Technological influences and cultural shifts that have occurred in human populations
Due to the diverse nature of human cultures, the earth’s environment is always changing. Scientific research into the sociobiological debate of natural selection can be based on both cultural and acultural models (Rogers 1988). This can help us understand different choices that our species make and they way of which Homo Sapiens depend on unnatural resources for survival (Taylor 2010). This can be observed through examining patterns relating to population distribution data and by analysing the causes of diverse sex ratios throughout the world. Humans intervene in natural processes in order to achieve their personal interests and collective goals within their environment (Schutkowski 2006). This is fundamental towards survival and is extremely characteristic of our intellectual capabilities to make choice.
With the world’s population set to rise to 9.22 billion by 2075, different governments have employed varied responses (UN report 2004). Because of the way in which our species consistently makes cultural decisions, political resolutions have been established in many countries to regulate population growth. Birth control is a controversial issue, however in the past, countries have enforced this technique in order to stabilise economies or even age their populations. An example of this taking place is in China in 1979. In recent years, the one child policy has been regarded as one of the most important social policies ever implemented (Potts 2006). Despite a rise in economic prosperity over the past 50 years, China’s policy brought many negative effects. Some of these consequences are represented by the rise in gender-biased procedures such as female infanticide, forced abortions and the underreporting of female births. Despite the primary objective being that of creating a small-family culture, issues such as the violation of human rights were brought into question (Hesketh 2005).
Due to the way in which technological advancements have shaped modern societies, legislation is consistently regulating the use of medical techniques such as genetic modification. In some countries such as Korea and India, this is bypassed by the use of sex-selective abortion as well as other means. The sex ratio at birth in these countries has been changed at three levels: in the population at large, between families, and within families (Park and Cho 1995). Gender selection is welcomed by many societies with gender-specific preference, especially those patriarchal societies such as Chinese communities. This is due to the way in which a more labour intensive environment is known to favour workers of a male gender (Chan 2002). Evidence has shown that son preference is manifest in sex-selective abortion and in discrimination in care practices for girls, both of which lead to higher female mortality. This has been well documented and scientists predict that gender equilibrium would require 80 million more females in China and India alone (Hesketh and Xing 2006). Such gender imbalance can often lead to declining populations as well as huge social uproar about women’s rights and the dangers of gender selection.
Although it is important to recognize that unnatural selection occurs in many senses, it is perhaps equally has fundamental to comprehend the way of which humanity survives as a result of choices. The freedom to think and make decisions as a raise can be reflected through our relative success in a fast-changing environment.
Schutkowski, H., 2006. Human Ecology: Biocultural Adaptations in Human Communities, Chapter 1 ‘History, concepts and prospects’, Available from:
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Hesketh, T., et al. 2005. The Effect of China’s One-Child Family Policy after 25 Years, Volume: 353 (1171-1176), Available from: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMhpr051833 [1st March 2012]
Potts, M., 2006, China’s one child policy, Volume 333, Available from: http://www.bmj.com/content/333/7564/361.extract [1st March 2012]
Taylor, T.T., 2010. The artificial ape: how technology changed the course of human evolution, Available from: http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_artificial_ape.html?id=T8ccYtPNJxsC [1st March 2012].
Rogers, A.R., 1988. Does Biology Constrain Culture?. American Anthropologist, 90, 819–831. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/aa.1988.90.4.02a00030/references [1st March 2012].
Hesketh, T.H., and Xing, Z.W., 2006. Abnormal sex ratios in human populations: Causes and consequences, Available from: http://www.pnas.org/content 103/36/13271.short [1st March 2012]
Chan, C.L.W. et al., 2002. Gender Selection in China: Its Meanings and Implications, Volume 19 (9), Available from: http://www.springerlink.com/content/57ptpl6wx7j83tl6/ [1st March 2012]
Park, C.B., and Cho, N.H., 1995. Consequences of Son Preference in a Low-Fertility Society: Imbalance of the Sex Ratio at Birth in Korea. Population and Development Review, Volume 21 (59-84), Available from: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2137413?uid=3738032&uid=2&uid=4&sid=47698871294877 [1st March 2012]