What Will Be The Long-Term Development Of The Population Of The German Reich After The First World War? – Introduction and Abstract


Picture: en.wikipedia.org

General Introduction
The 1920’s and 1930’s are among the most interesting periods in the history of modelling and forecasting. The continuous decline of Western birth rates in the inter-war period set alarm bells ringing. Concerns about the future size and growth of the populations of these nations were heightened by long-term extrapolations of time series, and by population projections and population forecasts. Concerns turned to acute anxiety after it became to appear that the leading Western European nations would not replace their populations. The imminent population decrease threatened to diminish the relative power of what were called in those days the ‘civilized’ nations and ultimaltely to result in ‘race suicide’ (the extinction of populations).
In some countries statisticians, demographers, or economists developed population projection methodology in order to free current debates on the population issue from emotional, subjective argument. In the two leading Fascist countries – but in other countries as well – population numbers were seen as the key to economic, political and military strenght. 

From the book Populations, Projections and Politics. Critical and Historical Essays on Early Twentieth Century Population Forecasting. Edited by Jochen Fleischhacker, Henk A. de Gans and Thomas Burch, The Rozenberg Quarterly already published the essay by Henk A. de Gans – The Innovation of Population Forecasting Methodology in the Inter-War Period: The Case of The Netherlands.

As second essay from the book we present: Wie wird sich die Bevölkerung des Deutschen Reiches langfristig nach dem Erstem Weltkrieg entwickeln? Die ersten amtlichen Bevölkerungsvorausberechnungen in den 1920er Jahren.

In this essay Jochen Fleischhacker discusses the first official population forecasts of the German Reich in the 1920s. After the end of Wold War I concern in the German Reich increased that a slowing/deteriorating growth of population could have lasting consequences for society and the economy. This concern was based on population forecasts computed by official Reich statisticians in the 1920s. These calculations were primarily based on the initial demographic position of Germany after the end of World War 1. A quantifying of future demographic developments/trends was founded on different assumptions relating both the natural increase and to migration. Fertility trends before and after 1918 became a center of interest. The question of future demographic development influenced by this continuously decreasing birth rate was a focal point of the authors of the first official population forecast published by the German Statistical Office (Das Statistisches Reichsamt) in 1926.
Following the ideas of the American biologist Sir Peter Brian Medawar (1915-1987), one could say that forecasters were led by the illusion that the complexity of the factors which influence fertility behaviour could be summed up in only one number. Measurements such as the net reproductive rate (NRR) became the numerical expression of the fertility behavior of the population. Differential fertility became a central feature of the demographic forecasts and was used for constructing “high and low quality” sub-populations, for instance for invalids and widows. This social classification was seen as associated with differences in the reproductive behavior, and as having direct implications for population policy. These 1926 projections showed clearly what high social costs the German Reich was going to face. Various possibilities in the realm of social and family policies were discussed in order to get a grip on the declining birth and fertility rates. Suggestions for material and non-material support of families and for securing the social situation of the ageing population of Germany were broadly discussed after 1930. Surprisingly enough it is hard to find any previous studies of this discussion.

Abstract: What Will Be The Long-Term Development Of The Population Of The German Reich After The First World War? The first official population forecasts in the 1920s.
This article will acquaint the reader with the first demographic forecasts of the national statistical office of the German Reich, which were carried out in the 1920s. I will discuss the major changes in the age structure of the population of Germany during and after the First World War. In addition, I will analyse the calculation models used and the results, in addition to sketching out the implications for population politics.

The First World War meant the end of steady population growth and also the end of a balanced age structure of the population (cf. Graph 9.1, see Article = referring to the article by Prof.dr. Fleischhacker published next to this abstract- – Age structure for the German population after the census from 1925 and the present area of territory after 1919 (Altersaufbau der Bevölkerung im Deutschen Reich nach der Volkszählung 1925 und dem Gebietstand nach 1919)) During the war years the population decreased by 5.9 million, dropping to a level of “just” 61.9 million. Demographic development was disrupted by the war in several ways: there were drastic reductions in the number of marriages and births, increases in the average age at marriage for both men and women and, of course, an enormous increase in mortality for young men. The official statistical reports summarised the changing age and sex structure of the population with the words: “more adults, but fewer children”.
Comparing the statistics of 1925 to those of 1910, the percentage of children under 15 decreased by 17.9% and that of 15 to 65 year-olds by 20%. At the same time the percentage of people over 65 years of age increased by 25.6%. Between 1914 and 1919 there were approximately 3.3 million fewer children born than would have been normal. Declines in the birth rate were also a standard feature of post-war times. In 1912 the percentage of children under 15 of the total population was 33.9. This dropped by 1925 to 25.8%.

Losses in the male population affected the age groups above 20. They led to a long-term imbalance in the sex structure of the population in the form of a large excess of women (cf. Graph 9.2, see article – Numbers of people who died or soldiers killed in action in age groups (in 1000) (Die im Weltkrieg gefallenen und gestorbenen deutschen Militärpersonen nach Altersjahren (in 1000)). This phenomenon had a significant influence on marriage trends. In 1913 the average age at first marriage was approximately 27.5 for men. It rose to 29.0 by 1919.
The corresponding figure for the female population rose in the same period from 24.7 to 26.0. According to statistical estimates there were about 870,000 fewer marriages during the war years than one normally would have expected. As a result, birth rates dropped from 27.1‰ in 1913 to 22.1‰ in the years from 1921 to 1925.
Against the backdrop of these disturbances in the structure and total size of the population the German statistical office produced its first population forecasts in 1926. They predicted that shifts in age structure would determine demographic trends for the coming decades. Their aim was to forecast population growth and developments in birth rates for the period from 1925 to 1975 (cf. Graph 9.3, see article– Marriages, Birth and Death in Germany, 1. First quarter 1913 -3. quarter 1925 (per 1000 inhabitants) (Eheschliessungen, Geburten und Sterbefälle im Deutschen Reich, 1. Vierteljahr 1913 – 3. Vierteljahr 1925, (auf 1000 Einwohner))).

They assumed constant age-specific mortality rates over this period. In addition, they assumed a closed population. Age-specific marital fertility was considered the decisive factor influencing future population developments. Mean values of age-specific fertility were calculated for the respective five-year child-bearing age groups on the basis of average marital fertility in the years 1924-1925. The degree of participation of the respective five-year age group in annual marital fertility was determined along with the size of the child-bearing age groups. The change factor for the marriage trend was calculated under the assumption that the proportion of married women in all age groups would change to the same extent as the entire stock of female population. The forecasts were carried out for three hypothetical cases of development. In the first case the annual number of live births within wedlock from 1925 to 1927 remains constant at the level of 1923. In the second case marital fertility remains at the average level of live births calculated for the years 1924 and 1925, taking into consideration the number of live births in 1923. In the third case marital fertility sinks from the average of the years 1924-1925 at a decreasing pace by a total of 25% up to the year 1955. After that marital fertility remains constant.

The results of these three different forecasts show the extent to which the number of live births and marital fertility is influenced by the age structure of the female population of childbearing age (Graph 9.4, see article – Number of births and marital fertility combined with the three assumed development
cases. Assumption: I Number of births is constant to 1975; II marital fertility is constant to 1975; III marital fertility is declining to 1955 at 25% and after this period constant (Zahl der Lebendgeborenen und die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit gemäss den drei für die Berechnungen angenommenen Entwicklungsfällen)).
The calculations exhibit noticeable changes particularly in the third case. As a consequence of the significant decrease in marital fertility and the structural changes stemming from the entrance of the numerically weak birth years of 1915 to 1919 into the age group with the “highest fertility”, the annual number of births drops constantly. This trend determines the long-term demographic development, leading to an uneven age distribution and to altered population dynamics. In all three cases of potential development there is a decrease in population growth, which occurs more or less rapidly, however,depending on the individual case (cf. Graph 9.5, see article – Development of the total population from 1925 to 1975 with the three assumed development cases. I Number of births is constant to 1975; II marital fertility is constant to 1975; III marital fertility is declining to 1955 at 25% and after this period constant. (Die Entwicklung der Bevölkerungszahl von 1925 bis 1975 unter der Annahme I, II und III)).
On the basis of the forecasts of the total population the Statistical Office made calculations for the development of the corresponding birth- and death rates for the period 1925-1975.
These forecasts show once again, in all three cases, a rapidly aging population (cf. Graph 9.6, see article – Development of Births and Deaths (in 1000 of the total population) (Die Entwicklung der Geburten- und Sterbeziffer (in 1000 der Bevölkerung))).

A second, entirely new forecast was carried out in 1930 for a period of over 75 years. The main focus was on the downward trend in births and fertility in the postwar years. This development was interpreted as a “conscious will to limit the rearing of children”. The substantive question was whether future demographic developments would be characterised by wavelike drops in the number of births resulting from the combination of structural changes and waning reproductive behaviour. To estimate future population development a calculation model was chosen for evaluating the interaction of age-structure and average rates per women. Changed individual marital fertility behaviour is viewed as the most influential component. A trend is calculated for marital fertility for the entire female population of childbearing age for the years 1922 to 1927. For purposes of determining standardised fertility rates, structural influences and the changed age structure of women of childbearing age or fluctuations in economic trends are not taken into consideration. In order to be able to judge the changes in marital developments, one first determined the proportion of married women of childbearing age.

First, one calculated standardised age-at-marriage figures for the male population in relation to marital frequency for the years 1910/1911, in order to be able to calculate the difference between expected and actual marriages for each age group in the years 1924 to 1927. The connections between altered marriage frequency and reproductive behaviour of the entire population were determined on the basis of data on marital trends in Prussia. Taken in reference to marriage duration and birth parity of the first, second, third, fourth and further births, these data show a decline in first and second births for the years 1922 to 1927. Mortality assumptions for the forecast, were based on the German life table for 1924-1926, and age-specific mortality figures were taken to be constant over the projection period. Emigration and immigration flows were excluded from the calculations.
To calculate the birth and marital fertility trends two hypothetical cases were formulated.
In the first case (A), the annual number of live births remains equal to the number of live births in the year 1927.
In the second case (B), marital and extra-marital fertility declines from the level of 1927 by a total of 25% by 1955. The shifts in age and sex structure of the population stemming from the First World War continue wavelike into the future under the conditions of both hypothetical cases. The transition of the boom years (people born between 1905 and 1909) from middle age to the over-65 age group means an increase in the percentage of elderly (cf. Graph 9.7, see article – Changes in the composition of age groups which are influenced through the ageing of the present total population (Veränderungen in der Besetzung der Altersklassen durch das Altern des gegenwärtigen Bevölkerungsbestandes)). The relative number of people married drops after 1940, as the low-birth generation born during the war moves into the age groups with the highest marriage frequency.

The results of these three different forecasts show the extent to which the number of live births and marital fertility is influenced by the age structure of the female population of childbearing age (Graph 9.4, see article – Number of births and marital fertility combined with the three assumed development cases.
Assumption: I Number of births is constant to 1975;
II marital fertility is constant to 1975;
III marital fertility is declining to 1955 at 25% and after this period constant (Zahl der Lebendgeborenen und die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit gemäss den drei für die Berechnungen angenommenen Entwicklungsfällen)).

The calculations exhibit noticeable changes particularly in the third case. As a consequence of the significant decrease in marital fertility and the structural changes stemming from the entrance of the numerically weak birth years of 1915 to 1919 into the age group with the “highest fertility”, the annual number of births drops constantly. This trend determines the long-term demographic development, leading to an uneven age distribution and to altered population dynamics. In all three cases of potential development there is a decrease in population growth, which occurs more or less rapidly, however,depending on the individual case (cf. Graph 9.5, see page 172 – Development of the total population from 1925 to 1975 with the three assumed development cases.
I Number of births is constant to 1975;
II marital fertility is constant to 1975;
III marital fertility is declining to 1955 at 25% and after this period constant. (Die Entwicklung der Bevölkerungszahl von 1925 bis 1975 unter der Annahme I, II und III)).
On the basis of the forecasts of the total population the Statistical Office made calculations for the development of the corresponding birth- and death rates for the period 1925-1975.

These forecasts show once again, in all three cases, a rapidly aging population (cf. Graph 9.6, see article – Development of Births and Deaths (in 1000 of the total population) (Die Entwicklung der Geburten- und Sterbeziffer (in 1000 der Bevölkerung))).
A second, entirely new forecast was carried out in 1930 for a period of over 75 years. The main focus was on the downward trend in births and fertility in the postwar years. This development was interpreted as a “conscious will to limit the rearing of children”. The substantive question was whether future demographic developments would be characterised by wavelike drops in the number of births resulting from the combination of structural changes and waning reproductive behaviour. To estimate future population development a calculation model was chosen for evaluating the interaction of age-structure and average rates per women. Changed individual marital fertility behaviour is viewed as the most influential component. A trend is calculated for marital fertility for the entire female population of childbearing age for the years 1922 to 1927. For purposes of determining standardised fertility rates, structural influences and the changed age structure of women of childbearing age or fluctuations in economic trends are not taken into consideration. In order to be able to judge the changes in marital developments, one first determined the proportion of married women of childbearing age. First, one calculated standardised age-at-marriage figures for the male population in relation to marital frequency for the years 1910/1911, in order to be able to calculate the difference between expected and actual marriages for each age group in the years 1924 to 1927. The connections between altered marriage frequency and reproductive behaviour of the entire population were determined on the basis of data on marital trends in Prussia. Taken in reference to marriage duration and birth parity of the first, second, third, fourth and further births, these data show a decline in first and second births for the years 1922 to 1927. Mortality assumptions for the forecast, were based on the German life table for 1924-1926, and age-specific mortality figures were taken to be constant over the projection period. Emigration and immigration flows were excluded from the calculations.

To calculate the birth and marital fertility trends two hypothetical cases were formulated. In the first case (A), the annual number of live births remains equal to the number of live births in the year 1927. In the second case (B), marital and extra-marital fertility declines from the level of 1927 by a total of 25% by 1955. The shifts in age and sex structure of the population stemming from the First World War continue wavelike into the future under the conditions of both hypothetical cases. The transition of the boom years (people born between 1905 and 1909) from middle age to the over-65 age group means an increase in the percentage of elderly (cf. Graph 9.7, see article – Changes in the composition of age groups which are influenced through the ageing of the present total population (Veränderungen in der Besetzung der Altersklassen durch das Altern des gegenwärtigen Bevölkerungsbestandes)). The relative number of people married drops after 1940, as the low-birth generation born during the war moves into the age groups with the highest marriage frequency.

The surplus of women in the age groups 25 to 50 leads to an increase in the number of so-called late marriages. To calculate the number of live births and marital fertility, a third case of potential development (C) was added: marital and extra-marital fertility remains constant at the level of 1927.
Above all in this third case, one sees that transition of the generation born in the low-birth years of 1915 to 1919 into childbearing age from 1935 to 1945 introduces a decrease in the number of births. These trends continue into the future as well.

Graph 9.8, see article – Numbers of Births and Development of Fertility (Zahl der Lebendgeborenen und Geburtenhäufigkeit) shows the development of case A in relation to the number of births and of case B in relation to marital fertility from 1927 to 2000. In case A marital fertility drops up to 1935 at the same rate as the number of live births rises, assuming constant marital fertility. Comparing the curves for the number of births and of marital fertility, we see that as early as 1927 the level of marital fertility was too low to keep the annual number of births constant. The consequence of a marital fertility level that is too low is wavelike drops in births, which are greatest under the conditions of the second case (B).
The population dynamics inherent in case B lead to a loss of population starting in 1945 (cf. Graphs 9, see article – Expected development of the total population in the German Reich (Voraussichtliche Entwicklung der Bevölkerungszahl im Deutschen Reich) and Graph 9.10 Expected changes of the age structure of the total population (Die voraussichtlichen Veränderungen des Altersaufbaus der Bevölkerung)). The birth surplus drops until it reverses into a surplus of deaths in the year 1945. The drop in population that starts in 1945 accelerates thereafter. The constant decrease in the number of births means that each age group will be smaller than the one immediately preceding it. As a consequence, a new population structure is formed with “an urn that narrows as one moves downwards” and whose base becomes ever narrower (cf. Graph 9.10, see article: The white structure means the population structure for assumption A; the black structure means the population structure for assumption B). The different shapes in the age structure of case A and B have in common the fact that both exhibit an ageing of the population in general. In case B, this process is notably more dynamic: the actual birth rate and the population dynamics independent of the age structure of the population was calculated on the basis of stationary and stable population models. The Statistical Office used the theoretical methods developed by Alfred J. Lotka (1880-1949) for the calculation of the stationary and stable population model.

Instead of the NRR (Net Reproduction Rate), which was developed by Lotka, the Statistical Office calculates the value J which is approximated to NRR. Then the value J is calculated in order to prove these assumptions: the future development of total numbers of life births and the birth rate. The results
give a different picture of the replacement of the generation of mothers with the generation of daughters, as well as the decline of total population and the ageing process of the population (cf. Graph 9.11, see article – Development of Birth and Death rates (per 1000 of the total population) (Entwicklung der Geburten- und Sterbeziffer (je 1000 der Bevölkerung))).

In case B the transition from a birth surplus to a death surplus occurs already in 1936, and the population begins to shrink. The long-term effects of imbalances in age structure and of the changes in reproductive behaviour on the part of the female population on population dynamics and size are portrayed in the theoretical population model of a stable age structure. The statistical office carried out separate calculations based on the examples of population trends regarding invalids and widows, as well as of (widows’) pensions. They show clearly what high social costs the German Reich was going to be saddled with.
Various possibilities in the realm of social and family policies were discussed in the interest of getting a grip on the declining birth and fertility rates. For example: changes in the system of compensation for families with many children, various models for increasing the tax burden of childless couples and singles while lowering the burden for families with children, and the introduction of subsidies for the rearing of children in families with two children. These allowances were intended as a financial incentive for having a third child. There have been hardly any studies of the broad discussion of suggestions that took place after 1930 for the material and non-material support of families and for securing the social situation of an ageing population. It remains for future research to close the gap of our knowledge of this discussion.

This abstract accompanies the essay: Wie wird sich die Bevölkerung des Deutschen Reiches langfristig nach dem Erstem Weltkrieg entwickeln? Die ersten amtlichen
Bevölkerungsvorausberechnungen in den 1920er Jahren
published in: Populations, Projections and Politics. Critical and Historical Essays on Early Twentieth Centruy Population Forecasting. Edited by Jochen Fleischhacker, Henk A. de Gans and Thomas Burch.
Published in 2003 by Rozenberg Publishers.

Also published in the Rozenberg Quarterly: Henk A de Gans – The Innovation of Population Forecasting Methodology in the Inter-War Period: The Case of The Netherlands.

Wie wird sich die Bevölkerung des Deutschen Reiches langfristig nach dem Erstem Weltkrieg entwickeln?

Die ersten amtlichen Bevölkerungsvorausberechnungen in den 1920er Jahren.
Nach dem Ende des Ersten Weltkriegs rückten die demografischen Veränderungen in den Kriegs- und Nachkriegsjahren in das Zentrum der öffentlichen Debatten. Gegenstand statistischer Analysen bildeten die Geburtenausfälle in den Jahren 1914 bis 1919, die Übersterblichkeit der männlichen Bevölkerung und die Entstehung des Frauenüberschusses, die den Altersaufbau der Reichsbevölkerung nach dem Weltkrieg prägten. Hinzu kamen die Bevölkerungsverluste, die aus der territorialen Neugliederung des Deutschen Reichs in Folge der Umsetzung des Friedensvertrages von Versailles entstanden.1 Das Statistische Reichsamt stellte sich zur Aufgabe, die Verwerfungen in der Alters- und Geschlechtsstruktur als auch die bereits vor dem Weltkrieg eintretenden Veränderungen im Geburtenverhalten zu untersuchen und deren langfristige Auswirkungen auf die Bevölkerungsdynamik zu berechnen. Binnen vier Jahren erstellte das Statistische Reichsamt zwei demografische Vorausberechnungen über die künftige Bevölkerungsentwicklung und -struktur für das Territorium des Deutschen Reiches nach 19192 (Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 316, 1926 und Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 401, II, 1930). Die Grundlage für diese ersten zwei amtlichen Vorausberechnungen boten die Ergebnisse der Volkszählungen der Jahre 1910, 1919 und 1925.

