Need Of Children Essay Research Paper What

Need Of Children Essay, Research Paper

?What are really the reasons behind why people want children?? Why do people

want children? This question may seem a bit trivial, but when you take into

affect the millions of people that have children each day the question quickly

takes on a new light. This is not just merely a personal question that affects

only a few individuals, it is much larger than that because it affects and

dictates the whole human population. This issue clearly becomes more important

when this is taken into account. The question of why people want children is

well exemplified in Bernard R. Berelson?s essay ?The Value Of Children: A

Taxonomical Essay.? Berelson examines all the major reasons that people would

want to have children one-by-one. Berelson opens with the first reason of

biological. He asks questions like, ?do people innately want children for some

built-in reason of physiology? Is there anything to maternal instinct, or

parental instinct? Or is biology satisfied with the sex instinct as the way to

assure continuity?(220)? Berelson tries to answer these questions by comparing

babies to adults and also the reaction that adults have to babies. Berelson

states the fact that babies look absolutely different from adults. They have big

heads, large foreheads, eyes almost in the center of their head because of their

large forehead, and they are very fat compared to adults. This is why Berelson

believes that this ?babyishness? triggers something inside of man that

causes him to want to protect and care for the baby. When social traditions

dictate the number of children a family has this can be seen as the cultural

influence of having children. In most cultures even the number of children one

has is determined by the society. These social normalities can determine whether

or not a family has a very small amount to a very large amount. Having children

in order to gain power is the political side to having children. Berelson states

all the political reasons very well when he says, ?There are political units

for whom collective childbearing is or has been explicitly encouraged as a

demographic duty-countries concerned with national glory or competitive

political position; governments concerned with the supply of workers and

soldiers; churches concerned with propagation of the faith or their relative

strength; ethnic minorities concerned with their political power; linguistic

communities competing for position; clans and tribes concerned over their

relative status within a larger setting?(221). This statement that Berelson

makes clearly emphasizes all the political reasons for having children. Of

course, how can one forget that there are economic reasons for having or not

having children? Whether you have children or do not it is obvious that they are

definitely a very financial decision. In societies like ours, as Berelson points

out, having children is a very costly endeavor. Berelson speaks the truth about

what parents are really thinking before having a child when he says, ?before

conception: another child or a trip to Europe; a birth deferred in favor of a

new car, the nth child requiring more expenditure on education or

housing?(222). These thoughts run through just about all perspective parents

before the decision is made to have children. There is good side to the economic

reason for the poor. The poor can use their children to work, hunt, help take

care of the home and other children, in some societies if one is a female she

can get a dowry for an arranged marriage, and finally for support when the

parents grow older and need it. Though as Berelson states, ?both societies and

families tend to choose standard of living over number of children when the

opportunity presents itself?(222). There is always the reason of family or as

Berelson puts it ?Familial?. The reasons of familial are to extend a family

name, to try to please the ancestors, and to enable proper religious ceremonies

for some cultures. The family bond can also be used to help or hold a marriage

together. A family gives one a sense of security, not only the child but also

the parents. Berelson makes a sometimes less than obvious statement when he

says, ?Children need family, but the family seems also to need

children?(223). The last subject that Berelson goes into is the personal

reasons for wanting children. This has a variety of sub-topics under it:

personal power, personal competence, personal status, personal extension,

personal experience, and personal pleasure. Berelson believes that some people

may what children so that they may have personal power or an authority over a

person like non-other they will ever exercise like throughout their life. He

also points out that raising children demonstrates personal competence. In this

case no mater what education or social ranking a person has they can prove

themselves to be a competent adult by raising children. Also, one can have very

many children which in some cases, like the poor, children are a type of wealth.

Even though the rich may be blessed with money the poor can be blessed with the

wealth of children. Others may have children as a personal extension of

themselves or a way to achieve immortality and sometimes parents try to do what

they couldn?t through their children. Berelson acknowledges the fact that some

people simple do it for personal experience. This challenge to raise a child can

be one of the most rewarding experiences in ones life. Berelson puts it best

when he says, ?Last, but one hopes not least, in the list of reasons for

wanting children is the altruistic pleasure of having them, caring for them,

watching them grow, shaping them, being with them, enjoying them?(225). This

reason Berelson has just described is the one reason that all most all people

would agree why people would want children, love. The question of why people

want children is clearly illustrated in Bernard R. Berelson?s essay ?The

Value Of Children: A Taxonomical Essay.? Berelson?s essay shows the reader a

lot of good reasons why people would want children. Some of these reasons may be

true some may not. It all depends on the person, society, religion, and even the

place that one lives. In my personal experience a lot of what Berelson says is

true. I believe however, that all of the personal reasons are more influential

than all the other categories that Berelson presents. Also, among all the

personal reasons I would have to say that personal extension, personal

experience, and personal pleasure are in my view the things that most influence

one to have children. When you take into account all the topics of this whole

essay Berelson has really made you think in detail about why you yourself had

child(ren) or why you would want to. I think this was really Berelson?s

objective and I think he accomplishes it very well.


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