It is difficult to examine the question of the division of labor within the household in Malthus’ writings as it seems to be entirely outside the scope of his work. Though his conclusions are predicated on the relationship between men and women, from reading his writing one has the distinct impression that women are not really a factor. In spite of this, an examination of the implications inherent in Malthus’ analysis is revealing of some basic assumptions he makes regarding the economic role of women. With particular regard to the question of agency within the marriage, Malthus’ arguments and conclusions are in opposition to the arguments put forth by Smith in his Lectures on Jurisprudence.
Malthus builds his argument upon two axiomatic statements: “First, that food is necessary to the existence of man. Secondly, that the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state” (Malthus, 1798, Ch 1). Though he does not identify it as such, Malthus makes a third assumption: “Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ration. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio” (Ch 1). What this creates, in his model, is a society that is driven by population pressures to expand and held back by a variety of checks. These checks divide into two basic categories, preventive and active. The active checks are what Malthus terms “vice” and “misery” and are interesting for the purposes of this paper only in that they are unavoidable aspects of every society. The preventive checks, however, are all predicated on members of society delaying marriage. These preventive checks, while they vary in the speci...
... middle of paper ...
...besides the cost they incur on the men who father their children.
In conclusion, we return to Adam Smith’s model of marriage in his Lectures on Jurisprudence. For him, marriage was predicated on the next generation. It was a tool, not only to provide for the next generation as with Malthus, but for the very existence of children capable of inheriting and continuing the family line. Malthus creates a much more dismal perspective of children, the only product of women, as mere dead weight. In providing the next generation, women merely increase the pressure of population on the food supply, with no consideration on a micro level of the advantages of child bearing.
Malthus, Thomas R (1798). Essay on the Principle of Population [Electronic Version]. Retrieved September 19, 2003, from http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/ public/MalPopu.html
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Women in Video Games In the beginning, according to some, there was Adam and Eve. The story is a familiar one. It is taught to churchgoers from an early age. However, the tale of genesis and paradise bears a deeper meaning concerning the roles of its principle characters. Think of Adam. He was created in God’s image, and is the default model upon which the rest of humanity is based. Think of Eve. She was created as an after-thought, using Adam’s rib, and is of lesser importance and strength. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, it is Eve who gives in to temptation and gets the both of them thrown out of paradise.... [tags: patriarchal notions, stereotypes]
2390 words (6.8 pages)
- The Systematic Destruction of Women's Agency in Juárez, Mexico As citizens, people rely on the state as an agent that acts on their behalf, by providing them with benefits such as basic protection. However, the state itself derives its power (or agency) from the fact that its citizens give up some of their individual agency in exchange for the benefits that belonging to a state provides. People are, thus, both the creators and the subjects of the state. In Juárez, Mexico the state has been shaped by a patriarchy that is very oppressive to women.... [tags: Gender Culture Murder Women's Agency Papers]
4371 words (12.5 pages)
- The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is a regulatory agency in Florida which was created under the Health Care Reform Acts of 1992. The purpose of the Health Reform Acts of 1992 was to ensure efficient quality and affordable health care services were available to all Floridians by the end of 1994. Florida, in the 1980’s, had a very large population of uninsured residents and a large population of senior citizen, practically all of whom are insured by Medicare; and its Medicare expenditures per eligible beneficiary were the highest in the nation (Florida Agency For Health Care Administration).... [tags: regulatory agency, ]
1197 words (3.4 pages)
- The DIA started in 1958. The organizational structure of the DoD and U.S. foreign intelligence came to a new shape with the establishment of DIA. It was Robert McNamara, then Secretary of Defense, who came up with the concept of DIA in 1961. DIA gathers human source intelligence, analyzes technical intelligence, distributes intelligence/reports to the intelligence agencies, provides advice and support to the Joint Chiefs of Staff with foreign military intelligence, and provides military intelligence to combatant commands as its operational functions.... [tags: intelligence agency, dia, foreign intelligence]
988 words (2.8 pages)
- This paper will explore the economic differences between men and women and will talk about the current solutions as well as future possibilities. While overlooking and misrepresenting women’s experiences was the original reason for feminists’ disappointment with mainstream economics; by the 1980s feminists were also making another valid argument. Many feminist economists were finding that conventional choice-theoretic modeling and a constricted focus on mathematical and econometric methods were weighed down by the connection it has to other items such as tradition, and relations of governance.... [tags: Economics]
901 words (2.6 pages)
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote for and spoke to an audience throughout the United States during the Progressive Era where changes were occurring due to industrialization. In “Women and Economics”, Gilman, described the constraints American women faced for economic freedom. Gilman began her analysis by exploring in depth the values of a wife/women, and the restrictions on women’s work within the capitalist economy. She considered the loss of individuality and societal productivity the cause to restrictions of a wife/women’s work and economic dependency on men.... [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics, Wom]
629 words (1.8 pages)
- The Harm Principle in the 21st Century I intend to reassess the main criticisms levelled against John Stuart Mill's, Harm Principle. I will argue that his Principle has, with the benefit of hindsight, had a positive rather than negative influence upon society and given a framework within which citizens can be free to accept or reject options. I will show that, On Liberty is as significant today as when it was first published. Mill's Harm Principle says that, other things being equal, we should be free from interference either by the state or an individual.... [tags: John Stuart Mills Harm Principle Essays]
3458 words (9.9 pages)
- Structure and agency are two theoretical terms used to explain the capacity at which we as people are able to be individuals, and to what extent those influences limit our individuality. Structure refers to the ways in which a society is organized. Agency refers to the behaviors and actions of the individuals within the social structure. Agency is limited by the structure due to cultural barriers and inequalities within the structure. In this essay, I will present an overview of why critical theorists are concerned with those inequalities, and I will further identify the problems within the system contributing to the unequal access to the public sphere, relating specifically to class and ge... [tags: Sociology]
1549 words (4.4 pages)
- Buying a new home can either be an exciting experience in someones life, or can be a major heache with serious consequences. I was fortunate enough to get a house the a VA loan, and the process was somewhat more simple, because I did not have to do the majority of tasks by myself. I advise all of my friends and family, or whomever wants to purchase a home to consider many factors before making that decsions. Principles of economics plays a vital role in the decision making process when wanting to purchase a home.... [tags: Economics]
1782 words (5.1 pages)
- Sex as a Means of Agency “A woman’s harder to conquer than any beast, than fire, and no panther is quite so ferocious.” (Aristophanes 1058) Life for an Athenian woman was marked by her daily occupation to the household and its occupants. This was the sphere of life where she was able to exert the most power and maintain a certain degree of agency. Her domestic duties included attendance to her husband, and his sexual needs. In the comic portrayal of women in Lysistrata, Aristophanes exploits this domestic power to create a scenario where “the harsh and intractable realities of life, politics and international aggression are transformed so that wives manage to overcome husbands, love conqu... [tags: Aristophanes Female Women Essays]
1200 words (3.4 pages)