Es wurden weitere statistische Erhebungen und Ergebnisse zur natürlichen Bevölkerungsbewegung im Deutschen Reichsterritorium nach dem Erstem Weltkrieg hinzugenommen (Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 276, 1922; Statistik des Deutschen Reiches, 316, 1926; Statistik des Deutschen Reiches, Sonderhefte zu Wirtschaft + Statistik, 5, 1929, Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 360, 1930, Statistik des Deutschen Reiches, 401, I +II, 1930).

In der ersten 1926 erschienenen Vorausberechnung wurde die Entwicklung der Bevölkerungsdynamik und -struktur für einen Zeitraum von 50 Jahren (1925 bis 1975) und in der zweiten, 1930 erschienen, für einen Zeitraum von 75 Jahren (1930 bis 2000) und darüber hinaus erstellt.3 Nahe zeitgleich hier zu erarbeitete der Bevölkerungsstatistiker Friedrich Burgdörfer (1890-1967) eine weitere demografische Vorausberechnung.4
In diesem Beitrag werden folgende Inhalte diskutiert:

1 Die wesentlichen Veränderungen im Altersaufbau der Bevölkerung des Deutschen Reichs in Folge des Ersten Weltkrieges.
2 Die erste amtliche Vorausberechnung und die Berechnungsmodelle zur Beschreibung der strukturbedingten ehelichen Fruchtbarkeitsentwicklung und deren Auswirkungen auf den Bevölkerungsbestand und seine Struktur.
3 Die zweite amtliche Vorausberechnung und die Berechnungsmodelle zur Beschreibung des individuellen Fruchtbarkeitsverhaltens und dessen Auswirkungen auf wellenartige Geburtenausfälle.
4 Das Berechnungsmodell einer Bevölkerung mit einer stabilen Altersstruktur nach Alfred J. Lotka.
5 Bevölkerungspolitische Implikationen der amtlichen Vorausberechnungenein kurzer Exkurs

Die unmittelbaren Auswirkungen des Ersten Weltkrieges auf Bestand und Struktur der Bevölkerung 

Die stetige Zunahme des Bevölkerungsbestandes kennzeichnete die demografische Entwicklung im Deutschen Reich für den Zeitraum von 1871 bis 1914. Mit dem Ersten Weltkrieg wurde diese gleichmässige Bevölkerungsentwicklung erstmals unterbrochen. Bis 1914 war nach Angaben der amtlichen Statistik die Einwohnerzahl des Deutschen Reichs auf 67,8 Millionen angewachsen. Bis zum Ende des Ersten Weltkrieges registrierte die amtliche Statistik eine Abnahme der Gesamtbevölkerung von mehr als 5,9 Millionen Menschen. Hieran schloss sich in den Nachkriegsjahren eine leichte Zunahme der Gesamtbevölkerung im Verlauf der 1920er Jahre an.

Die Auswirkungen des Ersten Weltkrieges zeigen sich bei der Gegenüberstellung des Altersaufbaus der Bevölkerung für die Jahre 1910 und 1925. Der Altersaufbau von 1925 (siehe Grafik 9.1) zeigt deutliche Veränderungen gegenüber 1910. Die amtliche Statistik beschreibt die sich wandelnde Altersund Geschlechtsstruktur mit den Worten: “Mehr Erwachsene, aber weniger Kinder.” (Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 401, II, 1930, 556).
















In konkreten Zahlen ausgedrückt ist 1925 im Vergleich zu 1910 der Anteil der unter 15jährigen um 17,9% zurück gegangen und der 15 bis unter 65jährigen um 20,9% sowie der über 65jährigen um 25,6% angestiegen.

Diese Verschiebungen in der Altersstruktur gegenüber von 1910 sind durch mehrere parallel verlaufende Prozesse in den Kriegsjahren verursacht worden. Die wichtigsten Komponenten sind die Geburtenausfälle und der Rückgang der Fruchtbarkeit in den Jahren 1914-1919. Sie führten zu starken Störungen in der zahlenmässigen Besetzung der unteren Altersgruppen. Der Geburtenausfall zwischen 1914-1919 wurde mit einem Geburtendefizit von ca. 3,3 Millionen beziffert. Auch in den ersten Nachkriegsjahren wurden deutlich weniger Kinder geboren als vor 1914. In Folge dieser Entwicklung nahm der Anteil der Kinder unter 15 Jahren an der Gesamtbevölkerung von Jahr zu Jahr ständig ab. 1912 betrug der Anteil der unter 15jährigen an der Gesamtbevölkerung noch 33,9% und sank durch die Fortsetzung des Geburtenrückgangs in den Nachkriegsjahren bis 1925 auf 25,8% ab (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1930, 558) (siehe Grafik 9.2). Zum anderem führte der Krieg zu Veränderungen der Sterblichkeitsverhältnisse, von denen insbesondere die über 20jährige männliche Bevölkerung betroffen war.5

















Der in den Kriegsjahren registrierte schnelle Sterblichkeitsanstieg in den Altersgruppen der 20 bis unter 35jährigen Männer leitete grundlegende Veränderungen in dem Geschlechtsverhältnis der Deutschen Bevölkerung ein. Das proportionale Verhältnis zwischen der weiblichen und männlichen Bevölkerung in den Altersgruppen der 20 bis unter 35jährigen wurde empfindlich gestört (siehe Grafik 9.3). In diesen Altersgruppen entstand ein deutlicher Frauenüberschuss, den es bei den demografischen Vorausberechnungen zu berücksichtigen galt. Das betraf insbesondere die Berechnungen zur künftigen Geburten-, Fruchtbarkeits- und Eheschliessungsentwicklung.


Die Statistiker registrierten in ihren Erhebungen starke Veränderungen in der Entwicklung der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit in den Kriegsjahren. Um die Jahrhundertwende betrug die eheliche Fruchtbarkeitsziffer im Durchschnitt des Deutschen Reichs noch 279,7‰ und sank bis 1910/11 auf 224,5‰ ab. Zwischen 1913 und 1917 fiel die eheliche Fruchtbarkeitsziffer um nahezu die Hälfte ab und stieg geringfügig in den ersten Nachkriegsjahren. Allerdings hielt dieser Anstieg nur bis 1924/26 an. Die allgemeine Fruchtbarkeitsziffer stieg auf 143,5‰ an, doch erreichte sie damit keineswegs das Niveau der Vorkriegsjahre (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1929: Beiträge, 14f.). Neben dem Rückgang der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit wurde die Bevölkerungsdynamik und -struktur vor allem durch die veränderte Sterblichkeit beeinflusst. Besonders deutlich stieg die Sterblichkeit zu Beginn und zum Ende des Krieges und führte für die Kriegsjahre zu einem Sterbefallüberschuss.

Der entstandene Frauenüberschuss wirkte sich auf den Bestand der heiratsfähigen Frauen aus. Er zeigte sich besonders markant in den Altersgruppen der 25 bis unter 32jährigen Frauen, so dass ein nicht unbeträchtlicher Teil dieser Frauen ledig blieben und damit meist nicht an der Bildung von Familien beteiligt waren.6

Des weiteren stieg das durchschnittliche Erstheiratsalters an. 1913 betrug das durchschnittliche Erstheiratsalter für die männliche Bevölkerung ca. 27,5 Jahre, es stieg bis 1919 auf 29,0 Jahre an. Für die weibliche Bevölkerung erhöhte sich das durchschnittliche Erstheiratsalter im gleichen Zeitraum von 24,7 auf 26,0 Jahre (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1922, Bewegung, XIX.). Insgesamt wurde geschätzt, dass in den Kriegsjahren ca. 870.000 Eheschliessungen ausgefallen waren.

Nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg setzte sich der Geburten- und eheliche Fruchtbarkeitsrückgang weiter fort. Dieser gab den Anlass, sich mit den Auswirkungen der gegenwärtigen Geburten- und Fruchtbarkeitsverhältnisse auf die langfristige Gestaltung des Altersaufbaus und der Bevölkerungsdynamik zu beschäftigen.

Die erste amtliche Bevölkerungsvorausberechnung von 1926
Die durchgeführten Berechnungen und Analysen sind auf die Untersuchung der natürlichen Zuwachsraten gerichtet. Gewählt wird ein makroanalytischer Ansatz, in dem die Geburten und die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit in Abhängigkeit der Verschiebungen in der Altersstruktur ermittelt werden. Im vorliegenden Berechnungsmodell wird die Frage gestellt, wie sich der Geburtenüberschuss im Berechnungszeitraum bis 1975, bedingt durch Verschiebungen in der Altersstruktur, ändern wird. Für die Vorausberechnung wird die Komponentenmethode in Anwendung gebracht.7

Für die erste demografische Vorausberechnung wurden Annahmen für die künftige Entwicklung der Sterblichkeit und der räumlichen Mobilität formuliert.
Für die Entwicklung der Sterblichkeit im Berechnungszeitraum 1925 bis 1975 wurde die altersspezifische Sterblichkeit der Jahre 1921 bis 1923 zugrunde gelegt und angenommen, dass sie sich im Berechnungszeitraum nicht verändern werde. Angenommen wurde des weiteren eine geschlossene Bevölkerung. Als ausschlaggebender Einflussfaktor für die künftige Bevölkerungsentwicklung wird die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit in Betracht genommen.8 Für die Vorausberechnungen der Geburten- und ehelichen Fruchtbarkeitsentwicklung wurden Änderungsfaktoren für die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit und für die Eheschliessungen ermittelt.9 Ausgehend von der durchschnittlichen ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit der Jahre 1924/1925 wurden Mittelwerte der altersspezifischen Fruchtbarkeit für die jeweiligen gebärfähigen fünfjährigen Altersgruppen berechnet. Damit sollte das Mass der Beteiligung der jeweiligen fünfjährigen Altersgruppe an der jährlichen ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit in Kombination mit dem Bestand der gebärfähigen Altersgruppen ermittelt werden. Der Änderungsfaktor für die Entwicklung der Eheschliessungen wurde unter der Annahme ermittelt, dass sich das Verhältnis der verheirateten Frauen in allen Altersgruppen in gleichem Masse verändert wie der Gesamtbestand der weiblichen Bevölkerung. Diese Änderungsfaktoren werden für die Vorausberechnung anhand von drei hypothetischen Entwicklungsfällen zugrunde gelegt.

Entwicklungsfall eins: Die jährliche Zahl der ehelich Lebendgeborenen ist von 1925 bis 1975 konstant und gleich der Zahl der ehelich Lebendgeborenen im Jahr 1923.
Entwicklungsfall zwei: Die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit bleibt gleich der für den Durchschnitt der Jahre 1924 und 1925 berechneten Lebendgeborenenzahl unter Berücksichtigung der Lebendgeborenenzahl von 1923.
Entwicklungsfall drei: Die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit sinkt im Durchschnitt der Jahre 1924 und 1925 mit abnehmender Geschwindigkeit um insgesamt 25% bis 1955. In den Folgejahren bleibt die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit konstant.

Voraussichtliche Entwicklung der Geburten- und ehelichen Fruchtbarkeitsziffern 1925 bis 1975
Die Ergebnisse der durchgeführten Vorausberechnung für die drei Entwicklungsfälle zeigen, wie der Kurvenverlauf der Lebendgeborenenzahl und ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit (siehe Grafik 9.4) von der Altersstruktur der weiblichen Bevölkerung im gebärfähigen Alter beeinflusst wird.


Der Kurvenverlauf für den ersten Entwicklungsfall zeigt, dass für die gleichbleibende Lebendgeborenenzahl von 1924/25 sogar eine niedrigere eheliche Fruchtbarkeit als im Jahr 1925 ausreichend ist. Im ersten Jahrzehnt sinkt die eheliche Fruchtbarkeitsziffer um 14,4% gegenüber dem Ausgangswert von 1924/25. Im zweiten Jahrzehnt steigt die eheliche Fruchtbarkeitsziffer mit dem Aufrücken der geburtenschwachen Geburtsjahrgänge in die Altersgruppen mit der “höchsten Fruchtbarkeit” bis auf 92,8% des Ausgangswerts von 1924/25 an. Dann nährt sich der Kurvenverlauf einem Wert, der unter 10% der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit des Jahres 1924/25 liegt.

Besonders deutlich zeigt sich der Einfluss der Struktur der weiblichen Bevölkerung auf den Kurvenverlauf im zweiten Entwicklungsfall. Die Konstanz der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit ist im ersten Jahrzehnt noch gewährleistet. Im zweiten Jahrzehnt zeigen sich Veränderungen in der Lebendgeborenezahl, die durch den Eintritt der geburtenschwachen Jahrgänge von 1915/19 verursacht werden. In diesem Jahrzehnt sinkt die jährliche Zahl der Lebendgeborenen um ca. 100.000 ab.

Im dritten Entwicklungsfall zeigt sich auffällig deutlich, wie stark die Entwicklung der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit vom Bestand der gebärfähigen Frauen abhängt. Der Kurvenverlauf der jährlichen Geborenenzahl zeigt ab dem zweiten Jahrzehnt eine scharfe Abnahme. Diese Abnahme wird sowohl durch den ehelichen Fruchtbarkeitsrückgang als auch durch das Aufrücken der zahlenmässig schwächer besetzten Geburtsjahrgänge 1915/19 in die Altersgruppen mit der “höchsten Fruchtbarkeit” verursacht. Die Abwärtsbewegung der Geborenenzahl hält auch nach 1955, trotz der angenommenen Konstanz der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit in den nachfolgenden Jahren weiter an, “weil die Zahl der im gebährfähigen Alter stehenden Frauen ständig zurückgeht.” (Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 1926, Richtlinien, 39).

Voraussichtliche Entwicklung der Gesamtbevölkerung und der Bevölkerungsstruktur 1925 bis 1975
Wie sich im Berechnungszeitraum die Gesamtbevölkerung und die Bevölkerungsstruktur entwickeln wird, zeigen die nachfolgenden Kurvenverläufe (siehe Grafik 9.5).


Im ersten Entwicklungsfall, der konstante Geburtenzahl für den gesamten Berechnungszeitraum unterstellt, wächst die Bevölkerung bis 1965 auf ca. 70,7 Millionen an, dargestellt im Verlauf der Kurve I. Im weiteren Verlauf verringert sich das Wachstum der Gesamtbevölkerung und entwickelt sich langfristig zu zu einer stationären Bevölkerung.10 In den anschliessenden Jahren nähert sich diese “Gesamtbevölkerung mit ständig geringer werdender Geschwindigkeit einer konstanten Zahl von 69,3 Millionen” an (Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 1926, Richtlinien, 42). Unter diesen Umständen wird sich die Altersstruktur langfristig verändern. Während die Zahl der unter 15jährigen im Untersuchungszeitraum nahezu unverändert bleibt, wächst die Zahl der 15 bis unter 65jährigen zwischen 1925 und 1975 um ca. 7% an. Noch bedeutsamer werden die Veränderungen bei den über 65jährigen sein, deren zahlenmässiger Bestand innerhalb der 50 Jahre um mehr als 200% wachsen wird. (Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 1926, Richtlinien, 45).

Im zweiten Entwicklungsfall, konstante eheliche Fruchtbarkeit in allen Altersgruppen für den gesamten Berechnungszeitraum, steigt die Bevölkerungszahl ständig an. Die Bevölkerung nimmt im Verlauf von 50 Jahren um 14,6 Millionen zu. Sie wird bis zum Jahr 1975 auf 76,9 Millionen anwachsen. Auch nach 1975 wird die Bevölkerung, weiter anwachsen “wenn auch mit allmählich verzögerter Geschwindigkeit.” (Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 1926, Richtlinien, 42). Hinsichtlich des Altersaufbaus treten die Veränderungen sowohl bei der zahlenmässigen Besetzung der unter 15jährigen als auch der 15 bis unter 65jährigen Altersgruppen zwischen 1925 und 1975 auf. Gegenüber dem ersten Entwicklungsfall nimmt der zahlenmässige Bestand der 15 bis unter 65jährigen im gleichen Zeitraum um ca. 9,2% zu. Ebenso fällt der zahlenmässige Zuwachs der über 65jährigen besonders stark aus. Deren Zahl wird sich im Untersuchungszeitraum verdoppeln (Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 1926, Richtlinien, 45).

Im Unterschied hierzu zeigt der dritte Entwicklungsfall, der sukzessive eheliche Fruchtbarkeitsrückgang um 25% im Laufe von 25 Jahren, ein sehr viel differenziertes Bild über die Entwicklung der Gesamtbevölkerung. Bis 1955 wird demnach die Bevölkerung um knapp 3,8 Millionen anwachsen und in den folgenden Jahrzehnten beständig wieder abnehmen. Erwartet wird, dass sich diese Entwicklung auch über das Jahr 1975 weiter fortsetzt und damit die demografischen Prozesse langfristig prägen wird. Diese Tatsache wird durch die ungleichmässige Verteilung der Altersgruppen im Altersaufbau belegt. Durch den nach dem Erstem Weltkrieg sich fortsetzenden Geburtenund ehelichen Fruchtbarkeitsrückgang wird die zahlenmässige Besetzung der unter 15jährigen sich deutlich verringern. Im dritten Entwicklungsfall wird der zahlenmässige Bestand der über 65jährigen noch rascher zunehmen (Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 1926, Richtlinien, 45).

Beim Vergleich der Entwicklungsvarianten fällt auf, dass die Bevölkerung nach allen drei Entwicklungsfällen von 1925 bis 1945 wachsen wird.11 Dieses Bevölkerungswachstum erklärt sich zu nicht geringen Teilen aus der Sterblichkeitsentwicklung, die in den Jahren 1924/26 besonders günstig war. Sie ist geprägt durch besonders niedrige altersspezifische Sterblichkeitsziffern bei Männern und Frauen.12 Sie führen zu einem leichten Anstieg der Lebenserwartung und der Zunahme der Gesamtbevölkerung. Die Rechnungen für den zweiten und dritten Entwicklungsfall belegen die schwache Besetzung der Geburtenjahrgänge nach 1935. Gleichzeitig rücken in den Folgejahren die geburtenstarken Vorkriegsjahrgänge in die höheren Altersgruppen auf.
Diese Erscheinung kennzeichnet ab 1965 die Entwicklung einer schwächeren Geburtendynamik und eine anwachsende Sterblichkeit. Vor allem die Berechnungen des dritten Entwicklungsfalls weisen auf die neuen demografischen Herausforderungen für die sozialen Sicherungssysteme hin: Einerseits der Geburtenrückgang und andererseits die Alterung der Bevölkerung.13
Langfristig zeigt sich eine “allmähliche Überalterung der Bevölkerung” und die hieraus erwachsenden “allgemeinen Versorgungslasten durch die Veränderungen des Zahlenverhältnisses der Nichterwerbstätigen (Kinder, Ehefrauen, Greise) zu den Erwerbstätigen.” (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1926: Richtlinien, 47).

Voraussichtliche Tendenzen in der Entwicklung des Geburtenund Sterbefallüberschusses

Um die Ergebnisse der Bevölkerungsdynamik in Verbindung mit der Altersstruktur zu überprüfen, werden noch einmal die Geburten- und Sterbeziffern siehe Grafik 9.6) auf Grundlage der drei Entwicklungsfälle berechnet. Hieran ist die Frage geknüpft, wie sich langfristig die Geburten- und (oder) Sterbefallüberschüsse im Prozess der Bevölkerungsalterung entwickeln und die Bevölkerungsdynamik beeinflüssen werden.

