Families, sex and population

"Families hold societies together, and intergenerational relationships extend this legacy over time. This year’s International Day of Families is an opportunity to reflect on how they are affected by social and economic trends" - Ban Ki Moon

Parallel to this link between families and society is the overall correlation between generations and population. We already know that if governments invest in family planning they can manage population growth to a sustainable pace. With access to reproductive health services a family can choose to have 4 generations within 100 years as opposed to 6.

Population growth, age structure and characteristics all have a profound impact on human development and the economy. 

This change in population dynamics results in the 'boom' generation (a large generation of young people). Critically, comprehensive sexuality education must be widely accessible for them. This young generation is a potential powerhouse, capable of providing the most long-lasting benefits above any other. But to achieve national development targets governments must meet certain conditions by the time this young group is of working age. These goals include universal education and public health, and accessible sexual and reproductive health services. A healthy, educated population provides a robust workforce.

For 50-75 years Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan capitalized on their age structure. This delivered approximately 25-40% of their economic success for more than 40 years.

Inequalities and marginalization within society can be overcome by building on the long-term benefits of family planning. But we must ensure access to comprehensive sexuality education for all. Today, we have the largest generation of young people around the world, ever. Social trends must progress so that sex, HIV and abortion are not taboo. On International Day of Families this should start at home with families talking with their youth about sexual health.