A.E. Pooley
1911 The Lancet  
255 barrenness," nor follow Mr. Bernard Shaw's antics amongst the marriage-laws ; nor agree that the medical profession must first attack the " lamentable state of the English marriage and divorce laws." Let Captain Berkeley-Hill explain his objections and his alternative. Does he think that middle-class women refuse to marry because the marriage service follows general custom and expediency in prescribing that man, as breadwinner and protector, shall be the responsible head of the household ?
more » ... r that they refuse to bear children because they have fallen in love with another man, while their husband remains faithful ? Or is he opposed to monogamy or perhaps to any marriage tie as the essential preliminary to propagation in the eyes of the law ? If so, he is against civilisation and neither he nor Mr. Shaw has proved his point. Pending such proof, Sir, I would submit that the chief and obvious factors 'in the decline of the birth-rate are : (1) the knowledge of methods of prevention and the ignorance of its results ; (2) competition in every detail of life and the consequent economic stress ; (3) indulgence and lack of discipline ; or, in other words, the rational, the economic, and the moral factors. As medical men we are concerned only with the rational factor and should insist, both in public and private, on the value of nature's own checks and
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(01)42098-8 fatcat:meioi3tmzranhizpmi5wtuk33a