Beim ersten Entwicklungsfall sinkt die Geburtenziffer von 1925 bis 1965 und gleichzeitig steigt die Sterbeziffer, ausgelöst durch die Verschiebungen im Altersaufbau der Bevölkerung, an. Nach 1965 wandelt sich der Geburten- in einen Sterbefallüberschuss und in der Konsequenz gestaltet sich das Bevölkerungswachstum, trotz der jährlich gleichbleibenden Geburtenzahl, negativ.

Im zweiten Entwicklungsfall nimmt zunächst im ersten Jahrzehnt die Geburtenziffer zu und fällt bis 1945 stark ab. Von 1945 bis 1975 steigt die Geburtenziffer mit leichten Schwankungen um ca. 6% und die Sterbeziffer um ca. 32,6% zwischen 1925 und 1975 an. Ungeachtet dieser unterschiedlichen Bewegung der Geburten- und Sterbeziffer wird die gesamte Untersuchungsperiode durch einen Geburtenüberschuss bestimmt. Obwohl letzterer zeitweilig zunimmt und nach 1945 sich wieder verringert, wächst nach diesem Entwicklungsfall die Bevölkerung ständig im gesamten Untersuchungszeitraum, allerdings mit nachlassender Intensität.

Beim dritten Entwicklungsfall kommt es bereits in den ersten zwei Jahrzehnten zwischen 1925 und 1945 zu “einem Absturz der Geburtenziffer”. (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1926, Richtlinien, 50). Auf diesem Niveau verbleibt die Geburtenziffer weitere 20 Jahre, um dann erneut, aber mit nachlassender Intensität, zu sinken. Der starke Abfall der Geburtenziffern bewirkt bereits 1945 ein Zusammentreffen mit den ansteigenden Sterbeziffern, ausgelöst durch die Verschiebungen der Altersstruktur und die Überalterung der Bevölkerung. In allen drei Entwicklungsfällen zeigt der Kurvenverlauf der allgemeinen Sterblichkeit einen recht geradlinigen Anstieg infolge der zunehmenden Besetzung der höheren Altersgruppen.


Die zweite amtliche Vorausberechnung von 1930
In der zweiten Vorausberechnung rücken die Veränderungen der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit in den Nachkriegsjahren in den Vordergrund der Analysen und Berechnungen. Die Veränderungen zeigen sich in der rückläufigen Geburten- und Fruchtbarkeitsentwicklung, die nach Ansicht der amtlichen Statistik auf “den bewussten Willen zur Einschränkung der Kinderaufzucht” zurückzuführen ist (Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, Bd. 401, II, Ausblick, 442). Dieser Umstand wird mit der Frage verknüpft, wie sich künftig das eheliche Fruchtbarkeitsverhalten entwickeln und welche Ausmasse es auf die Bevölkerungsdynamik haben wird. Zur Beurteilung der künftigen Bevölkerungsentwicklung wird ein Berechnungsmodell zur Begründung der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit und der Reproduktionsintensität des weiblichen Bevölkerungsteils gewählt.
Untersucht werden einerseits die strukturellen Veränderungen der weiblichen Bevölkerung im fertilen Alter und andererseits deren verändertes Fortpflanzungsverhalten. Berücksichtigt werden hierbei die Veränderungen der Eheschliessungsquoten. Die amtliche Statistik wirft in diesem Zusammenhang die Frage auf, ob unter den Bedingungen der Bestandsveränderungen der fertilen weiblichen Bevölkerung und deren verändertem Fruchtbarkeitsverhalten wellenartige Geburtenausfälle entstehen werden.

Analysiert und berechnet werden die Verschiebungen in der Altersstruktur der Gesamtbevölkerung und hierbei vor allem die Verschiebungen im Ehebestand und im Bestand der fortpflanzungsfähigen weiblichen Bevölkerung. Für diese Vorausberechnung des Bevölkerungsbestandes wird wiederum die
Komponentenmethode angewandt.

Für die Berechnung der Absterbeordnung wurde eine neue Sterbetafel für die Jahre 1924/26 ausgearbeitet und die altersspezifíschen Sterblichkeitsziffern als konstant angenommem. Von vornherein werden die Aus- und Einwanderungsbewegungen aus den Berechnungen ausgeschaltet. Als massgebliche Einflusskomponente, die den Verlauf der künftigen Bevölkerungsentwicklung bestimmt, wird das veränderte individuelle eheliche Fruchtbarkeitsverhalten in Betracht gezogen.
Für die Vorausberechnungen der Geburten- und ehelichen Fruchtbarkeitsentwicklung werden zwei hypothetische Entwicklungsfälle formuliert.

Entwicklungsfall A: Die jährliche Geborenenzahl der Lebendgeborenen bleibt ständig gleich der Lebendgeborenenzahl des Jahres 1927.
Entwicklungsfall B: Die eheliche und uneheliche Fruchtbarkeit nimmt gegenüber dem Stand von 1927 um insgesamt 25% bis zum 1955 ab.

Der Entwicklungsfall A entspricht theoretisch der Ausbildung einer stationären Bevölkerung während der Entwicklungsfall B die nachlassende ehelichen Geburtenhäufigkeit in den Jahren 1922 bis 1927 berücksichtigt, die an Hand von mehreren Berechnungsmethoden ermittelt wird.

Ermittelt wird eine Trendlinie der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit für die Gesamtheit der fertilen weiblichen Bevölkerung im Zeitraum 1922 bis 1927. Um Struktureffekte wie die unterschiedliche Besetzung in den fertilen weiblichen Altersgruppen oder Schwankungen in der wirtschaftlichen Konjunkturentwicklung auszuschliessen, werden standardisierte Fruchtbarkeitsziffern gebildet (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1930, Bewegung, 26ff.). Hieran schliessen sich Berechnungen der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeitsziffern für das Jahr 1927 an. Die Berechnungsergebnisse werden an die Werte der Trendlinien angepasst und eine Messziffer für die Jahre 1927-1955 gebildet. Für die weiteren Jahre wird diese Berechnung in einem Intervall von 15 Jahren fortgesetzt. Die Berechnungen der amtlichen Statistik bestätigten die Annahme, dass das nachlassende individuelle Fruchtbarkeitsverhalten der fertilen weiblichen Bevölkerung
die wesentliche Ursache für die abnehmende Geburtenintensität bildet.14 Die Erhebungen der amtlichen Statistik zeigen, dass erste Veränderungen in der Geburtenentwicklung bereits in den Vorkriegsjahren eingetreten sind.

Diese bildeten eine wesentliche Quelle für die Diskussionen in den Nachkriegsjahren um die Ursachen, den Verlauf und die Konsequenzen der abnehmenden ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit für die Bevölkerungsentwicklung und -struktur.
Thematisiert wurden die ökonomischen und sozialen Veränderungen, die dem Rückgang der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit voraus gingen, von Vertretern der Nationalökonomie, Statistik und Sozialhygiene. Zu ihnen zählen u.a. Ludwig Josef Brentano (1844-1931), Julius Wolf (1862-1937), Alfred Grotjahn (1869-1931), Paul Mombert (1876-1938) u.v.a.m.

Als weiterer Faktor, der den Verlauf der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit beinflusst, wurde die Verheiratetenquote der Frauen im gebärfähigem Alter ermittelt.15

Um die Differenz zwischen den erwartungsmässigen und den tatsächlichen Eheschliessungen jedes Alters in den Jahren 1924 bis 1927 berechnen zu können, wurden zunächst standardisierte Altersheiratsziffern für die männliche Bevölkerung, bezogen auf die Heiratshäufigkeit der Jahre 1910/11, berechnet. Die Ermittlung der Heiratsziffer für ledige Männer war notwendig, um die Eheschliessungsmöglichkeiten der Frauen, deren zahlenmässiger Bestand einen Überschuss aufweist, zum Ausdruck zu bringen.16 Von 1928 bis 1940 zeigen die Berechnungen eine Zunahme der Verheiratetenquoten der unter 45jährigen Frauen und der unter 48jährigen Männer. Infolge
der Verringerung der Sterblichkeit vor allem auf seiten der männlichen Bevölkerung rechnet die amtliche Statistik nach 1940 mit einem Männerüberschuss in den Altersgruppen mit der höchsten Heiratshäufigkeit. Um den Einfluss der Heiratshäufigkeit auf die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit und das Fruchtbarkeitsverhalten
berechnen zu können, wurde die Gesamtheit der verheirateten Frauen nach der Ehedauer zusammengestellt und in Beziehung mit der Ordnungszahl der Erst-, Zweit-, Dritt-, Viert- und weiterer Geburten gebracht. 17

Hierzu wurden standardisierte Fruchtbarkeitsziffern für die fünfjährigen Altersgruppen der gebärfähigen Frauen, gegliedert nach der Parität der Geburten für die Jahre 1922 bis 1927, berechnet. Die Berechnungen zeigten vor allem einen Rückgang der Erst- und Zweitgeburten. Hieraus leitete die amtliche Statistik ihre Annahme ab, dass der Geburten- und Fruchtbarkeitsrückgang vor allem auf das Verhalten der Familien, die Zahl der Kinder möglichst klein zu halten, zurückzuführen sei.

Zukünftige Veränderungen im Altersaufbau unter Berücksichtigung der Sterblichkeitsverhältnisse von 1924/26

Auf Basis der Sterbetafel von 1924/26 wurden altersspezifische Sterblichkeitsziffern berechnet und mit dem nach der Volkszählung von 1925 ermittelten Altersaufbau in Beziehung gesetzt. Wie sich der Altersaufbau im Zeitverlauf verändern wird, demonstriert die nachfolgende Grafik (siehe Grafik 9.7).


Festgestellt wird eine verhältnismässig starke Besetzung der über 20jährigen im Jahre 1930. Sie sind auf die starken Geburtenjahrgänge von 1905 bis 1909 zurückzuführen. Diese verhältnismässig starke Besetzung wird sich unter Berücksichtigung gleichbleibender Sterblichkeitsverhältnisse in die höheren Altersgruppen verschieben. Mit dem Aufrücken dieser Geburtenjahrgänge in die alten und älteren Altersgruppen wächst deren Bestand zusehends an: “Bei den über 80jährigen schliesslich erstreckt sich die Zunahme voraussichtlich sogar bis 1990. Um diese Zeit werden rechnungsmässig etwa 4 bis 5mal so viel Personen dieses Alters vorhanden sein, wie bei der Volkszählung im Jahre 1925”. (Statistisches Reichsamt, Ausblick, 1930, 642).

Ein diametral entgegengesetztes Bild zeigt sich bei den geburtenschwachen Jahrgängen der Jahre 1914 bis 1919 und deren Vorrücken in die mittleren Altersgruppen. Sie führen zu einer deutlich geringen Besetzung der 25 bis unter 30jährigen im Jahr 1945 bzw. der 45 bis unter 50jährigen im Jahr 1960.

Diese Einschnitte in der Altersstruktur durch die schwach besetzten Geburtenjahrgänge zwischen 1915 und 1919 werden zwar z. T. durch die stärker besetzten Geburtenjahrgänge der ersten Nachkriegsjahre wieder ausgeglichen, ohne jedoch das Niveau der Vorkriegsjahre noch einmal zu erreichen.
Im Gegenteil führen sie wiederum zu neuerlichen Veränderungen in der Besetzung der unteren Altersgruppen der 15 bis unter 20jährigen im Jahr 1945, der 30 bis unter 35jährigen im Jahr 1960 bzw. 45 bis unter 50jährigen im Jahr 1975. Geschlussfolgert wird, dass die im Ergebnis des Ersten Weltkrieges entstandenen Verschiebungen in der Alters- und Geschlechtsstruktur sich zukünftig wellenförmig fortsetzen und damit auch die künftige Entwicklung der Eheschliessungen und der ehelichen Fortpflanzung beeinflussen werden.

Die Verschiebungen in der Alters- und Geschlechtsstruktur zeigen sich beispielsweise bei der Entwicklung des Ehebestandes. So führt der Frauenüberschuss in den 25 bis unter 50jährigen Altersgruppen zu einer Zunahme der Eheschliessungen in den mittleren Altersgruppen. Es wird in diesem Zusammenhang auf die Zunahme des Anteils der “Spätehen” verwiesen, deren durchschnittliche Kinderzahl durch die verhältnismässig späte Eheschliessung “naturgemäss” kleiner ausfallen wird.

Mit dem Aufrücken der schwach besetzten Geburtenjahrgänge der Kriegsjahre in die Jahrgänge mit der höchsten Heiratshäufigkeit und dem Herausbilden eines Männerüberschusses bei den 20 bis unter 30jährigen Männern wird die Zahl der Frühehen wieder zunehmen. Dieser zeitweilige Anstieg des Ehebestandes, vor allem der “jungen Ehen”, wird um das Jahr 1940 abgeschlossen sein. Mit dem Aufrücken der geburtenschwachen Nachkriegsjahrgänge in die Altersgruppen mit der höchsten Heiratshäufigkeit werden nach 1940 vor allem die weiblichen Altersgruppen im fertilen Alter nicht mehr voll besetzt sein. Diese rückläufige Besetzung kann nach Ansicht der amtlichen Statistik auch nicht durch eine höhere Geburtenhäufigkeit ausgeglichen werden.

Voraussichtliche Entwicklung der Geburtenziffern und der ehelichen sowie unehelichen Fruchtbarkeit 1930 bis 2000
Die Berechnungen zur Entwicklung der Geborenenzahl und der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit sind anhand von drei Entwicklungsfällen durchgeführt worden. Neben dem Entwicklungsfall A (die jährliche Geborenenzahl der Lebendgeborenen bleibt ständig gleich der Lebendgeborenenzahl des Jahres 1927) und dem Entwicklungsfall B (die eheliche und uneheliche Fruchtbarkeit nimmt gegenüber dem Stand von 1927 um insgesamt 25% bis zum 1955 ab und bleibt danach unverändert), wird auch der Entwicklungsfall C (gleichbleibende Fruchtbarkeit wie 1924/25) in die Berechnungen aufgenommen (siehe Grafik 9.8).


Während die Zahl der Lebendgeborenen nach dem Entwicklungsfall A für den Zeitraum zwischen 1927 und 2000 sich nicht verändert, zeigen sich bei der Bewegung der Lebendgeborenen nach dem Entwicklungsfall C erste Abweichungen. Der zeitweilige Anstieg der Lebendgeborenenzahl nach 1927 ist z. T. auf das Nachholen von ausgefallenen Geburten in den Kriegs- und ersten Nachkriegsjahren zurückzuführen. Die geburtenschwachen Jahrgänge 1915 bis 1919 leiten ca. 20 Jahre später den Rückgang der Geborenen zahl zwischen 1935 bis 1945 ein. Diese Tendenzen setzen sich auch im Zeit verlauf weiter fort.18

Auffallend ist die Bewegung der Zahl der Lebendgeborenen nach dem Entwicklungsfall B, die zwischen 1927 und 1931 leicht ansteigt. Dieser Anstieg ist wiederum z. T. auf das Nachholen von ausgefallen Eheschliessungen und Geburten in den Kriegs- und Nachkriegsjahren zurückzuführen. Der Eintritt der geburtenschwachen Jahrgänge 1915 bis 1919 in die Altersgruppe der 20 bis 25jährigen führt unweigerlich zu einer Abnahme der Geborenzahl, der sich durch den Rückgang der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit weiter verstärkt. Diese Tendenz der abnehmenden Geburtenzahl wird sich auch nach 1955 weiter fortsetzen.19

Ein anders Bild ergeben die Kurvenverläufe des Entwicklungsfalls A zur Bewegung der Geborenenzahl und des Entwicklungsfalls B zur Bewegung der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit zwischen 1927 und 2000. Nach dem Entwicklungsfall A sinkt bis 1935 die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit im gleichen Masse wie die Lebendgeborenenzahl bei konstanter ehelicher Fruchtbarkeit ansteigt.
Die Symmetrie zwischen den beiden Kurven wird aufgehoben, “wenn die nach 1927 geborenen Jahrgänge, die bei konstanter Geburtenzahl schwächer besetzt sind als bei konstanter ehelicher Fruchtbarkeit, in das fertile Alter eintreten”. (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1930, Ausblick, 662). Etwa um das Jahr 1955 hat dann die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit wieder das Ausgangsniveau von 1927 erreicht. Ab 1965 wird bis zum Jahr 2000 das Ausgangsniveau der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit von 1927 um ca. 4% überschritten. Diese Ergebnisse setzen allerdings den Anstieg der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit über das Niveau des Jahres 1927 voraus.

Notwendigerweise führt der Entwicklungsfall B, durch den in Rechnung gestellten Rückgang der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit um 25% bis 1955, zu einem Rückgang der Geburtenhäufigkeit und zum anderem zu strukturellen Veränderungen durch den Eintritt der geburtenschwachen Kriegsjahrgänge in die Altersgruppe der 20 bis unter 30jährigen. Auch in den nachfolgenden Jahrzehnten setzt sich diese Entwicklung weiter fort, weil “die nunmehr in das gebärfähige Alter eintretenden Jahrgänge …. zahlenmässig immer schwächer werden” (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1930, Ausblick, 662).

Die Gegenüberstellung der Kurvenverläufe für die Zahl der Geborenen und der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit zeigen, dass bereits 1927 das Niveau der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit zu niedrig war, um die jährliche Zahl von 1.160.000 Geburten dauerhaft aufrecht zu erhalten. In der Konsequenz führt das zu niedrigere Niveau der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit zu wellenartigen Geburtenausfällen.

Voraussichtliche Entwicklung der Gesamtbevölkerung und des Geburten- bzw. Sterbefallüberschusses 1927 bis 2000
Für die Berechnungen der voraussichtliche Entwicklung der Gesamtbevölkerung und des Geburten- bzw. Sterbefallüberschusses 1927 bis 2000 werden wiederum die drei Entwicklungsfälle, die auch bei den Berechnungen der Geburtenziffern und der ehelichen sowie unehelichen Fruchtbarkeit angewandt werden, zugrunde gelegt (siehe Grafik 9.9).20


Bereits der Entwicklungsfall A zeigt einschneidende Veränderungen des Geburtenüberschusses in der Gesamtbevölkerung bis zum Jahr 2000 und darüber hinaus. Die allmähliche Verringerung des Geburtenüberschusses beginnt bereits 1927 und setzt sich bis zum Beginn der 1960er Jahre fort. Verursacht wird diese Entwicklung durch die Veränderungen der Bevölkerungsstruktur, vor allem durch das Aufrücken der geburtenstarken Vorkriegsjahrgänge in die höheren Altersgruppen. Nach 1961/62 wird der Geburtendurch einen Sterbefallüberschuss abgelöst. Diese Tendenzen widerspiegeln sich in der Entwicklung der Gesamtbevölkerung. Zwischen 1927 und 1960 wird nach dem Entwicklungsfall A die Gesamtbevölkerung noch leicht um ca. 10% wachsen. Für die nachfolgenden Jahrzehnte zeichnet sich allerdings bereits ein Bevölkerungsrückgang mit nachlassender Intensität ab, der sich auch nach dem Übergang in das 21. Jahrhundert weiter fortsetzen wird.

Auch im Entwicklungsfall B wird sich von Beginn der Untersuchungsperiode an der Geburtenüberschuss verringern. Der Wechsel vom Geburten- zum Sterbeüberschuss wird sich allerdings im Vergleich zum Entwicklungsfall A sehr viel früher, um das Jahr 1945, vollziehen. Der schnelle Wechsel vom Geburten- zum Sterbefallüberschuss findet seine Entsprechung in der Entwicklung der Alters- und Geschlechtsstruktur. Der zeitweilige Anstieg der Gesamtbevölkerung fällt mit der verhältnismässig starken Besetzung der Geburtsjahrgänge 1909/11 der weiblichen Bevölkerung und deren Eintritt in die fortpflanzungsstärksten Altersgruppen zusammen. Allerdings bestimmen sie die Entwicklung der Gesamtbevölkerung nur bis 1935. In den nachfolgenden Jahren wird es durch die abnehmende Besetzung der weiblichen Bevölkerung und des ehelichen Fruchtbarkeitsrückgangs zu einem permanenten Bevölkerungsrückgang kommen. Nach 1945 wird sich dieser Bevölkerungsrückgang weiter beschleunigen und selbst unter Berücksichtigung des Entwicklungsfalls B, eine gleichbleibende bzw. “unveränderte Geburtenhäufigkeit” nach 1955, kann diese Tendenz sich bis “ins Endlose fortsetzen.” (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1930, Ausblick, 664).

