared to a worldwide population of 1 billion in the early 19th century. Countries like India and China alone have more than 1 billion citizens. These numbers raise questions and concerns about prosperity, poverty, the limits of growth, and the future.

Overpopulation is regarded as a contributing factor to problems like environmental pressures, global warming, the food crisis in the developing countries, poverty, starvation, and megacities. The overpopulation issue is not new-two centuries ago, economist Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) published An Essay on the Principle of Population, as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society in 1798. Malthus argued that “population must always be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence.” Concerns related to overpopulation and limited food supplies have visited almost every generation.

The issue of overpopulation has had many prophets and followers. Paul Ehrlich’s bestseller The Population Bomb was published in 1968, when the U.S. population reached 200 million. The book sold three million copies and was so influential that even the title remained a popular catchphrase. As we now know, many of Ehrlich’s overly pessimistic scenarios did not come to pass, and some were even removed in subsequent editions. Still, many people who were influenced by the book opted to have sterilization surgery. Other authors also cashed in with predictions related to overpopulation and the food supply. Donnella Meadows’s book Limits to Growth in 1972 sold 10 million copies in 30 languages. An updated version titled Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update was released in 2004. Most recently is Lester Brown’s apocalyptic book, Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble (2006).

Despite statistics that confirm the increased number of people on earth, overpopulation is not really a fact. It is better understood as a worldview that is part of a complex debate regarding issues such as global warming. Politicians, decision makers, and the population in general must rely on experts’s interpretations of existing research. While some find grounds for concern, others do not. Economist Julian Simon, for example, wrote The Ultimate Resource, which has been reissued twice since 1981. Simon argues that overpopulation is a myth; with new technologies, nuclear plants, and resourcefulness, humans have proven that they can adapt to challenging situations and find new ways to face global issues. Therefore, the main cause for starvation in emerging countries is often corruption, and not lack of resources.

Economics professor Jacqueline Kasun, of Humboldt State University in California, also challenges the seriousness of overpopulation. She argues that overpopulation is an ideology and often a means of propaganda. She criticizes Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb, maintaining that there is still room on the planet, except in megacities and some autodependent suburbs.

After the baby boom generation (those born between 1946 and 1964), subsequent generations seem to have adopted the two-child model as a standard in many Western countries. But this is not the norm worldwide. Peter Berger found that women in India refused to use oral contraceptives, even when given for free by nurses, because most Indian women did not see big families as a problem. Similarly, many African males refuse to use condoms. In sum, population control is quite different from birth control, although the two concepts are often linked.


  1. Peter Berger, Pyramids of Sacrifice: Political Ethics and Social Change (Basic Books, 1975);
  2. Lester Brown, Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble (W. W. Norton, 2006);
  3. Paul R. Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (Sierra Club-Ballantine Books, 1968);
  4. Joseph Marion Jones, Does Overpopulation Mean Poverty? The Facts about Population Growth and Economic Development (Center for International Economic Growth, 1962);
  5. Jacqueline Kasun, The War Against Population: The Economics and Ideology of Population Control (Ignatius Press, 1999);
  6. Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population, as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society (Oxford University Press, 1999);
  7. Donnella Meadows, Limits to Growth (Signet, 1972);
  8. Donnella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows, Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update (Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2004);
  9. Julian L. Simon, The Ultimate Resource (Princeton University Press, 1998).

See also:


Always on-time


100% Confidentiality

Special offer!