juliana peck Posted over 3 years ago The conventional wisdom of demographers is fundamentally flawed. 'Believers' - it would be beneficial if there were a definition of what is meant by this term. My first thought was that it could refer to religious beliefs, but I have reread several times and sense that it is meaning belief in bearing large families; My husband and I have a large family, and that choice was made for personal reasons, but not due to religious beliefs. We have always been concerned with the global aspect of the environment and personal consumption of resources. Our family lived minimally. We never were large scale consumers. I'd actually propose that our large family consumed less than a family of 2 or 3 children where there may have been more income available for such things. Also, not one of our children wants to have a large family. So the 'characteristic' presented, in this instance, does not fit. In countries such as Mexico, women bear multiple children for religious reasons. A woman's status in this particular culture is raised when she has a large family. Also, machismo plays a role in the family culture. Changing this deeply embedded belief would be a cultural revolution. I agree that demographers need to focus on these cultural groups mindsets and trends in order to have a true predictor of future birth rates. I have twin daughters (20) who are currently using birth control. But for completely different reasons. Melinda Gates addressed valid concerns which need to be addressed globally. A woman's personal reasons for using birth control should never be the issue. Access is the issue.