Auf lange Sicht werden diese aufgezeigten Entwicklungstendenzen zu bedeutsamen Veränderungen der Alters- und Geschlechtsgliederung führen, wie die Darstellungen der Veränderungen im Altersaufbau der Bevölkerung des Deutschen Reichs von 1930 bis 2055 belegen (siehe Grafik 9.10).

Nach dem Entwicklungsfall A werden die unteren Altersgruppen nicht mehr voll besetzt sein, weil die eheliche Fruchtbarkeit zur Aufrechterhaltung der jährlichen Zahl der Lebendgeborenen bereits zu niedrig ist. Die durch den Ersten Weltkrieg hervorgerufenen Störungen in der Altersstruktur rücken im Zeitverlauf in die höheren Altersgruppen. Im Ergebnis entsteht ein neuer Altersaufbau, der durch eine verhältnismässig gleiche Besetzung in allen Altersgruppen charakterisiert ist. Dieser Prozess, die Entstehung einer stationären Bevölkerung, wird nach den Berechnungen der amtlichen Statistik um das Jahr 2000 abgeschlossen sein.

Nach dem Entwicklungsfall B wird sich im Untersuchungszeitraum die zahlenmässige Besetzung der unteren Altersgruppen permanent verringern. Durch die ununterbrochene Abnahme der Geburtenzahl ist jede Altersgruppe schwächer besetzt als die nächst höhere Altersgruppe. In Folge bildet sich ein neuer Altersaufbau, mit “einer nach unten hin sich verjüngenden Urne”, deren Basis immer schmaler wird, heraus (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1930, Ausblick, 665).

Gemeinsam ist den verschiedenen Formen des Altersaufbaus nach den Entwicklungsfällen A und B eine Alterung der Gesamtbevölkerung. Sie führt in der Konsequenz zu einer stärkeren Besetzung in den höheren und hohen Altersgruppen. Vor allem die Berechnungen auf der Grundlage des Entwicklungsfalls B belegen eine besonders schnelle Zunahme in den Altersgruppen der über 60jährigen, die sich im Vergleich zum Entwicklungsfall A wesentlich dynamischer gestaltet: “Der Anteil der 70 bis 80jährigen an der Gesamtbevölkerung steigt auf das 31/4fache an, während die Gruppe der Kinder und Jugendlichen bis Ende des Jahrhunderts auf 2/3 ihres jetzigen Bevölkerungsanteil zusammenschrumpft.” (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1930, Ausblick, 645).























Die Bevölkerungsmodelle mit stabilen Altersstrukturen

Die zwei unterschiedlichen Formen des Altersaufbaus, die sich unter Berücksichtigung der zwei Entwicklungsfälle bis zum Jahr 2055 herausbilden werden, weisen auf ein wichtiges demografisches Phänomen, die Überalterung der Bevölkerung, hin. Ein Indikator, der die Bevölkerungsalterung widerspiegelt ist das mittlere Alter einer Bevölkerung. Die Veränderungen des mittleren Alters der Bevölkerung berechnet die amtliche Statistik auf Grundlage des Entwicklungsfalls A (gleichbleibende Lebendgeborenenzahl wie 1927) und Entwicklungsfalls B (bis 1955 um 25% abnehmende und danach gleichbleibende Geburtenhäufigkeit). Im Entwicklungsfall A steigt das mittlerer Alter der Bevölkerung bis zum Jahr 2000 um 5 Jahre und im Entwicklungsfall B um 14 Jahre an. Die Verschiebungen im Altersaufbau und die Zunahme des mittleren Alters der Bevölkerung deuten bereits langfristige Veränderungen in der Entwicklung der Bevölkerungsdynamik an.

Um diese langfristigen Veränderungen der Bevölkerungsdynamik zu quantifizieren, werden für die weiteren Berechnungen die Modelle der stationären und stabilen Bevölkerung zugrunde gelegt. Gefragt wird erstens, wie hoch der tatsächliche Geburtenüberschuss unabhängig von dem Altersaufbau der Bevölkerung noch ist. Gefragt wird zweitens, wie sich die Bevölkerungsdynamik nach dem Entwicklungsfall B langfristig gestalten wird.21

Zu diesem Zweck werden weitere Berechnungen anhand des stationären und stabilen Bevölkerungsmodells, die in ihren Grundzügen vom österreichischen Populationstheoretiker Alfred J. Lotka (1880-1949) in den 1920er Jahren entwickelt worden war, durchgeführt.22 Bei der Vorgehensweise beruft sich die amtliche Statistik auf die Methodik von Lotka zur Berechnung der NRR und berechnet den Annäherungswert J. Für alle drei Enwicklungsvarianten wurden zunächst die Werte der allgemeinen Fruchtbarkeitsziffern für fünfjährigen Altersgruppen sowie für Mädchengeburten aus der Trendlinie
des Jahres 1927 berechnet. Als weitere Komponente wurde die Verheiratetequote je Frau jeden Alters vom Jahre 1975 als gleichbleidend für alle drei Entwicklungsfälle in die Berechnungen integriert. Unter der Maßgabe der gleichbleibenden alterspezifischen Sterblichkeit und der berechneten allgemeinen
Fruchtbarkeitsziffern für Mädchengeburten wurde mit Hilfe von Integralableitungen die Ziffer für den Wert J berechnet, der die Überlebenswahrscheinlichkeit des weiblichen Geschlechts einer Frauenkohorte nach der Sterbetafel 1924/26 zum Ausdruck bringt. Der Wert J wird hier als Ersatzwert für die NRR genommen und lässt sich als die Zahl von 100 000 Mädchengeburten, die das fertile Alter einer Frauenkohorte erreichen und durchleben in Kombination mit der Fruchtbarkeit der fünfjährigen Altersgruppen, interpretieren.23

Unter den Bedingungen der stabilen Bevölkerung bei gleichbleibender Geburtenhäufigkeit wie 1927 ergab der Wert J, dass die Überlebenden von 100 00 lebenden Mädchengeburten bei den zu Grundlage genommenen allgemeinen Fruchtbarkeitsziffern 3,78% weniger Mädchen gebären werden als zur Erhalt des Bevölkerungsbestandes notwendig ist. Die durchschnittliche jährliche Zahl der Lebendgeborenen nimmt auf Grund der weiteren Veränderungen im Bestand der Frauen in den fertilen Altersgruppen von Jahrfünft zu Jahrfünft ab. Nach Überwindung der ungleichmässigen Besetzung der Altersgruppen durch den gegenwärtigen Altersaufbau wird die stabile Bevölkerung bei gleichbleibenden Geburtenhäufigkeit wie 1927 und konstanter altersspezifischer Sterblichkeit ein jährliches Geburtendefizit von -1,34‰ der mittleren Bevölkerung aufweisen.

Nach den Berechnung der ständig gleichbleibender Lebendgeborenenzahl wie 1927 ( Entwicklungsfall A ) entsteht eine sationäre Bevölkerung. Zur Bildung der stationären Bevölkerung kommt es, nach dem die skizzierten Unregelmässigkeiten im Altersaufbau langfristig überwunden werden. Der Wert J ist dann gleich 1. Dies wiederum setzt voraus, dass die Geburtenhäufigkeit der Mädchengeburten ständig gleich bleibt, d.h. die Überlebenden von je 100.000 geborenen Mädchen im gebärfähigen Alter immer wieder 100.000 Mädchen zur Welt bringen. Die Fruchtbarkeit von 1927 müsste daher um 3,93% grösser sein, um den Wert von J=1 zu erreichen. Den Berechnungen nach war bereits im Ausgangsjahr 1927 die Geburtenhäufigkeit zu niedrig, um die jährlich gleichbleibende Lebendgeborenenzahl wie im Jahre 1927 konstant zu halten.

Im Entwicklungsfall B wird angenommen, dass neben den ehelichen und unehelichen Fruchtbarkeitsziffern bei gleichen Verheiratetenquoten und die allgemeinen Fruchtbarkeitsziffern bis 1955 um 25% abnehmen und auf diesem niedrigeren Niveau in den Folgejahrzehnten sich nicht verändern. Die stabile Bevölkerung, die bei einer ab 1955 gleichbleibenden, um 25% niedrigeren Fruchtbarkeit und unveränderten Sterblichkeitsverhältnissen entstehen wird, zeigt eine Zunahme des Defizits an Mädchengeburten. Bei einem Geburtendefizit von -11,45‰ kommt es langfristig zu einer Bevölkerungsschrumpfung und -alterung. Unter diesen Bedingungen wird die Gesamtbevölkerung im Jahr 2055 auf 25,09 Millionen zurück gehen.

Die Geburten- und Sterbeziffern der stabilen Bevölkerung
Die Form der stabilen Altersstruktur, die sich nach Berechnungen der amtlichen Statistik bis 2055 herausgebildet hat, leitet über zu der Frage, wie sich unter diesen stabilen Verhältnissen die Geburten- und Sterbeziffern entwickeln werden. Die Dynamik des Alterungsprozesses der Bevölkerung, die zahlenmässige Zunahme in der Besetzung der höheren Altersgruppen, belegen die Kurvenverläufe der Sterbeziffern nach dem Entwicklungsfälle A und B (siehe Grafik 9.11).

Nach dem Entwicklungsfall A werden sich die Lebendgeborenen- und Gestorbenenzahl ständig die Waage halten. In diesem Fall wächst weder der Bevölkerungsbestand, noch verringert er sich, er bleibt vielmehr dauerhaft unverändert.

Nach dem Entwicklungsfall einer stabilen Bevölkerung bei gleichbleibender Geburtenhäufigkeit wie 1927, verringert sich der Geburtenüberschuss und mit Beginn der 1960er Jahre wird die weitere demografische Entwicklung durch einen Sterbefallüberschuss gekennzeichnet sein. Das Geburtendefizit beläuft sich auf ca. 1,3‰ und führt langfristig unter den Bedingungen einer stabilen Altersstruktur zu einem leichten Bevölkerungsrückgang.

Nach dem Entwicklungsfall B, die rückläufige Geburtenhäufigkeit um 25% bis 1955 und sich anschliessender Stabilität, setzt der Übergang vom Geburtenzum Sterbefallüberschuss bereits 1936 ein. Unter den Bedingungen einer sich herausbildenden stabilen Altersstruktur wird die weitere demografische Entwicklung durch ein Geburtendefizit von 11,4‰ bestimmt. Die Alterung der Bevölkerung wird unter den vorherrschenden Fruchtbarkeitsverhältnissen weiter voranschreiten.









Die endgültigen Geburten-, Sterbe- und Sterbefallüberschussziffern erschliessen sich aus der nachfolgenden Tabel

Tabel 9.12 – Die endgültigen Geburten-, Sterbe- und Sterbefallüberschussziffern






Bevölkerungspolitische Implikationen der amtlichen Vorausberechnungen- ein kurzer Exkurs
Neben dem Statistischen Reichsamt war es vor allem der Statistiker Friedrich Burgdörfer, der die Ergebnisse der demografischen Vorausschätzungen als eine außerordentliche ernste Warnung betrachtete. Diese Berechnungen hatten seines Erachtens den Nachweis erbracht, daß in der Zukunft sich das dynamische Volkswachstum nicht mehr fortsetzt und statt dessen die demografische Entwicklung massgeblich durch den dauerhaften Rückgang des Volksbestandes bestimmt wird (Burgdörfer, Lebensfrage, 1929).

Er wie auch andere Vertreter der Statistik und Nationalökonomie führten den Diskurs zu der Frage, wie den sich abzeichnenden demografischen Entwicklungstendenzen wirkungsvoll begegnet werden kann. Mit Sorge verfolgen sie die sich abzeichnende Differenzierung in der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeitsentwicklung zwischen der städtischen und ländlichen Bevölkerung als auch die wachsenden Differenzierungsprozesse der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit, die sich zwischen den verschiedenen sozialen Schichten und Berufsgruppen zeigten. All diese demografischen Faktoren verstärkten die Befürchtungen über nachhaltige Veränderungen des quantitativen wie auch qualitativen Bevölkerungsbestandes, der auf Basis der demografischen Vorausschätzungen und dem anhaltenden Rückgang der erwerbs- und reproduktionsfähigen Bevölkerung exemplifiziert wurde.

Die Befürchtungen vor einem dauerhaften Bevölkerungsrückgang beherrschen in den 1920er Jahren das demografische Denken nicht nur der Fachleute, sondern auch das der politischen Institutionen und Verbände. Sie entwerfen unzählige Konzepte, wie der anhaltende Geburten- und eheliche Fruchtbarkeitsrückgang aufgehalten werden könnte. Es wurde die abnehmende Bereitschaft der Frauen zur Geburt von mehreren Kindern beklagt. Statt der Geburt von vier und mehr Kindern, die für die Bewahrung des Bevölkerungsbestandes notwendig seien, würden die Frauen seit Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts nur mehr ein oder zwei Kinder zur Welt bringen. Nach Auszählungen von Burgdörfer waren zwischen 1901 und 1925 die Erstgeburten um ca. ein Viertel, die der Zweitgeburten um ca. 38%, die Geburten von dritten Kindern um ca. 57% und die von vierten und fünften Kindern um 75% bzw. 80% zurückgegangen. In diesen Tendenzen sah er eine wachsende Gefahr für den strukturellen und den zahlenmässigen Bevölkerungsbestand.

Angesichts dieser quantitativen und qualitativen Veränderungen des Bevölkerungsbestandes propagierten Friedrich Burgdörfer und viele seiner Kollegen eine pronatalistische Familien- und Bevölkerungspolitik, die auch eugenische Zielsetzungen verfolgen sollte. Bereits während des Ersten Weltkrieges wurde die Erstellung einer Familien- und Fruchtbarkeitsstatistik angeregt, die Bestandteil der Bevölkerungsstatistik sein sollte. Ziel dieses statistischen Erfassungs- und Auswertungssystems war es die “biologischen” Vorgänge, d. h. die Fruchtbarkeitsvorgänge einer jeden Familie zu überwachen und das Tempo und die Intensität der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit zu steuern (Beiträge, 1935, 6) Auf der Basis der familien- und fruchtbarkeitssatistischen Erhebungen regte Burgdörfer die Einführung der “Aufwuchsziffer” an. Diese sollte Auskunft darüber geben, wieviel der von 100.000 Frauen im Verlauf ihrer Fruchtbarkeitsperiode erbrachten Geburten das 15. Lebensjahr erreichen. Das 15. Lebensjahr markiert den Eintritt in das Erwerbsleben als auch in die reproduktive Fruchtbarkeitsperiode der weiblichen Bevölkerung und trage deshalb eine demografische Bedeutung.

Eine genaue Erfassung und Kontrolle des Heiratsalters und der Ehedauer mittels der Familien- und Fruchtbarkeitsstatistik ermögliche den “Gebärertrag” der verheirateten Frauen als auch die tatsächlich erbrachte Geburtenzahl und die Geburtenfolge zu ermitteln. Die Rückkehr zu dem Geburtenniveau, das von der weiblichen Bevölkerung um die Wende vom 19. zum 20. Jahrhundert erbracht wurde, entsprach auch der politischen Idee von der Wiederherstellung der “Volkskraft”, der “nationalen Erneuerung” und der “Rassetüchtigkeit”.
Dieser politische Leitgedanke bestimmte die familien- und bevölkerungspolitischen Zielstellungen zur quantitativen und qualitativen Erneuerung des “Volkskörpers”. Zur Wiederherstellung der demografischen Verhältnisse, wie sie vor dem Erstem Weltkrieg auf dem Territorium des Deutschen Reichs vorherrschten, wurde die Zusammenführung der quantitativen als auch qualitativen Familien- und Bevölkerungspolitik gefordert, die zwei Schwerpunkte verfolgte: Erstens sollte der Bevölkerungsbestand und das Bevölkerungswachstum gesichert und zweitens die Verschlechterung der Erbqualitäten aufgehalten und vor allem der Bevölkerungsbestand der gesunden und arbeitsfähigen Bevölkerungsgruppen erhöht werden (Denkschrift, 6). Im Artikel 119 der Weimarer Verfassung wurde die Verantwortung des Staats für die Gesundheit der Familie und des Nachwuchs verankert.

Die Einführung der familien- und fruchtbarkeitsstatistischen Erfassung war ursprünglich für die erste Volkszählung nach Ende des Ersten Weltkrieges vorgesehen. Hierzu kam es nicht, weil ebenso wie bei der nächst folgenden Volkszählung von 1925 die finanziellen Mittel für den Aufbau eines einheitlichen Systems der Familien- und Fruchbarkeitsstatistik fehlten. Erst Jahre später, unmittelbar nach der Konstituierung des nationalsozialistischen Staats wurden die erforderlichen finanziellen Ressourcen für den Aufbau der Familien- und Fruchtbarkeitsstatistik bereit gestellt und mit der Volkszählung vom 16 Juni 1933 auch erstmals für das gesamte Territorium des Deutschen Reichs praktiziert.

Um die in der Vorausberechnung berechneten und thematisierten Tendenzen, die zunehmende Bevölkerungsalterung und die rückläufige Geburtenund Fruchtbarkeitsentwicklung, gezielt beeinflussen und steuern zu können, wurden darüber hinaus auch die Gestaltungsmöglichkeiten in den Bereichen der Sozial- und Familienpolitik erörtert. Bereits zum Ende der Weimarer Republik wurden konkrete Massnahmen wie beispielsweise der Ausgleich der Familienlasten und die steuerliche Entlastung der Kinderreichen diskutiert. Erörtert wurden verschiedene Modelle, die Kinderlosen und Ledigen steuerlich stärker zu belasten als die Familien mit Kindern. Darüber hinaus sollte die Erziehungsbeihilfe, vor allem für Familien mit zwei Kindern eingeführt werden. Durch diese finanziellen Leistungen sollten sie zur Geburt eines dritten Kindes motiviert werden (Zahn, 1921, Elster, 1924, Harmsen, 1931, Burgdörfer, 1934).
Die breite Diskussion von Vorschlägen zur materiellen und ideellen Unterstützung der Familien und zur Absicherung der sozialen Lebenslagen der älter werdenden Bevölkerung, die hierüber nach 1930 geführt wurden, ist wenig untersucht worden und bleibt daher noch für längere Zeit der Forschungen vorbehalten.


