to guide group discussion:
1. What, if anything, in your reading and studying of this topic surprised you? Were you aware that fertility rates across the globe are declining? Is that a concern to you? Why, or why not?
2. What situations, cultural attitudes or environmental myths do you think have the biggest impact on the decision to have children? What has had the largest impact on your decision to have, or not have, children?
3. What laws and public policies, good or bad, have inadvertently affected the amount of children families choose to have? (Examples: Seat belt regulations affect the number of children you can have in a car…)
4. Have countries been successful in encouraging increased fertility? What incentives could governments offer in order to encourage couples to have more children (Example; tax deductions)?
5. What ways could countries work to offset the impact of population decreases in their countries? (Examples: Italy incentivizing people to move back into mostly abandoned communities by offering existing homes for purchase for $1. Shifting from jobs performed by humans to technological/mechanized solutions.) Do you believe these possible solutions have long-term viability?
6. In what ways do some governments try to restrict births and fertility rates? When they do restrict births, who does it tend to marginalize?
7. Discuss the “pet culture” and why couples decide to have pets instead of children. Is that trend a healthy one? What psychosocial factors are part of a decision to have pets instead of children?
8. What employer policies could be contributing to couples’ decision to have, or not have, children? How could we advocate with employers, to introduce more pro-family policies?
9. Population control is not the answer for addressing climate change, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take steps to protect our environment. What steps can you take individually to ensure our planet can support its population? (Conserve, eliminate waste, recycle, etc.)
10. What impact do religious organizations play on fertility rate in their communities?
11. What thoughts do you have in regards to your children and their future? What theories and ideas, currently pushed by the media and society, concern you?