In the 70 – 80's, Singapore was undergoing social change. If you were poorly educated and not rich, the state was not going to take care of you and your children. And strongly advised to undergo sterilization. Such a policy traumatized many women who dreamed that they, like their mothers, would have a large loving family. Faced with a difficult choice, many of them in those years fell under the knife of a surgeon.
Now the state has radically changed its policy. AdMe.ru tells what was the reason and how the need arose for such barbaric birth control methods.
Fighting the Post-War Baby Boom
After World War II, Singapore lacked homes, schools, and medical facilities. A lot of people were unemployed, lived in abandoned houses or in their dilapidated shops. There was a strong lack of food, and even drinking water was imported from neighboring Malaysia.
The situation was aggravated by rapid population growth. And from 1949 of the year, the Family Planning Association appeared in Singapore, which provided family counseling and offered contraception. Growth rates decreased from 4 – 5% in 1950's to 2,5% in 1965. But the government still considered them too high.
Since 1970, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has begun implementing the Stop for Two program.
Women were allowed to have abortions.
Uneducated Singaporeans were encouraged to sterilize. To complete the procedure, they were given $ 10 000 and a week of paid leave.
Many women (including those before 25 years) after the birth of the 2 child were forced to undergo surgery on the fallopian tubes. Otherwise, they would lose the opportunity to choose a school for older children and would be excluded from the housing queue.
People who had the courage to have an 3 child paid higher taxes and additional fees. Public sector workers were deprived of the opportunity to take maternity leave for 3 and subsequent babies. Moreover, for some, the amounts were unbearable: for example, saleswoman Mary Co. had to have an abortion in 1976, because she and her husband did not have $ 150 (obstetric fee for the 3 child).
The heyday of the Stop for Two program
The fight against overpopulation was carried out more subtly - the introduction of ideological principles:
“Small families are a bright future: two are enough.”
"The second can wait."
“Marrying as a teenager means hurrying with problems. A happy marriage should be expected. ”
It bore fruit. According to gynecologist Paul Tan, a day before 9 sterilization operations were performed.
“The women said:“ Doctor, I think I'm pregnant again, ”as if they had committed a crime,” he recalled.
And as a result, the population growth rate fell so much that the government decided to change its policy.
Very few children began to be born, and the population of Singapore began to decline. And Lee Kuan Yew was worried: according to his observations, men more often married low-intellectual women, instead of marrying smart ones. Introduced a new program, this time encouraging educated women to have 3 or 4 children. Mothers who graduated from the university received tax credits and priority right to housing.
And by 1987, the government called on all parents to have as many children as they can afford, and removed all restrictions. However, the country's population continues to decline, and if in the 1960 year an average of 6 children were born per 1 woman, then in the 2007 m - 1,29.
What the experiment led to
If we do not take into account the moral aspects of this experiment, we can identify the following observations.
More children are born to women with low income and no higher than secondary education (the 3, and even more so the 4 baby in a family of educated Singaporeans is a rarity). However, an intelligent child can also appear in a family of people with ordinary abilities: intelligence is transmitted to the baby from the mother by no more than 40%, and the rest is the result of his perseverance and environmental impact.
Among men, people with secondary or incomplete secondary education are more often left alone. And among unmarried women, most of all those who have received higher education.
People only need cash incentives to start large families. Starting in 2001, Singapore began to pay benefits for the 2 child ($ 9 000) and 3 child ($ 18 000). However, young people are more focused on career than on family.
In China, where the softer “1979 child in the family” policy has been pursued since 1, the population continues to grow, but at a slower pace. If in 1949 the birth rate (number of children per 1 woman) was 5,54 of a child, then in 2017 it was 1,24. As a rule, in cities people were easily limited to 1 as a child, because he demanded large expenses, and the villagers, contrary to the ban, gave birth to more 2.
What happens now
Lee Kuan Yu was convinced that a successful society requires smart people, and they only appear in families with educated parents. Since 1984, when the government began organizing events for university graduates, the policy of positive eugenics has continued. There are state marriage agencies that pick people a pair of the appropriate social level. At the agency there are places for meetings in private, a network of sports clubs, cinemas, cafes and pools.
In order to encourage young people to get married, there are joint tea parties, wine tastings, culinary master classes and even romantic cruises.
After the wedding, such newlyweds receive a large loan to purchase a home.
For university students, the government introduced a new subject - the lessons of love. On them, girls and guys watch romantic films, learn how to recognize interest in themselves, and hold hands to get rid of complexes.
In fact, the number of inhabitants in Singapore would gradually decrease without a tough government policy. In many countries around the world, including other Southeast Asian states, people later marry and have fewer children. In cities, both women and men are more likely to succeed in work than to create a family.
Most likely, the country's population will continue to decline. Unless the government begins to take care of children from birth, so that their parents can stay on the job.
Do you think that the government has the right to intervene in the personal life of the family, make couples or control the birth rate during times of crisis?