1 Der Gesamtumfang der abgetretenen Gebiete belief sich auf ca. 13% der Gesamtfläche des Deutschen Reichs vom 1. Januar 1910. Ergänzend fügte das Statistische Reichsamt hinzu: “Rund 2 Millionen deutscher Männer im produktivsten Alter sind unmittelbar dem Krieg zum Opfer gefallen, rund 3 Millionen Kinder sind infolge des Krieges (bis Ende 1919) ungeboren geblieben und das Deutsche Reich wurde verpflichtet, rund 7 Millionen Einwohner an andere Staaten abzutreten. ” (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1925, Die abgetretenen Gebiete, 1925, 6).
2 In der Literatur werden für die Methoden zur Berechnung der künftigen Bevölkerungsentwicklung und -struktur unterschiedliche Begriffe wie Vorausberechnung, Vorausschätzung und Prognose verwendet. (Feichtinger, 1979; de Gans, 1999; Romanuic, 1991, 1994). Der Begriff der Bevölkerungsprognose wurde in beiden ersten Vorausberechnungen vermieden, obgleich die Berechnungszeiträume zwischen 50 bis 100 Jahren umfassen. In der zweiten Vorausberechnung werden einleitend auch “bedingte Voraussagen” über die künftige Bevölkerungsentwicklung und -struktur formuliert. (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1930, Ausblick, 663). In meiner
Abhandlung werde ich den Arbeitsbegriff “Vorausberechnung” verwenden.
3 Die zweite Vorausberechnung wurde völlig neu gerechnet und das Berechnungsmodell der stabilen Bevölkerung in Anwendung gebracht.
4 Friedrich Burgdörfer zählte zu den führenden Statistikern des Statistischen Reichsamtes. Seit 1921 gehörte er zunächst als Regierungsrat und später als Oberregierungsrat dem Statistischem Reichsamt an. Zu seinem Verantwortungsbereich zählte u.a. die Vorbereitung und Durchführung der Volkszählungen 1925, 1933 und 1939. Die wesentlichsten Ergebnisse seiner Vorausberechnungen veröffentlichte er 1932 in der Schrift “Volk ohne Jugend”. Mit ihr beförderte er die bevölkerungspolitischen Diskussionen in der Übergangsphase der auseinanderbrechenden Weimarer Republik und der sich konstituierenden NS-Herrschaft in Deutschland.
Ausführlich diskutiert Florence Vienne in ihrer Dissertation die Ergebnisse der Bevölkerungsvorausberechnung von Burgdörfer. (Vienne, 2000).
5. So stieg die in den Kriegsjahren die Sterblichkeit der 15 bis unter 20jährigen Männer um mehr als das dreifache, der 20 bis unter 25jährugen um mehr als fünfzehnfache, der 25 bis unter 30jährigen Männer um das zehnfache und das der 30 bis unter 35jährigen um mehr als das sechsfache.
6 In der Regel waren in den einzelnen Altersgruppen ca. 8 bis 10% weniger Frauen 1925 verheiratet als 1910.
7 Die Komponentenmethode wurde wenige Jahre zuvor in ihren Grundzügen von F.R. Sharpe & Alfred J. Lotka entwickelt. (Sharpe & Lotka, 1911).
8 In den Berechnungen für die Entwicklung der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit wurden die konstanten Zahlen der unehelichen Fruchtbarkeit integriert. Es wurde angenommen, dass diese Zahlen mittel- und langfristig sich nicht verändern werden.
9 Die Änderungsfaktoren ” beziehen sich jeweils auf das Basisjahr und beschreiben somit die zeitliche Entwicklung der beiden Komponenten in Relation zum Basisjahr. Die Änderungsfaktoren beziehen sich jeweils auf ganze Altersgruppen und Zeitabschnitte.” (Bretz, 2000, 653)
10 “Eine stationäre Bevölkerung ist eine fiktive Bevölkerung, die sich aus einer etwa 100 Jahre lang konstanten Geborenenzahl bei gleichzeitig gleichbleibenden Sterblichkeitsverhältnisse ergeben würde”. (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1926, Richtlinien, 42).
11 Allerdings zeigen sich auch deutliche Abweichungen in der Intensität des Bevölkerungswachstums nach den drei Entwicklungsfällen.
12 “Die Besserung der Sterblichkeitsverhältnisse, ausgedrückt durch das allmähliche Ansteigen der mittleren Lebenserwartung” lassen sich zur Bildung des Deutschen Reiches 1871 zurück verfolgen. (Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, 1926, Richtlinien,44).
13 Zu erwarten war mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass die “im jugendlichen Alter stehende(n) Bevölkerung” sich beträchtlich verringern wird, während die Zahl “der im höheren und höchsten Alter stehenden Bevölkerung stark ansteigen wird.” (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1926, Richtlinien, 44).










15 Hierfür wurde die Familienstandsgliederung nach der Volkszählung vom 16. Juni 1925 und die Veränderungen der Heiratsverhältnisse in den Jahren 1925 bis 1927 zur Grundlage genommen. (Statistisches Reichsamt, Bewegung, 360, 6ff).
16 Damit wurden die Störungen im Bestand der männlichen Bevölkerung in den Altersgruppen mit der höchsten Heiratshäufigkeit ausgeschlosen.
17 Dieses Verfahren wählte die amtliche Statistik, weil sie weder über eine aktuelle Heiratstafel noch eine Familienstatitstik verfügte. Für die Berechnungen wurden Erhebungen von Preussen und des Freistaats Sachsen zur Entwicklung der Eheschliessungen und der geborenen Kinder in den Familien, gegliedert nach der
Ehedauer zugrunde gelegt. (Statistisches Reichsamt, Bewegung, 360, 22ff).
18 Allerdings ist “diese zyklische Wiederholung der ersten Geburtenwelle jedoch bei weitem nicht so stark ausgeprägt, wie gemeinhin erwartet werden dürfte” (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1930, Ausblick, 661).
19 Das bedeutet, dass die eheliche und uneheliche Fruchtbarkeit von 1955 ab, wie im zweiten Entwicklungsfall angenommen, unverändert bleibt, während die Lebendgeborenenzahl von Jahr zu Jahr beständig abnimmt.
20 Das Schwergewicht wird hierbei allerdings auf die Berechnung und Kommentierung der ersten zwei Entwicklungsfälle gelegt.
21 Der Entwicklungsfall B hat für die amtliche Statistik eine besondere Relevanz, weil “eine Abnahme der durchschnittlichen Geburtenhäufigkeit der gesamten Reichsbevölkerung um 25% des Standes von 1927 durchaus im Bereich des Möglichen liegt.” (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1930, Ausblick, 642).
22 In seinem Bevölkerungsmodell schliesst Lotka die Altersstruktur, die durch historische Zufälligkeiten entstanden war, aus.
23 Bei einem vollständigen Ersatz ist der rechnerische Ausdruck gleich 1. Bei nicht gesicherten Reproduktion ist der rechnerische Ausdruck kleiner als 1 und bei einer erweiterten Reproduktion ist der rechnerische Ausdruck grösser als 1.

Brentano, Ludwig Josef (1909). Die Malthussche Lehre und die Bevölkerungsbewegung der letzten Dezennien. In: Abhandlungen der historischen Klasse des Königlich Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 24. Band, III. Abt., München.
Bretz, Manfred (2000). Methoden der Bevölkerungsvorausberechnung. In: Mueller, Ulrich, Nauck, Bernhard, Dieckmann, Andreas (Hrsg.), Handbuch der Demographie, pp. 643-681. Bd. 1. Berlin: Springer.
Burgdörfer,Friedrich (1929).Die Lebensfrage des deutschen Volks. Entgegnung auf Borgius’ “Grundsätzliche Bemerkungen” zu meinem Buche. Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft, XVI.
Burgdörfer , Friedrich (1929). Der Geburtenrückgang und seine Bekämpfung. Die Lebensfrage des deutschen Volkes. Berlin.
Burgdörfer, Friedrich (1932). Volk ohne Jugend. Geburtenschwund und Überalterung des deutschen Volkskörpers. Ein Problem der Volkswirtschaft, der Sozialpolitik, der nationalen Zukunft. Berlin: Kurt Vowinckel.
Gans, Henk A. de (1999). Population Forecasting 1895-1945. The Transition to Modernity. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Denkschrift des Ministers des Innern über die Ergebnisse der Beratungen der Ministerialkommission für die Geburtenrückgangsfrage, Berlin 1917.
Elster, Ludwig (1924). Bevölkerungswesen: Bevölkerungslehre und Bevölkerungspolitik, 735-812. In: Handbuch der Staatswissenschaften. Jena: Fischer.
Feichtinger, Gustav (1979). Demographische Analyse und populationsdynamische Modelle. Grundzüge der Bevölkerungsmathematik. Wien: Springer.
Grotjahn, Alfred (1914). Geburten-Rückgang und Geburten-Regelung. Im Lichte der individuellen und sozialen Hygiene. (Zweite mit einem Nachwort versehene Ausgabe). Berlin: von Marcus.
Harmsen, Hans (1931). Praktische Bevölkerungspolitik. Ein Abriss ihrer Grundlagen, Ziele und Aufgaben. Berlin: Junker und Dünnhaupt.
Lotka, Alfred, J. (1925). On the true rate of natural increase of population. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 20, 305-39.
Mombert, Paul (1907). Studien zur Bevölkerungsbewegung in Deutschland in den letzten Jahrzehnten mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der ehelichen Fruchtbarkeit. Karlsruhe: G. Braunsche Hofbuchdruckerei.
Müller, Johannes (1924). Der Geburtenrückgang. Jena: Gustav Fischer.
Neue Beiträge zum deutschen Bevölkerungsproblem (1935). Sonderhefte zu Wirtschaft und Statistik, 15.
Romanuic, Anatole (1991). Bevölkerungsvorausschätzungen als Voraussage, Simulation und Zukunftsanalyse. Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaften, 17, 4, 394-410.
Romanuic, Anatole (1994). Reflection on population forecasting. From prediction to prosprective analysis. Canadian Studies in Population, 21, 2, 165-180.
Sharpe, Francis R. & Lotka, Alfred J. (1911). A problem in age-distribution. Philosophical Magazine, 6, 21, 435-428.
Statistisches Reichsamt (1922). Bewegung der Bevölkerung in den Jahren 1914 bis 1919. Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, Band 276. Berlin: Reimar Hobbing.
Statistisches Reichsamt (1925). Die abgetretenen Gebiete und das Abstimmungsrecht und das Abstimmungsrecht an der Saar nach den Ergebnissen der Volkszählung vom 1.7.1910. Sonderhefte zur Wirtschaft und Statistik, Sonderheft 2. Berlin: Reimar Hobbing.
Statistisches Reichsamt (1926). Richtlinien zur Beurteilung des Bevölkerungsproblems Deutschlands für die nächsten 50 Jahre. In: Die Bewegung der Bevölkerung in den Jahren 1922 und 1923 und die Ursachen der Sterbefälle in den Jahren 1920 bis 1923. Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, Band 316, 37-50.Berlin: Reimar Hobbing.
Statistisches Reichsamt (1929). Beiträge zum deutschen Bevölkerungsproblem. Der Geburtenrückgang im Deutschen Reich. Die allgemeine deutsche Sterbetafel für die Jahre 1924-1926. Sonderhefte zur Wirtschaft und Statistik, Sonderheft 5, 7-46. Berlin: Reimar Hobbing.
Statistisches Reichsamt (1930). Ausblick auf die zukünftige Bevölkerungsentwicklung im Deutschen Reich. In: Volkszählung. Die Bevölkerung des deutschen Reichs nach den Ergebnissen der Volkszählung 1925. Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, Band 401, II, 641-683. Berlin: Reimar Hobbing.
Statistisches Reichsamt (1930). Die Bewegung der Bevölkerung in den Jahren 1925 bis 1927 mit vorläufigen Ergebnissen für die Jahre 1928 und 1929. Die Ursachen der Sterbefälle in den Jahren 1925 und 1926 und die Ergebnisse der Heilanstaltsstatistik in den Jahren 1925 und 1926. Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, Band 360. Berlin: Reimar Hobbing.
Wolf, Julius (1912). Der Geburtenrückgang. Die Rationalisierung des Sexuallebens in unserer Zeit. Jena: Fischer.
Vienne, Florence (2000). “Volk ohne Jugend” de Friedrich Burgdörfer. Histoire d’un objet du savoir des années vingt à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale Place of Publication: Paris Publisher: École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESC). Remarks: Dissertation.
Zahn, Friedrich (1912). Deutsche Bevölkerungspolitik nach dem Kriege. In: Auschnetz, Gerhard, Berolzheimer, Fritz, u. a. (Hrsg), Handbuch der Politik – Die politische Erneuerung, pp. 307-317. Berlin: Rothschild.

About the Author:
Jochen Fleischhacker was, until 2002, the leader of the research unit “Projects on the History of Demographic Thinking” at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock (Germany) and a teacher of the history of demographic thinking and modelling at the Department of History of the University of Rostok. He has published on the the history of demographic methods and models and about the demogrpahic upheavals after 1990 in East Germany.

This essay was published earlier in:  Populations, Projections and Politics. Critical and Historical Essays on Early Twentieth Centruy Population Forecasting. Edited by Jochen Fleischhacker, Henk A. de Gans and Thomas Burch. – Rozenberg Publishers 2003
Read also from the same book: Henk A. de Gans – The Innovation of Population Forecasting Methodology in the Inter-War Period: The Case of The Netherlands.

The Innovation of Population Forecasting Methodology in the Inter-war Period: The Case of the Netherlands

4.1 Introduction
The foundations of the model of population dynamics that was to dominate population forecasting methodology throughout the greater part of the 20th century were laid by the English economist Edwin Cannan (1861-1935). By the end of the 1930s, it had become the new standard model for forecasting national populations. After the Second World War, the model became known as the Cohort-Component Projection Model (CCPM).[i]
However, this does not mean that the introduction and general acceptation of the new methodology was a matter of veni, vidi, vici. On the contrary, almost three decades passed between its emergence in 1895 and its reinvention and general application for national population forecasting purposes in the mid-1920s.

Dutch innovators of population forecasting methodology were among the front-runners in the reinvention of the CCPM approach in the inter-war period. This contribution focuses on the nature of their contribution from an international perspective. First, we discuss the contributions of two international pioneers of CCPM forecasting, Edwin Cannan (1895) and Harald Westergaard (1908). Next, the focus is on the almost simultaneous re-emergence of forecast of national populations along CCPM lines. Was the general acceptance of the new approach to population forecasting a question of reinvention? If not, to what extent did the innovators of the 1920s build on the foundations laid by Cannan and Westergaard? This question is discussed in depth by focusing on the process of innovating population forecasting methodology in one particular country, viz. the Netherlands. The innovative nature of the respective contributions of the Dutch pioneers is assessed by means of, for example, a discussion of the forecasting culture in which they worked. Finally, the focus shifts to a discussion of how CCPM methodology was made suitable for urban forecasting and planning in the Netherlands in the course of the 1930s.

4.2 The pioneers of CCPM forecasting
Cannan was the first to introduce a cohort and age structure approach, relating past and future numbers of births to the (changing) age structure and the size of the fertile cohort groups in it. Cannan visualized his new approach with an appealing and much talked about age-period-cohort diagram (Cannan, 1895). The central element of CCPM is the cohort survival approach, which stems from the life-table, which already in 1895 was an elaborated instrument of demographic analysis.
At the time of its emergence, the dominant calculation model in the study of future population size was the geometric approach based on a constant rate of total population growth. Cannan’s cohort approach is based on a comparative state analysis of successive population censuses (ten-year age groups by ten-year intervals) and the extrapolation of a time series of ‘survival in England and Wales’ proportions calculated by relating the observed number of persons in ten-year cohort groups in successive population censuses. These ‘survival in England and Wales’ proportions are not actually pure cohort survival rates but combined cohort survival and emigration surplus proportions of 10-year age groups in 10-year intervals. With respect to fertility, Cannan started from the assumption that the future number of births would remain constant in the years to come. The plausibility of this assumption was based on the expected future numbers of women in the fertile age period.
In terms of a good understanding of the future consequences of past and present population dynamics, Cannan’s contribution was far-reaching: the plausibility of a future cessation of population growth rested on quantitative demographic-analytic argument. By means of the age (cohort) factor, Cannan was able to predict that a cessation of population growth and, eventually, even a decline was at hand; this would not occur as a result of war, epidemic or starvation, as many post-Malthusians believed, but occur in a non-violent way, viz. through demographic evolution. Cannan’s paper was part of a growing awareness and concern, and it appeared just before the flood of neo-Malthusian and eugenicist publications (including those by Galton and Pearson) on the subject of the consequences of the declining rates of population growth and of social-class-specific birth rates (Kreager, in this volume, chapter 5).[ii]

Twelve years later (i.e. in 1907), the Danish statistician and political economist Harald Westergaard astonished an audience of fellow members of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) when, during his opening address at the Copenhagen Session, he presented a practical application of CCPM-like theory in his ‘horoscope of the population in the 20th century’ (Westergaard, 1908). He demonstrated a masterly application of his knowledge of the effects of the interaction of population structure and change factors in population dynamics and a good understanding of the future direction of the pattern of fertility decrease.

Starting from the assumption of differences in pace of fertility decrease between European nations, Westergaard pictured in a purely qualitative way the consequences of demographic transition the countries of Europe were going to experience, in terms of both the ageing of the active population and the composition of the migration flows from Europe to the United States.
Westergaard’s demographic future was presented as a speculation (as is clear from the use of the word ‘horoscope’). His qualitative future can best be seen as a scenario of future demographic development. It is not surprising that he stressed its speculative character, considering he presented his paper to an international forum of pre-eminent statisticians and directors of national and municipal statistical offices. At the time, official statisticians in many countries held the opinion that statistical offices should stick to the facts, and not busy themselves with such speculative activities as forecasts (De Gans, 1999).
The prophetic quality of Westergaard’s endeavour is striking. His scenario was based on an intelligent and creative analysis of vital statistical data for Denmark, sound analytic-demographic reasoning and a thorough knowledge of the theory of life-table populations, and he demonstrated a clear insight into the dynamics of population change, caused by the interaction of population structure and the components of population growth.

Westergaard started with an overview of mortality and fertility trends. From an analysis of Danish statistical data on the fertility of marriages with duration of 10-15 years, he concluded that the practice of birth limitation had already gained momentum and would continue at a rapid pace. According to Westergaard, contemporary statisticians agreed that the decrease in mortality rates was structural and could not be interpreted as a momentary perturbation finding expression in a typical life-table. The immediate result of mortality decrease had been a growth of population in all Western nations such as had not been dreamed of in former centuries. Mortality decrease had led to a population explosion in the Anglo-Saxon world in the second half of the 19th century and consequently to a considerable change in the ‘balance sheet of nations’, because of pace differences between countries.
The decrease in mortality was followed by a decrease in fertility that started at the end of the 19th century. A reduction in the birth rate was occurring everywhere. Marked differences were caused mainly by differences of temporality: some countries had retained high birth rates somewhat longer than other countries had, France being the only exception. In France, a remarkable decrease had started around the end of the 18th century and had resulted in almost stationary population growth by the end of the 19th century because the increase in life expectancy had not kept pace with the decrease in fertility.

At the end of the 19th century, net fertility had been highest in the upper classes of society in spite of a lower birth rate than in the working classes, because the upper classes had a lower infant mortality. But this was changing rapidly.
At the beginning of the 20th century, differences in infant mortality (e.g. in Denmark) no longer compensated for differences in fertility between the social classes. From his own analysis of Danish statistics, Westergaard had established that a fertility decrease was occurring in all social classes. He assumed that a similar development would take place in all European countries.
Westergaard predicted future shifts in the balance of nations from the differences observed in the pace of the transition of mortality and fertility rates: ‘Just as the Anglo-Saxon race increased in numbers during the nineteenth century, so we may in the future observe a quick increase of the Russians and Poles until also this movement comes to an end‘  (Westergaard, 1908, p. 110). These shifts would cause significant new changes in the balance of nations, and particularly America would bear the consequences. In the past, America had been able to assimilate an influx of millions of mainly English-speaking immigrants who had proceeded to build a new English-speaking nation. Assimilation in the future would be more difficult if immigration were to alter its character, with the majority of newcomers coming from, for example, Russia or Italy.
Westergaard cautioned against the views of those who consoled themselves with the expectation that the end of the transition process would see a return to old times: ‘… we shall not have the age distributions of former days, population will have an entirely different appearance, with its big numbers of old people and its relatively small numbers of young persons‘ (Westergaard, 1908, 114).

