duction and contraceptive methods, and the practice of family planning.
Against the background of the demographic argument, presented in the preceding section, we must inquire into the social factors, broadly defined, that are involved in population growth and its control. Here we deal with many of the basic elements affecting human behavior: cultural institutions, religious beliefs, economic arrangements, family organization, sexual practices. All these and more are involved in the determination of attitudes and practices related to human fertility and in any effort to change such attitudes and practices.
It is encouraging to note that the norm of the small family and the practice of family limitation have been established across a wide range of societies: across religious affiliations (Catholic Southern Europe and Protestant Northern Europe); political ideologies (the United States and the Soviet bloc); industrial and agricultural economies, rich and poor nations, better-educated and poorer-educated societies (all European); the West and the East (as in Japan); and, just beginning, the tropical countries as well as the temperate ones.
Almost every survey on attitudes toward family planning, from urban areas in the United States to villages in India, shows that a large proportion of people say they are favorable to the idea of limiting family size, and especially after the third or fourth child—roughly 60 to 80 per cent over all, both men and women. The figures vary somewhat from one locality to another and, of course, the interview questions are varied, but there is an impressive body of favorable interview responses from Mysore and Singur in India; from low-income women in Pakistan; from Mexican factory workers; from Ceylon and Japan; from Jamaica and Puerto Rico; from the United States and Great Britain. Many persons of the world are now persuaded, at least in principle, of the desirability of limiting family size—limiting the birth of children to the number wanted, when they are wanted. The major single reason for this attitude toward family planning, in all areas where it exists, is concern for the economic welfare of the family—a better standard of living and a better chance in life for all children.
Information about family planning is unevenly disseminated in all countries, especially in the less-developed areas; it is usually sparse