The change of the age structure would have enormous effects. The burden of bringing up a child would be lessened, because more adults per child would be available to carry this burden. On the other hand, everywhere in the active population, ‘… in offices and shops, the number of apprentices and juvenile clerks and assistants will be on the decrease, whereas grey-haired officials will be more abundant. And if it is true that all new ideas are born in young brains, then this difference of age distribution is identical with a serious loss for the future population‘ (Westergaard, 1908, 113).
Westergaard’s ‘horoscope’ of the population provides, in a comprehensive and highly evocative way, the earliest picture of the demographic transition of Europe in the 20th century.[iii]

4.3 CCPM forecasting in the 1920s: continuity or reinvention?
The effect of Cannan’s and of Westergaard’s endeavours was not such that current forecasting practice was immediately replaced. On the contrary, forecasting along the traditional line of future extrapolations based on the arithmetical or geometrical growth of total population size continued to be the standard practice for quite a long time. It is interesting to note, for instance, that they are not mentioned in Walter F. Willcox’s overview of the best method of estimating the population of the United States, which was published in 1925. This is rather surprising, for Willcox must have had ample knowledge of contemporary population forecasting methodology: he had been chairman of a committee that had recommended the method of arithmetical progression for the United States Census Bureau’s population estimates in 1906, and in 1925 he chaired a committee that had been asked to review the issue of the best way of forecasting the population of the United States (Willcox, 1925, p. 27, f.n. 1). Willcox does not refer to the new methodological developments triggered by Edwin Cannan, or to the logistic growth approach that had been introduced in the United States by Raymond Pearl in 1920, methods that were heavely debated in the first part of the 1920s (De Gans, 2002).

Willcox distinguished three different methods. The first was based on the assumption of arithmetical growth of the total population, and the second on the assumption of geometrical population increase (also termed the natural growth of the population). The third was a component approach, based on the measure of the balance of births and deaths and of immigration and emigration. The use of the geometrical growth model, furnished to the United States by England, was declined.[iv]
In the words of Willcox: ‘No theoretical defense of the method of geometrical increase is convincing. That method, like any other, must be defended and justified not on grounds of theory but because its results agree with the enumerations more closely than do the results of any alternative method‘ (Willcox, 1925, p. 28).
Compared to what, for instance, the German town planner R. Baumeister had taught his students as early as 1876, there was no innovative element in the overview drawn up by Willcox and his committee (Baumeister, 1876; De Gans, 2002).
Either Willcox had no information on developments outside the USA or he saw the new approaches to population forecasting as being of no use to the United States. Whatever the reason, it is remarkable that the new forecasting method was not discussed by his committee, because population forecasting along CCPM-like lines had made a fresh start since the First World War. About twenty years after Cannan’s forecast, CCPM-like forecasting was performed in many different countries almost simultaneously. In 1925 – the year of Willcox’s overview – several forecasts had already been made and many more were to come: in Austria (Wilhelm Winkler, 1919), the Soviet Union (Strumilin, 1922), England (Bowley, 1924), the Netherlands (Oly, 1924; Wiebols, 1925; ‘t Hooft, 1926/1927), Sweden (Cramér, 1925), the USA (Lotka, 1925; Whelpton, 1928), Norway (Jahn, 1926), Sweden (Wicksel, 1926), Italy (Gini, 1926), Germany (Statistisches Reichsamt, 1926; 1928), Italy (Vinci, 1927) and France (Alfred Sauvy, 1928).[v]

It has not yet been fully researched to what extent the above-mentioned forecasts should be seen as independent reinventions or as elaborations inspired by Cannan, nor whether – and if so, to what extent – the population forecasters of the 1920s influenced each other in modelling population dynamics.
In Bowley’s case, the source of inspiration is clear: there is a direct line from Cannan’s forecast of 1895 to Bowley’s of 1924. As a student at the London School of Economy and Political Science, Bowley had been inspired by the forecast made by Edwin Cannan, who was teaching there. Later, Cannan and Bowley had become colleagues at the same institution. In his own lectures, Bowley made frequent use of Cannan’s diagram (Bowley, 1935). However, Bowley improved Cannan’s model in one significant aspect: instead of working with synthetic rates of survival in England and Wales, derived from comparative numbers of persons present in ten-year age groups of successive population censuses, as Cannan did, Bowley introduced rates of survival of five-year age groups derived from the life-table.
At the other end of the spectrum there is the Austrian statistician Wilhelm Winkler (1884-1984), who in 1933 claimed to have been the first (in 1919) to make a forecast of the future population size and age structure based on the age structure at a specific point in time and on assumptions with respect to the elements of population change (births, deaths, migrants) in an attempt to clarify the future effects of the casualties of the Great War (Pinwinkler, 2003, 100).[vi]

The extent to which Winkler really worked along CCPM lines remains unclear: we have no description of the precise calculation model he employed, merely a general methodological description. This goes as follows. The quantitative losses caused by the Great War are fourfold:
(1) losses of ablebodied men caused by actions of war (wounding; illness);
(2) losses among the general population caused by an increased level of mortality during the war;
(3) loss of births during the war caused by the absence of men;
(4) loss of births after the war caused by the deaths of men in the fertile age groups.
Winkler had taken as an example the future number of births and the future development of the total population of France from 1910 and 1918 (by five-year age groups and five-year intervals of time on the assumption of constant numbers of births, deaths and migrants) (Winkler, 1919, 60-64).

The focus in the following sections is on the innovation of population forecasting along CCPM-like lines by forecasters in one specific country, the Netherlands.
The issues examined are what they contributed, how innovative their contributions were from an international perspective, and whether they influenced or were inspired by others, and if so, who these others were.

4.4 Dutch contributions to the innovation of CCPM forecasting
In the Netherlands, component forecasting and cohort component forecasting gained a solid foothold soon after their first appearance after the First World War. Internationally a method debate was going on between the proponents of the demographic CCPM forecasting method (Bowley, Fisher) and the proponents of the logistic method (Pearl, Yule).[vii]
At the same time, a method debate was raging also in the Netherlands, but here it was between proponents of two different demographic approaches, the ‘Wiebols method’ and the ”t Hooft method’, which have in common the cohort survival element. The debate contributed greatly to the spread of knowledge of forecasting methodology among those who were interested in the future population size in general and the best way to calculate this in particular (De Gans, 1999).

The context of the Wiebols-‘t Hooft controversy was a debate on the population issue in the Netherlands. The debate started in 1922 and continued throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Initially, the issue was the consequences of a continuation of the continuing high rate of population growth in the Netherlands since the First World War under grim economic conditions and prospects. Basically the population debate was between the advocates and the opponents of neo-Malthusianism, each side being represented by one of the leaders of the Dutch statistical establishment of that period: the pro-natalist H.W. Methorst (1868-1955) – who was the head of both the Central Statistical Bureau of the Netherlands (now Netherlands Statistics) and the Statistical Office of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) in the Hague – and the neo-Malthusian C.A. Verrijn Stuart (1865-1948), who had been Methorst’s predecessor in both the offices mentioned.
Methorst argued that there was no urgent need for neo-Malthusianism because in due time the rate of population growth would slow down. His argument cwas founded on, among other things, a diagram in which the time series of the observed crude birth and death rates were graphically extrapolated.[viii]

Ultimately, so Methorst reasoned, the ongoing decrease in the birth rate which could be observed in the Netherlands too, would result in the ageing of the population and, therefore, in an increase in the death rate and, consequently, in the decrease in the growth rate of the population. Verrijn Stuart followed a different line of reasoning. In his view it was necessary to actively reduce fertility, because if the growth continued to be as high as it had been in the past years, future population growth would end in disaster. He illustrated his argument by using an extrapolation of the future of the population of the Netherlands based on a long-term geometrical progression calculation.[ix]
Because of the pro and anti neo-Malthusianism controversy, argument in the population debate was often based on emotion rather than on sound, objective reasoning. Many felt the need for a better understanding of population dynamics and of the demographic processes that were going on. This led A.O. Holwerda (1887-1944) – an actuary and one of the few representatives of the English school of mathematical statistics in the Netherlands at that time – to state that the statistician should be counselled on the relevant questions at stake. Methorst, so Holwerda said at the Annual Meeting of the Dutch Society of Political Science and Statistics in 1922 (during which the Dutch population issue was put on the agenda for the first time), had shown what was possible if statistical data were used in a correct and useful way. The population issue could not be discussed without an objective study based on adequate statistics, namely age and sex specific sets of what would be called now occurrence/exposure rates of mortality, legitimate and illegitimate fertility, nuptiality, and so on. First, these sets of transition rates had to be constructed. Next the development over time of each of these sets should be studied in order to gain a good understanding of the future course of population growth (VSS, 1922).

The debate at the Annual Meeting on the future size of the population of the Netherlands and its consequences led another actuary, Joh. C. Oly (1924), to bring his life-table expertise into play. In international historical overviews of population forecasting literature, Bowley’s 1924 forecast is often seen as the true beginning of modern forecasting. Oly’s forecast, which was published in the same year, is not mentioned in international overviews, nor are any of the innovative Dutch achievements in population forecasting during the inter-war period. But, as we shall see below, Oly’s approach can easily stand comparison with that of Bowley.
Both Bowley and Oly started from life-table population theory and from life-table probabilities of survival. This was an innovation in comparison with Cannan’s forecast of 1895, as was the distinction between the male and the female population.
With respect to fertility, both Bowley and Oly used constant future numbers of births and constant survival rates. That, however, is where the similarity between the two approaches ends. Because of the fear of the consequences of overpopulation that was at the heart of the Dutch population debate, he also calculated another, minimum variant. This variant was as realistic as possible given the current state of the art. He used dynamic (i.e. decreasing) birth rates (a decrease from 26 to 18 pro mil in 40 years) (Oly, 1924). By making two calculations based on two different sets of assumptions with respect to fertility, Oly tried to gain an insight into the range of the future population size. In doing so, he was the first in the Netherlands to calculate alternative demographic futures.

The unsound reasoning of many participants in the neo-Malthusian population debate (neo-Malthusians vs. anti-Malthusians), as exposed in quite a few of the publications on the subject, induced a complete outsider to join the debate: F.W. ‘t Hooft (1896-1941), who was an engineer rather than a statistician or an economist. This man had all the strengths and weaknesses of the intelligent, self-educated person in the field, combining originality with a stubborn adherence to a convincing but inaccurate model of population dynamics (his ‘conveyor belt’ allegory). He developed the tunnel vision of an amateur and outsider debating with representatives from the field of experts and insiders with respect to the truth of his model of population dynamics in terms of his conveyor belt theory. This, however, led him and many others astray.[x]

The allegory goes as follows. The dynamics of population growth is a process similar to that occurring on a conveyor belt. Granules (births) are put on one end of the belt. Some of these granules disappear during their transport on the belt (deaths at a young age) and some fall off at the end of the belt (deaths at the end of the ‘natural lifespan’). He then substituted this model of population growth for another one: a conveyor belt with a length equal to that of the average lifespan of the deceased. Now the granules put on one end of the belt will fall off simultaneously at the other end. The size of the population in the substitute model is equal to the product of the number of births and the average age at the time of death (not to be confused with the average life expectancy at birth, or with the average age of the population).
If the length of the conveyor belt is increased – that is to say, if the average lifespan of the deceased increases – then the belt can accommodate more granules at the same time. The population therefore increases, but merely as a result of the temporary lengthening of the average lifespan. In time, however, the balance will be restored, after which the population size will be again the result of the product of the new average lifespan of the deceased and the (constant) number of births (‘t Hooft, 1926).

‘t Hooft firmly believed that population growth would come to an end in the near future because the birth rate would follow the death rate. In this respect he was in line with the ideas of Jacques Bertillon and other French demographers, though it is not clear whether he was familiar with their writings. In 1903, Bertillon had formulated his ‘well-known law of the parallelism of the movements of population’.[xi]
This law says that, in general, the levels of both natality and mortality are high in the same countries, and both are low in the same countries. In other words, if mortality is high in a certain country, its natality is high as well; and vice versa, if mortality is weak (‘faible‘), natality is weak too (Bertillon, 1903, p. 1). Because ‘t Hooft focussed so much on the lengthening of the average lifespan of the deceased as the main contributor to population growth, he tended to neglect the effect of fertility and that of the age structure of the female population. In fact, his theory held only under the condition of a strictly stationary population (in stable population theory).

As a consequence of his focus on the development of mortality, ‘t Hooft was the first to introduce (in 1927) the cohort approach into population forecasting based on generation life-tables; his approach was slightly more sophisticated than that of Cannan in 1895 (‘t Hooft, 1927). Above all, he did not refrain from provoking the community of Dutch population experts into a debate about the method of population forecasting during the greater part of the interwar period. In this way he contributed to the dissemination of knowledge of and insight into the analytical demographic backgrounds of population dynamics and demographic forecasting. He also forced the participants to reflect upon the respective merits of his approach and that of Wiebols.
‘t Hooft’s cohort approach was considered by many of his contemporaries to be of equal standing to that of Holwerda’s PhD student G.A.H. Wiebols (1895-1960). However, in the end Wiebols’ contribution to the development of population forecasting along CCPM lines in the Netherlands proved to be the most sustainable of the two: in the early 1930s, town planners working on the socioeconomic and demographic foundations of the 1935 General Extension Plan for Amsterdam demonstrated that the migration factor could easily be integrated into the Wiebols model.

Presumably, it was Holwerda who persuaded the economist Wiebols to write a PhD thesis on the subject of the future size of the population of the Netherlands, focussing in general on the methodological aspects of such a forecast, and in particular on the added value of working with kanssystemen (‘probability systems’, i.e. sets of age-sex-specific occurrence/exposure rates). Wiebols’ endeavour resulted in a clear and, from a methodological point of view, highly transparent demographic forecast, starting from age-sex structure (females only), dynamic (increasing) age-sex probabilities of survival derived from lifetables, and a dynamic (decreasing) general fertility rate. Much to his dissatisfaction, Wiebols had to make do with the general fertility rate instead of agespecific fertility rates because of the lack of sufficient statistical data. Wiebols was the first person in the Netherlands to build on the views of the Berlin statistician R. Böckh and those of Böckh’s former student Rahts regarding the population’s level of replacement (later called ‘net reproduction’) in order to convince the statistical offices (and the government of the Netherlands) of the need to work with age-specific fertility rates in population forecasting instead of general fertility rates, and thus incite them to collect the necessary statistical data regarding fertility (Wiebols, 1925, 38-42).[xii]

As was the case with almost all forecasts of European populations, Wiebols excluded international migration. He had good reasons to do so because of the societal setting of his calculations. Like Oly he was interested in the maximum size of the future population. Inter-war forecasters could not have foreseen that one day the Netherlands would have an immigration surplus. Neglecting international migration, therefore, meant neglecting an emigration surplus and therefore calculating a maximum future population. However, both in his book (Wiebols, 1925, 110-127) and in two letters to J.H. van Zanten, director of the Amsterdam Bureau of Statistics (Amsterdams Bureau van Statistiek) – who wanted to know what kind of statistical data his Bureau should collect in order to allow for the calculation of a population forecast for the municipality of Amsterdam – Wiebols presented a theoretical but highly sophisticated model of how to apply the new forecasting methodology at the municipal level, with the inclusion of migration and age-specific rates by marital state (De Gans, 1999, 25-28).

4.5 A culture of creative-practice-oriented, no-nonsense forecasting
It has not been possible to link, either directly or indirectly, the innovations in Dutch population forecasting methodology brought about by Oly, ‘t Hooft and Wiebols to the contributions of the international pioneers of CCPM forecasting methodology, viz. Cannan, Westergaard and Lotka. The main Dutch statisticians of the period – C.A. Verrijn Stuart and Methorst – were familiar with Westergaard’s ‘horoscope of the population of Europe’. Although Verrijn Stuart was clearly impressed by this ‘extremely suggestive’ picture of the future of Europe’s population, initially he dismissed it because of its speculative nature (Verrijn Stuart, 1910, 286-287; De Gans, 1999, 79-80).

It is likely that the Dutch pioneers reinvented the new methodology independently of their international predecessors.13 Dutch actuaries like Oly and Holwerda were part of a long national tradition of life-table construction. Knowledge of life-table methodology was highly developed in the Netherlands. Moreover, if one looks at the methodological state of the art of population forecasting in the Netherlands prior to Oly and Wiebols, as represented in a few published estimates and forecasts in the period immediately preceding the mid-1920s, one gets the impression of a culture wherein practical men were looking for practical solutions to everyday problems related to the future development of the population, the future number of households and the current and future housing need, and were using a lot of methodological ingenuity.
Some of these solutions resulted from problems faced by municipalities as a result of the 1901 Housing Act. This act can be seen as the formal beginning of urban and regional population forecasting and physical planning in the Netherlands. It established the close link between population forecasting, housing and town planning – that is, between the sciences of urban and regional planning and demography – that became characteristic of the Netherlands in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s: under the Housing Act, municipalities with ten thousand inhabitants or more and municipalities which had seen a population growth of 20% or more in the past five years, were obliged to make urban extension plans.

The Housing Act became the legal basis of official housing policy. The municipalities were given the authority to improve housing conditions. They therefore needed a better insight into the kind and extent of housing demand and housing shortage and the development of housing need. This means that forecasts of future population, housing and extension plans were directly linked. This resulted in a growing interest among town planners in the development of good estimation methods. In the following decades, forecasting future population and future housing need became the core of preliminary town planning research – the precursor of modern urban planning.

Initially, the first decades of the 20th century saw a debate between proponents of different schools of town planning, namely the utilitarian school (mainly military and civil engineers) and the ‘city beautiful’ school (mainly architects). The former school had been responsible for town planning in the nineteenth century and was blamed for making the ugly town-extension plans that characterized the late 19th century urban housing districts. The debate had wound up at the beginning of the First World War in favour of the architects. From the point of view of the development of urban population forecasting methodology, this was a pity because while the architects were interested primarily in design, some of the town planning engineers – especially J.H.E. Rückert – were also interested in preliminary town planning research as a necessary condition for good urban planning.
Preliminary town planning research started to flourish in the Netherlands with the emergence of town planning as an independent profession in the First World War era. The new discipline was taught at Delft Technological University. The first generation of modern, university-trained town planners was influenced by the examples in German manuals of town building and town planning, dating from the last decades of the 19th century, particularly that of Baumeister (1876) and that of Stübben (1890). In these manuals it was advised to make traffic surveys, population forecasts (based on geometrical population growth methodology), studies of housing need and the need for recreation areas and industrial parks before embarking on the actual business of town planning.

In the mid-1920s, British rather German influences started to manifest themselves in the Netherlands through Patrick Geddes’ doctrine of ‘survey before plan’. These new influences reinforced the effect of the earlier German influences. It was the Amsterdam conference of the International Garden Cities and Town Planning Association in 1924 that familiarised the Dutch with the doctrine, propagated by Abercrombie and Unwin, and helped the idea of regional planning to mature among policy makers (Faludi & Van der Valk, 1994).
The first to put the new principles of preliminary town planning research into practice was the military engineer Rückert, director of Tilburg’s Public Works department (Rückert, 1917). He drew his inspiration primarily from German town planners. In the following decade, his preliminary town planning research report on the General Extension Plan for Tilburg – which contains a thorough and well founded demographic analysis and extrapolation of future population growth (though with traditional methodology) – became exemplary, although it had found little support in the 1920s.

4.6 A promise of new developments: Rückert’s forecast for Tilburg (1917)
That demographic forecasting in general and CCPM forecasting in particular were to become the new standard approaches in population forecasting methodology in the Netherlands in the inter-war period, could not have been predicted from pre-war history. But the harbinger of the new development was already present in a number of cases of well founded geometrical population growth forecasts made at the end of the First World War.
If Rückert had merely acted in line with Baumeister and Stübben – his German sources of inspiration – he would have started from the premise that a general extension plan had to provide for a population twice the size of the present one. By dividing this number by the figure of the average density per hectare of the existing built-up area of Tilburg, the required plan area could easily have been calculated. Instead, Rückert preferred to use a different approach.

First, he started from a different average population density figure, which was in conformity with the current norm. Next, in order to check his results, he calculated the population size that would result from dividing the total number of running metres of frontage in the extension plan by the average frontage (in metres) per habitant in the existing built-up area, and saw that the resulting population size was close to that obtained by the first method. Finally, he used the geometrical population growth rate approach to calculate how long it would take for the size of Tilburg to double and for the planned town extension capacity to be attained.

The average annual growth rate of the future population was determined by analysing the observed population growth rates of the periods 1879-1909, 1899-1909 and 1909-1914. He checked the plausibility of the assumed future average annual growth rate of Tilburg by analysing the observed annual birth and death rates, the natural growth rates, the crude nuptiality rates and the absolute natural and total population growth of Tilburg in the last ‘normal’ (pre-war) period, viz. 1890-1914. From this analysis of the observed time series, he concluded that natural growth rather than an immigration surplus had brought about the population increase Tilburg had seen in the period under consideration. Basing himself on various factors (e.g. the construction of a new shipping canal and the alleviation of the housing shortage), he expected an improvement in the economic conditions of Tilburg and hence an increase in immigration. Because of their young average age, he expected the future migrants to have a positive effect on the birth rate and concluded that his figures should to be taken as a minimum forecast.
In his use of orthodox geometrical population growth theory, Rückert’s actual population forecast is traditional. But it was demographic in the way he made assumptions. Like Baumeister (1876), Rückert did not believe in a law of geometrical population growth, although he had no choice but to use the geometrical growth method. He was convinced that the deduction of future developments from past ones does not provide a solid standard; the rates in the future may be very different from the ones calculated.
The novelty lies in the prudence of its application: time and again Rückert looked for feasible arguments and ways to check his calculations. He was inventive, and although not an innovator of forecasting methodology itself, he was exemplary in his search for a solid foundation for his assumptions within a wider socio-economic context.

4.7 Structural housing shortage? Rooy and the calculation of the future housing need (1920; 1921)
Another example of the promise of the new development in population forecasting is the forecasts of the national population made by Rooy in 1920, and again in 1921 (Rooy, 1920; 1921). His calculations are of particular interest because they concerned a key issue in post-First World War Dutch society: the housing shortage.
The housing shortage was seen as a serious problem, and it incited public concern. While the policy of the Minister of Labour, who was responsible for housing, was founded on the conviction that the housing shortage problem would soon be solved, critics, like Rooy, thought otherwise: they were of the opinion that the existing housing shortage had a structural dimension. Rooy provided them with quantitative arguments based on the analysis and forecast of the determining factors of the housing shortage. He warned against the dangers of underestimating future housing demand and blamed the government for not taking sufficient account of such factors as the negative effect of the eight-hour working day on housing production, and the effects of the increase in population and of the decrease in average household size on future housing demand.

The procedure Rooy employed was the following. First, he estimated the housing shortage in 1921. He did this by comparing the actual number of dwellings in 1920 and the calculated number on the basis of a linear extrapolation (from 1909 to 1920) of the decrease in the average dwelling occupation figure observed between the census of 1899 and that of 1909, with the population size in 1920. Next he had to take into account the backlog in the necessary replacement of obsolete houses since 1914 (the year the Great War began) and the necessary stock of uninhabited houses (estimated at 3% of the total housing stock). He found that seven years’ of housing production had been lost as a result of the First World War (in which the Netherlands did not participate).
Once the housing shortage in the baseline year for his population forecast had been assessed, Rooy proceeded to forecast the increase in the housing demand resulting from future population growth.
The first thing he had to do was estimate the growth of the population in the coming decades. He assumed that a future decrease in the birth rate would be more than compensated for by a future decrease in the death rate. This would result, he expected, in a continuation of population growth in the following two decades at the level of the ten-year growth rate observed in the past decade. Having an estimate of the size of the population in the baseline year 1920 (from the census) and having assessed the ten-year growth rate of the population in the decades to come, he could calculate the future size of the population.

Next, he had to make assumptions about the proportion of persons not living in houses (which he kept constant at 3.3% of the total population), the decrease in the average dwelling occupation figure (which he assumed to decrease at 0.07% per decade) and the stock of uninhabited houses (which he set at 3% of the total housing stock). Moreover, obsolete houses had to be replaced, as had dwellings lost as a result of city formation.
Taking all these factors into account, he assessed the actual future housing demand. He came to the conclusion that on average about 55,000 houses would have to be built each year. With the means available at the time, a maximum of approximately 25,000 houses per year could be built. Rooy therefore came to the disconcerting conclusion that the required annual production would fall short by 30,000 houses and, therefore, that the housing shortage should be seen as a structural problem.[xiv]

Rooy calculated the future housing need in a simple, straightforward and pragmatic way. Basically, he merely used extrapolations of the average dwelling occupation figure and used the geometrical population growth method (with a growth rate of 16.6% per decade) to forecast future population size. The plausibility of this is sustained by demographic reasoning, deduced from observed and expected tendencies in the birth and death rates maintaining their balance.
The method is simple but efficient and satisfactory, given the task Rooy had set himself. The method is also a good example of a no-nonsense approach in applied (‘everyday’) population forecasting.[xv]

4.8 Rikkert and the ‘Halle method’ (1919) – or the shortcomings of extrapolating average dwelling occupation figures
Rooy did not refer to the fact that, a year earlier, an Amsterdam housing expert had severely criticised the use of extrapolated average dwelling occupation figures for forecasting purposes. The expert – Rikkert – based his criticism on the ‘Halle method’, which is the third example of intelligent applied forecasting to be discussed here.
The method was originally developed in the German town of Halle-am-Saale. It was applied for the first time in December 1905 and the results appeared in a publication by the Statistical Office of Halle, Die Leerwohnun-gen in Halle a.S., 1905-1911 (Heft 17, 1912. Halle: Gebauer-Schwetsche). It was introduced in Amsterdam in 1914 by the civil engineer J.C.W. Tellegen, who was director of the Department of Building and Housing Supervision. From the moment of its introduction, the Halle method was successfully applied in Amsterdam in the inter-war years and also became popular in other municipalities.
The merits and demerits of the method were amply discussed by housing experts in the inter-war years and again in the 1970s (De Gans, 1999, 162-168).
The method was developed for the accurate estimation of the annual changes in the number of households (families) in a municipality. Once the number of households was known, the number of households in need of a dwelling could be estimated and, by making a comparison with the municipal housing stock, so could the size of the current housing shortage.
By modern standards the Halle method was quite advanced: the process of family formation and dissolution was essentially modelled in terms of marital state transitions. The application of the method depends to a high degree on reliable, up-to-date statistics on marital state transitions. It is therefore interesting to see how the method was summarized by J.H. van Zanten, director of the Amsterdam Bureau of Statistics and a fervent advocate of the method.

According to Van Zanten, the statistical office in Halle investigated the conditions leading to the formation of new families (who would then need a new dwelling) and the disappearance of families (which would provide uninhabited dwellings). Generally speaking, immigration leads to the former and emigration and death to the latter, although not every wedding results in an increase in housing need, nor does death inevitably result in the vacating of a dwelling. The Bureau concluded that housing need increases with the marriage of unmarried people, the marriage between a divorced man and an unmarried woman, and the immigration of a family. Housing need decreases with the marriage of a widower and a widow, the marriage of a widower and a divorced woman, the death of a widower, widow or divorced woman, and the emigration of a family. Because the method was not one hundred percent accurate, checks and verifications against census data were necessary from time to time. Several factors lead to inaccuracies: not all marriages of unmarried persons increase the housing need, not all persons marrying a person from outside the municipality compete on the municipal housing market, and not all widowers/widows continue to occupy a dwelling after the death of their spouse. Moreover, cohabitation outside wedlock (concubinage, brothers and sisters, and unrelated persons living together) is a totally uncertain factor (Van Zanten, 1938, 356-358).

The Halle method allowed for an analysis of the process of family/household formation and dissolution on an annual basis and provided an insight into the true development of housing need. The method could also be applied retrospectively by calculating the development of the number of families/households needing a dwelling over the past period. With the Halle method, Rikkert – the housing statistician at Amsterdam’s Department of Housing – was able to demonstrate that the housing shortage in Amsterdam had increased considerably in the period 1909-1918. This conclusion differed considerably from what could be assumed from the course of development of the average dwelling occupation figure over the same period.
The shortfall was an important discovery. Rikkert made it clear that the average dwelling occupation figure depended on changes in the demographic factors of family formation and dissolution on the one hand, and changes in the housing stock on the other. Therefore the extrapolation of observed time series of the average dwelling occupation figure for forecasting purposes was based on unsound reasoning. Rikkert was the first to warn against the use of the average dwelling occupation figure as an independent instrument for the prediction of the future housing need (Rikkert, 1919; Van Fulpen, 1985).
The above examples provide an insight into the general forecasting culture, as it existed in the Netherlands at the time of the reinvention of CCPM methodology. It was a culture wherein men, who were interested in the issues at stake, applied a careful, creative and no-nonsense way of reasoning in order to develop methods for finding solutions to practical issues.
Because of the lack of references it is difficult to assess whether Rooy knew of the studies by Rückert and Rikkert. Rooy published his articles on calculating housing shortage and housing need in the monthly journal Economisch-Statistische Berichten, an authoritative journal in economics and statistics. Despite this, and rather surprisingly, there are no references to his population forecasts in the contributions of those who participated in the national debate about the population issue (Verrijn Stuart, Methorst, Oly, Wiebols, ‘t Hooft). It is hardly possible that these men were not familiar with Rooy’s publications.
The only plausible explanation is that Rooy was tackling a different issue and that it was thought that Rooy’s issue had nothing to do with the population issue they were discussing.

4.9 CCPM methodology made suitable for urban forecasting and planning
Wiebols applied for a job in the field of town planning, but in vein. It was not to be Wiebols who would apply the elaboration of his population forecasting schemes for urban forecasting purposes. Nor was it to be another economist, or a statistician or demographer. It was the members of a different profession who made CCPM forecasting suitable for all geographical levels (national, regional, urban) by integrating migration into the calculation schemes of the forecasting model.
In the elaborated and well founded 1932 population forecast for Amsterdam, which was made for the 1935 General Extension Plan for Amsterdam, the town planners and forecasters Van Lohuizen and Delfgaauw demonstrated that Wiebols’ approach could easily be applied to migration (Grondslagen, 1932). Also, they were the first to calculate age-specific headship rates (calculated from census data) and to apply these rates to the forecast age structure of the population, using the Halle method to check and correct these rates. This allowed a better insight to be gained into future housing than did working with average family size rates or average dwelling occupation figures, the use of which continued to be popular.

In his forecast for Rotterdam and the Rotterdam harbour area, the town planner Angenot (1934) combined the best of Wiebols’ methods – now using age-specific fertility rates for the first time in the Netherlands – and the best of ‘t Hooft’s (his generation life-table approach). Angenot was well aware that migration has a two-way impact on population development: firstly through mere numbers, and secondly because its age-specific character affects the fertile age categories and thus the number of births. He opted for a formal modelling approach, searching for arguments to simplify his calculations. Moreover, he was the first to introduce a matrix notation and a matrix mathematics approach to his calculations, separately for mortality/fertility and migration. His model was well ahead of but definitely not as elegant as Leslie’s matrix model of 1945.

The forecasts for Amsterdam and Rotterdam stand out because of their sophistication in terms of the further innovation of forecasting methodology. They, and many others, were explicitly made to serve town planning purposes. The forecast for Amsterdam, which was inspired by the socio-economic and demographic survey work in Rückert’s 1917 General Extension Plan for Tilburg, was considered to be the main building block of the 1935 General Extension Plan for Amsterdam. They were fine examples of how seriously preliminary town planning research was taken.
The conflicting plans of neighbouring municipalities as well as a growing awareness of the need to protect the valuable cultural-historical and natural landscapes of the Netherlands in the 1930s had resulted in a call for regional and metropolitan planning. Here again Van Lohuizen and Delfgaauw took the lead. Given the lack of sufficient statistical data on inter-regional migration, they demonstrated how a population forecast for a specific region could be derived from the national population forecast.

Another new development was the influx of geographers, socio-economists and sociologists in the field of preliminary town planning research. With extension planning booming, town planners were more interested in the actual designing process than in the necessary preliminary demographic and socio-economic town planning research. That task was left to geographers and other social scientists looking for jobs outside the teaching profession.
Van Lohuizen, Delfgaauw, Angenot and others demonstrated how migration could technically be integrated into the calculation schemes of Wiebols’ ‘demographic method’. However, they did not solve the problem of making assumptions about the future development of migration. In fact, the migration assumption part of their forecasts was rather primitive. In the eyes of the new professionals in preliminary town planning research – that is, geographers and economists – the demographic method was only second best to the preferred socio-economic method. In their view, a future labour market approach would be the best way to solve the problem of the unpredictability of future migration. Because of the time- and money-consuming complexity of this approach, the socio-economic method of population forecasting was not applied in practice, at least not in the 1930s. I have discussed the issue of demographic versus socio-economic forecasting more amply in my book on the history of population forecasting (De Gans, 1999).

4.10 Concluding remarks
Demographic statisticians and housing experts/town planners/demographers engaged in the quantitative study of the future of the population seem to have lived in separate worlds in the period prior to the Second World War. Those involved in the neo-Malthusian population issue debate appear not to have looked beyond the studies directly devoted to the population issue. On the other hand, urban and regional planners were not engaged in the study of the future size of population because of a mere academic interest in the population problem. To them, the demands of town planning practice were the starting point. These men were looking for practical solutions to the problems they encountered, merely judging and testing the practical application value of the methods at their disposal. For instance, they took no part in the debate about the Wiebols-‘t Hooft controversy in national population forecasting, but simply selected the best of each method.

Oly, Wiebols and ‘t Hooft published for a Dutch audience only. The Dutch demographic statisticians who knew of their work and who took part in international statistical and demographic organizations and conferences, Verrijn Stuart, Methorst and Van Zanten appear not to have been too interested in the international exchange of information on the methodological achievements in the field of ‘speculations’ about future population development in the Netherlands. On the contrary, Van Lohuizen, Delfgaauw and Angenot both had the opportunity and were eager to share information with colleagues from other countries. However, the exchange of information remained restricted to the international town planning forums. Information on innovative developments in demographic forecasting, applied in urban and regional planning in the 1930s, did not reach the international forums of statisticians and demographers.
In fact, the information hardly reached the international community of town planners either. Here, the fact that the propagators of preliminary town planning research had a minority position in the world of town planning was an impediment to the propagation of information about innovations at urban and regional levels. Most town planners were interested primarily in the design of the plans; their second concern was the way in which the plans were based on research (surveys). The specifics of the forecasting models underlying these foundations seem to have been the least of their concerns.
i. The main elements of CCPM, as it was developed in the 1920s and 1930s, are the agesex structure of the population at a specific point in time and extrapolated age-sex-specific rates of the components of population change: mortality, fertility, migration. The future size of population is calculated from the projected numbers of persons in each agesex group. Burch finds it in his contribution to this book (pp. 39-58) hard to understand why CCPM has remained so popular, notwithstanding its many strong points:
– It is a powerful and flexible abstract model of population dynamics
– It explains the past
– It results in contingent but confident prediction
– It provides a guide to future intervention
– Its mathematics is quite easy.
– The model can easily be grasped and used by geographers, planners and demographers.
ii. Cannan’s approach was not completely new. For instance, as early as the mid-18th century the Dutch actuary Kersseboom had demonstrated – in the absence of integral population censuses – that the size of a population could be estimated from a suitable life-table and assumptions with respect to the future annual numbers of newborn babies (Kersseboom, 1738-1742). For a more elaborate discussion of Cannan’s contribution to population forecasting, see De Gans (1994); also Kreager in this volume.
iii. Also in 1907 Alfred Lotka started using the terminology of formal demography to develop his stable population theory, clarifying the relation between age structure and the components of natural population growth and between stable and real populations (Lotka, 1907).
iv. The method of geometrical progression had been introduced by William Farr at the English Registrar General’s Office after the introduction of a national system of registration, and was often referred to as ‘the Registrar General’s method’ (Willcox, 1925: 28).
v. De Gans (1999, pp. 96-97). I am indebted to Prof. Rainer Mackensen, who drew my attention to Winkler’s work (Winkler, 1919; 1933) and to Prof. Nico Keilman, University of Oslo, who informed me about the population forecast made by Gunnar Jahn (Norway) (1926). For a discussion of the forecasts the the Statistisches Reichsamt, see Fleischhacker (this volume, chapter 9).
vi. “Etwas grundsätzlich anders (..) sind Vorausberechnungen des Altersaufbaues und der Bevölkerungszahl in Fortführung eines gegebenen Altersaufbaues mit Hilfe irgendwelcher Annahmen über die weitere Entwicklung der Bevölkerungsbewegung, wie sie der Verfasser zur Verdeutlichung der späteren Wirkung der Kriegsverluste wohl als erster vorgenommen hat und wie sie heute in der Bevölkerungsstatistik der vom Geburtenrückgang bedrohten Staaten üblich ist.’ (Winkler, 1933, 108; also Pinwinkler, 2003, 99-104.).
vii. For a discussion of the debate, see De Gans (2002); also Kreager (this volume, chapter 5).
viii. Both Methorst’s approach and the diagram he used were very similar to those of a fellow member of the International Statistical Institute, Pontus E. A. Fahlbeck (Sweden) (Fahlbeck, 1905).
ix. At first sight it is surprising that both Methorst (1922) and Verrijn Stuart (1919; 1922) were involved in calculations of future population size. Their behaviour seems to contradict the position they took towards forecasting. In their view, statisticians and statistical offices should abstain from the actual business of forecasting because the speculative aspect of forecasting could endanger the faith in the reliability of the statistical data statisticians had to supply in the first place (De Gans, 1999). It should be noted, therefore, that Methorst saw his extrapolation as a private affair. Verrijn Stuart did not consider his future calculation to be a true forecast, but at best a self-denying forecast: he wanted to demonstrate that a continuation of the high growth rate would ultimately result in absurd situations. The societal impact of the extrapolations of Methorst (1922) and Verrijn Stuart (1919; 1922) can only be understood properly if the authoritative position of these men in the national field of statistics, economics and demography is taken into account.
x. The debate and the nature of his conceptual mistake are amply discussed in De Gans (1999).
xi. ” … la loi bien connue de parallélisme des mouvements de population” (Bertillon, 1903: 1) We are not dealing here with the issue of the relative truth of this law. It is interesting, however, to read that Saltet & Falkenburg (1907, 3 & 5) who were critical with respect to the empirical foundations of the law, did not speak of ‘law’ but of the ‘theory of the parallelists’.
xii. Alfred Lotka worked at integrating fertility into a general dynamic theory of population. Few had thought to distinguish ‘marital’ fertility from ‘illegitimate’ fertility. This started to change only in the mid-1940s (Rosental, 2003, 104).
xiii.  For a discussion of the likelihood of an independent reinvention in the Netherlands, see De Gans (1999, 78-81).
xiv.  I have avoided presenting most of the figures Rooy used for his calculations. For these, see De Gans (1999, 129)
xv.  The word ‘everyday’ is an overstatement. However, presumably many more future calculations must have been made, and some of these must now be hidden away in the archives of departments and municipalities, waiting to be discovered. The number of published forecasts, however, is small.

This article has been published in:
Jochen Fleischhacker, Henk A. de Gans, Thomas K. Burch (eds.) -Population, projections, and politics. Critical and historical essays on early twentieth century population forecasting
Rozenberg 2003 – ISBN 978 90 5170 747 2

About the Author:

Henk A. de Gans has taught demography and urban and regional planning at the Department of Geography and Planning and was a senior researcher at the Amsterdam study centre for the Metropolitan Environment (AME) of the Universiteit van Amsterdam (The Netherlands). His main field of research of the last decade was the history of population forecasting. He has published books and articles on population forecasting and its history, including a textbook  on municipal population forecasting. Since his retirement in October 2003 he works as a guest researcher at AME.
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Being Human: Attraction And Relationships ~ The Journey From Initial Attachments To Romantic Love

December 2018: Being Human. Relationships and You will be published completely online soon: Being Human – Contents

Many years ago two boys were walking home from school. They were seven years old, lived in the same neighborhood, but went to different grade schools. Although living close to each other they had not met before running into each other on this day on the road leading up the hill to their neighborhood. Both seemed quite determined to assert themselves that day, and soon they began pushing each other that gradually turned to wrestling, and attempts to dominate. After what seemed hours, the two little boys were still rolling down the surrounding hills as the sun was going down. Neither succeeded in achieving victory that day. In fact, they never again exchanged blows but became the best of friends. Today it is more than 50 years later, and their friendship has endured time and distance. Friendship is like a rusty coin; all you need to do is polish it at times!

In this essay we shall examine the research on attachment, attraction and relationships. The intrinsic interest in these fields by most people is shared by social psychologists, and attachment, attraction, and love relationships constitute one of the most prolific areas of investigation in social psychology. The early attachment theory advanced by Bowlby (1982) emphasized the importance of the field when he suggested that our attachments to parents to a large extent shape all succeeding relationships in the future. Other research focus on exchange and communal relationships and point to the different ways we have of relating to each other. The importance of relationships cannot be overemphasized since we as humans have a fundamental need to belong. Relationships also contribute to the social self as discussed in the book, and effects social cognition discussed in the same (see: at the end of this article). The variables that determine attraction may be understood theoretically as functions of a reward perspective.

The importance of relationships is demonstrated by findings that show that among all age groups relationships are considered essential to happiness (Berscheid, 1985; Berscheid & Reis, 1998). The absence of close relationships makes the individual feel worthless, powerless, and alienated (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Stroebe & Stroebe, 1996). Our very humanity is defined by our relationships (Bersheid & Regan, 2005).

1. Attachment: The start to relationships
This chapter is about the development of attachment, intimate relationships between adults, and the road leading toward love relationships. No greater love has a person than giving his life for another. This idea from the Bible brings to mind the passion of deep commitment and the willingness to sacrifice, even in the ultimate sense. This willingness to sacrifice is one manifestation of love, but as we all know there is much more to relationships and love.

The research described in the following pages concerns early attachment, and attraction and love between adults. These relationships may be institutionalized by marriage, or (registered) partnership, or take some other form (living-apart-together) in relationships. Since the vast majority of romantic relationships exist between heterosexual partners we describe the journey from attraction to romantic relationship from this perspective. There is little research so there is no way to know, however, there is no convincing reason to assume that this journey is completely different for homosexuals.

Most people will experience the delirious feelings of infatuation and love sometime in their lives. What is love? How can we achieve love? And how can we build these feelings into lasting relationships? Are there ways we can improve our chances for satisfying long-lasting and happy relationships? This chapter will show that there are behaviors to avoid, but that we can also contribute much to lasting attachments. Long-lasting romance depends on positive illusions and bringing novelty and renewal to our intimate relationships.

We live in a changing world. Although in many parts of the world couples are still united through arranged marriages, more and more modern communications are changing the ways people relate, for example learning about other culture to value freedom or the individual right to choose one’s spouse. Computers provide platforms from which to initiate relationships, and opportunities to screen for important characteristics prior to any encounter. Does that take away something of the mystery of liking and loving relationships? Some do feel that how we encounter and meet people should remain in the realm of the mysterious.

However, as we shall see in this chapter, learning to like and commit to one another follows predictable patterns. The fact that divorce rates increase in the western world, suggests that we could all benefit from a greater understanding of how relationships develop, and how to make them enduring and satisfying. To give up one’s life for another is a noble commitment, but to live one’s life for the beloved is a different, but equally high calling. How do we move from the initial encounter of liking to romance and love and lasting commitment? We shall see that liking and love are universal behaviors, although cultures affect how they are expressed.

In this chapter we shall discuss the research from initial attachments to long lasting relationships. Is there a basic need to belong? Does evolutionary thinking contribute to our understanding of the universality of attachment? There is evidence, as we shall see, that we all need to be connected to others, to experience a network of varying relationships. These needs are universal, present in all cultures and societies. Our needs to belong motivate our unconscious and conscious thoughts, and our behavior in the search for satisfying relationships. Without such relationships we suffer the pangs of loneliness with negative physical and psychological consequences.

1.1 An evolutionary approach to attachment
Many textbooks in psychology refer to feral children as evidence that negative consequences occur when a child grows up without normal human attachments. The child Victor was found in 1800 in the French village of Saint-Sernin. He was believed to have grown up in the forests without human contact, and proved devoid of any recognizable human characteristics. Initially he refused to wear clothes, understood no language, and never showed human emotion. This “wild boy of Aveyron” was taken into the care of Jean Itard, who devoted considerable energy to teach Victor language and human interaction. He did eventually learn some words, but never developed normal human interaction or relationships (Itard, 1801; 1962). Do feral children demonstrate the essence of human nature in the absence of relationships? We can see from the story of Victor, and that of other feral children, that what we describe as human is forged in our relationships with others. Without these interactions there is little discernable human in our behavior. Without relationships provided by parents, family, and society, we are without language with which to communicate, and without civilization to teach appropriate norms for behavior, and we have no “human nature”. We are human because of our relationships.

1.2 Early attachment forms the basis for our adult relationships
What are some of the deciding factors that enable us to establish interpersonal relationships? Interpersonal relationships are essential to human satisfaction and happiness, and refer to the bonds of friendship and love that hold together two or more people over time. Interdependence is manifested by how individuals spend significant time thinking about each other, and engage in common activities, and have shared histories and memories. Although central to our understanding of what it means to be human, social psychology has a short history of studying relationships (Hartup & Stevens, 1997). Since we cannot experiment with relationships among humans, research takes a different form. In research on relationships we face different problems with methodology than encountered elsewhere in experimental social psychology (Karney & Bradbury, 1997). Since research may affect self-awareness and the relationship ethical concerns must dictate sensitivity in the questions asked allowing us to use primarily the interview and survey methods.

Harlow (1959) performed a famous experiment with baby rhesus monkeys that supported the conclusions drawn from the studies of feral children: social isolation is traumatic and prevents normal development. In this classic study baby monkeys were raised without any contact with a mother or other monkeys. They were provided two “mother substitutes”; one was a wire feeder, and the other feeding substitute was softer and covered with terry cloth. The importance of contact was shown by the baby monkeys clinging to the terry cloth “mother”, and when frightened rushing to this substitute for comfort. Like the feral children these monkeys were abnormal when they approached adolescence or adulthood. They displayed high anxiety, could not playfully interact with peers, and failed to engage in normal sexual behavior. It would appear that social interaction, particularly with parent figures, is essential for normal functioning in adulthood. What we describe as human nature would evaporate in the absence of relationships as we are socialized by our interactions. The universality of the desire to belong would suggest a biological basis similar to other biological needs.

Some will suggest that the need to belong is indeed part of our evolutionary heritage (Bercheid & Regan, 2005). No other species display a longer dependency period than humans, and we need nurturing relationships to survive. Parents who in the past failed to display essential nurturing behavior did not produce offspring that survived. We are all descendants of relationships that took parenting very serious. It is possible to perceive bonding from the very beginning of life. Initially only the mother establishes relationships by gazing at the infant, who in turn responds by cooing and smiling. That is the beginning of all subsequent bonding in the child’s life. Later as the child grows, other bonds are established with the father and other family members. Throughout life a normal human being will seek out relationships responding to a biological need for companionship.

Baumeister & Leary (1995) proposed five criteria to demonstrate the fundamental biological nature of the need to belong. First, since relationships make a direct contribution to survival, an evolutionary basis is supported (Simpson & Kenrick, 1998). Evolutionary causality would require us to accept that even romantic bonds with all the giddiness and mystery are primarily vehicles that create conditions for reproduction and survival of the infants (Ellis & Malamuth, 2000; Hrdy, 1999). Without that special attachment between mother and infant the child would be unable to survive or achieve independence (Buss, 1994).

A second criterion for the evolutionary basis of relationships is the universality of the mother-child and romantic lover interdependence. As we shall see, such relationships are found in all cultures expressed with some variations. Thirdly, if relationships are a product of evolution, it should have a profound effect on social cognition. There is much support that our relationships to a significant degree define who we are, our memories, and the attributions we make in varying situations (Karney & Coombs, 2000; Reis & Downey, 1999). Fourthly, if need to belong is similar to other biological drives the desire for relationships should be satiable. When deprived we should manifest searching behavior similar to that which occurs for food or water when deprived of these essentials. Once our relationships needs are satisfied, we are no longer motivated to establish new connections (Wheeler & Nezlek, 1977), but if deprived we will seek substitutions for even close family relationships (Burkhart, 1973). Finally, according to Baumeister and Leary, if we are deprived chronically the consequences are devastating. There is a great deal of evidence that relationships are fundamental to our sense of physical and psychological well-being, and to how happy or satisfied we are (Myers, 2000b).

For those deprived, the evidence is uncontroversial. Divorced people have higher mortality rates (Lynch, 1979), whereas social integration is associated with lower death rates (Berkman, 1995). Suicide rates are higher for the divorced (Rothberg & Jones, 1987), whereas breast cancer victims are more likely to survive with support groups (Spiegel, Bloom, Kraemer, & Gottheil, 1989). Other research has shown that social support strengthens our immune and cardiovascular systems (Oxman & Hull, 1997). The literature is very clear on this. With social support we do better against all that life throws against us, without relationships we are likely to lead unhappy lives and die prematurely.

1.3 Biology versus culture
There is no more controversial issue than deciding in favor of an evolutionary or a cultural explanation of attraction. Evidence will show that women in all cultures tend to prefer partners who possess material resources, whereas men prefer youth and beauty. However, in the human species the male is also physically larger, stronger, and more dominant. This has led to male control over material resources. Since women are more vulnerable, they are naturally more concerned with meeting these material needs. (Eagly & Wood, 1999; Wood & Eagly, 2002). The cross-cultural consistency in gender preference may simply reflect size differences and the gender based control of economic resources.

The evolutionary perspective asserts that gender based preferences have reproductive reasons. Symmetrical men are thought attractive because they signal good reproductive health. Some intriguing studies show that women who ovulate show a preference for the smell derived from “symmetric” men (Gangestad & Thornhill, 1998; Thornstead & Gangestad, 1999). Women in the ovulatory phase also prefer men who have confident and assertive self presentations (Gangestad, Simpson, Cousins, Carvar-Apgar, & Christensen, 2004). There is no definitive solution to the biology versus culture argument. Perhaps what matters is, regardless of the origin, these gender differences exist and persist.

1.4 The experience of loneliness
The psychological distress we feel when deprived of social relationships is loneliness (Perlman & Peplau, 1998). For each individual there exists an optimal number of relationships depending on age, and perhaps other factors. We join clubs, political organizations, special interest groups, and religious organizations in an effort to remove deficit in social relationships. We can have many acquaintances, but still feel lonely. Some of us feel lonely being in a crowd where social relations are plentiful, but intimacy is absent. Clearly, the answer to loneliness is not just the quantity of relationships, but whether the connections satisfy emotional needs. Some people have few relationships, and enjoy the experience of being alone. If we find in ourselves good company, our needs for others are diminished. Those who have rich emotional lives are less dependent on others for satisfaction of emotional needs.

However, many people feel the wrenching experience of loneliness. In our society it is very prevalent (Perlman & Peplau, 1998) with 25 percent reporting feeling very lonely and alienated. Some causes of loneliness are situational due to common life changes in our mobile societies. We move often, and when we do we lose some of our relationships. For example, new opportunities for work require our presence in another part of the country or abroad, and young students attend universities away from family and friends. In these and in many other cases people lose their known social network and support groups. On some occasions we lose relationships permanently due to the death of loved ones, and the resulting grief can produce feelings of prolonged loneliness.

Other people suffer from chronic loneliness. These are people who describe themselves as “always lonely”, with continuous feelings of sadness and loss. Chronically lonely people are often in poor health, and their lives are associated with many issues of social maladjustment including alcohol abuse and depression. Loneliness is a form of stress and is associated with increased health problems resulting in death (Hawkley, Burleson, Berntson, & Cacioppo, 2003).

Weiss (1973) described two forms of loneliness. Social loneliness is produced by the absence of an adequate social network of friends. The answer to that kind of loneliness is establishing new contacts, perhaps by involvement in the community. Emotional loneliness, on the other hand is the deprivation felt from the absence of intimacy in our lives. We all need at least one significant other with whom we can share intimate thoughts and feelings, whether in the form of a friend or spouse. An emotionally lonely person may be well connected, but still feel the gnawing disquiet even in the midst of a crowd.

As we noted in the introduction, our childhood experiences predispose us toward a variety of relationship problems or enjoyments of life. Children of the divorced are at risk for loneliness, and may develop shyness and lower self-esteem (Brehm, Miller, Perlman, & Campbell, 2002). On the other hand, being in a satisfying relationship is a primary guard against feelings of loneliness, this is especially true for those who commit themselves to lifelong relationships (e.g. marriage) (Pinquart, 2003).

Demographic variables also have an effect on loneliness. Those who are poor struggle more with all forms of insecurity, and have less possibilities for participating in social relationships. For example due to lack of money poor people often cannot participate in social activities. Age is also a factor. Most may think that old age is a time of loneliness as people lose relationships to death or other causes. Some research (Perlman, 1990) however, shows that teenagers and young adults suffer most from isolation. Youth is a time when biology is insistent on connecting with others, particularly with a member of the opposite sex, and the absence of intimate relationships is felt most keenly. Some young people feel not only lonely, but rejected and ostracized. When that occurs we see the rejection play out in severe anti-social behavior as in the case of the school shootings of recent years (Twenge, Baumeister, Tice, & Stucke, 2001).

Interacting with people affects our emotional lives. We feel better being around others, particularly in close or romantic relationships (Bolger, Davis, & Rafaeli, 2003; Delespaul, Reis, & DeVries, 1996). Unhappiness in lonely people, however, may not be due to the absence of people alone. Unhappy friends are not rewarding to be around, and they might be lonely because they are unhappy, rather than unhappy because they are lonely (Gotlib, 1992).

Our need to belong is manifest in all cultures and societies. It is obviously functional to the infant who needs protection. However, adults also could not function in society without supportive relationships. These needs to belong are universal, and if not satisfied produce many negative results. Further, our relationships help form our self-concept (chapter 2) and our most significant behaviors. Our relationships largely determine how we think about the world, and our emotional well-being.

1.5 The beginnings of attachment
Infants demonstrate stubborn attachments to their primary caregiver. This is sometimes manifested by total devotion to the mother, gazing and smiling when in contact, crying when she leaves the room. As the child gets a little older the pattern may continue, initially having nothing to do with the rest of the family. The attachments of the child may gradually change and she or he becomes fond of the father, grandmother and other relatives, proceeding normally from long attachment to the mother, to establishing new relationships with other people in her or his life. Attachment refers to the positive emotions expressed in the presence of the caregiver, the feeling of security in the child, and the desire to be with the caregiver, initially exclusively, but later with other significant others (Bowlby, 1988; Cassidy & Shaver, 1999).

The personal security and emotional warmth offered to the child is different for each caregiver. Therefore infants develop different attachment styles that in turn have profound effect on adult relationships. Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall (1978) proposed three infant attachment styles. The secure attachment occurs when the caregiver is available, and the infant feels secure, and when the child’s emotional needs are met. The avoidant attachment occurs when the caregiver is detached, unresponsive to the infant, and when in some cases the infant is rejected. This type of attachment leads to premature detachment and self-reliance. When the parent figure is at times available, but at other times not, and therefore is inconsistent in meeting the emotional needs of the child, the result is an anxious-ambivalent attachment style. This type of infant may be anxious and often feel threatened.

Essentially the three attachment styles develop in response to the caregiver’s emotional behavior; i.e., how consistent the emotional needs are met, and how secure the child feels as a consequence. From the perspective of evolutionary theory, attachment has obvious survival value for the infant. If mothers did not find the baby’s cooing and smile endearing, and if the infant did not find her presence so reassuring, the lack of attachment could be disastrous for the infant. Infants and small children cannot survive without parental attention, so both the caregiver’s behavior and infant’s responses are very functional to the survival of the human species.


1.6 Attachment styles of adults
How comfortable are we with our relationships, and to what degree can we form secure and intimate relations with family, friends, and lovers? Hazan & Shaver (1987) found that adults continue with the same attachment styles adopted as infants. Whether an adult is secure in relationships, and can foster shared intimacy, depends on the three attachment styles described above. Psychoanalysis asserted that our childhood experiences have profound effects on adult behavior. The attachment theorist likewise believes that the relationship styles developed as infants are stable across a person’s lifetime. Infant attachment styles determine whom we associate with as adults and the quality of our relationships. Some longitudinal studies have in fact demonstrated attachment styles developed early in life determine how we later relate to our love partners, our friends, and eventually our own children (Fraley & Spieker, 2003; Kirkpatrick & Hazan, 1994). Other researchers however, have found changes between infant and adult attachment styles (Baldwin & Fehr, 1995). The infant’s relationship with the primary caregiver is critical to the success of adult relationships. However, there is some hope that we can change from infant maladaptive styles to more functional adult behaviors and relationship satisfaction.

Life events may also influence our ability to form secure relationships. Traumatic events that separate us from beloved family members through death or divorce, affect our ability to develop intimate relations. So does childhood abuse, or family instability (Brennan & Shaver, 1993; Klohnen & Bera, 1998). Within intimate relationships the type of attachment has profound effects (Collins & Feeney, 2000; Fraley & Shaver, 1996). How we say goodbye, for example, at train stations and airports is reflective of our attachment styles. Avoidant romantic partners spent less time giving embraces, whereas those who were anxious expressed sadness and fear when separating. How we express attachment may vary with culture. Being reserved is not universally diagnostic of having an avoidant attachment style.

1.7 Secure attachment styles bring many benefits
Secure individuals bring out the best in others. Even when significant others display negative behaviors such as unjustified criticisms, the secure person will see that behavior in a positive light (Collins, 1996). A secure and positive outlook brings its own rewards. These include, not surprisingly, more relationship satisfaction. Secure partners are less likely to break up the relationship, and more likely to stay married, they experience fewer marital tensions, and generally fewer general negative outcomes (Shaver & Brennan, 1992; Mikulincer & Shaver, 2003). On the other hand, anxious people are more likely to perceive threat. They view life events in pessimistic ways leading to depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Our early bonds with caregivers matter a great deal as we move on in life. These attachment styles have significant effects on our current relationships, and our own sense of well-being. Secure life styles based on a good start in life produce healthier relationships, and good personal health.

2. Culture and socialization produce different relationships
Fiske (1991; 1992) proposed a theory of relationships that suggest that we behave in four distinct ways in defining who we are, how we distribute resources, and how we make moral judgments. A communal relationship put the interest of the group ahead of that of the individual. Types of groups in this category include families, or close social allies. In families what we contribute depends on what we can offer, and what is right to receive depends on the needs of the individual informed by benevolence and caring. In a family, children are different and require different resources. One child may be intellectually gifted, and parental care may be shown by support for education. Disproportionate support for one child may result in fewer resources for another child. In communal groups or families, resource distribution is decided by the needs of each member, and desire to help all.

In the authority ranking groups the status and ranking hierarchy is what matters. Members of these groups are aware of the status differences, and roles tend to be clearly specified. Military organizations are examples, but so are modern capitalist organizations that depend on a top down authoritarian structure. Tribal organizations are usually also authoritarian, and the chief determines who does what, and in what way performance is rewarded or punished.

The third type of relationship is equality matching. These relationships are based on equality in resources and preferred outcomes. Many friendships and marriages are governed by some norm of equality. Members should have on the average the same rights, constraints or freedoms. The essential question asked in response to any requests or demands is: is it fair? Is it also applicable to the capitalist market system based on the market pricing relationships. Fourth, relationships emerging from the market economy are governed in principle by equity, by what is considered fair. Salaries should be based on merit and equity, where the compensation received is proportional to the quality and effort made by the individual (for example if you cannot pay for medical help, then you get none). While Fiske claims these four types are universal, some relationships are emphasized in a particular culture. Capitalist societies rely on market pricing relationships, and increasingly we are seeing similar relationships in current and formerly socialist countries.

2.1 The child in the relationship
Many social psychologists find attachment theory useful in understanding the relationships between adults both platonic and romantic (Hazan & Shaver, 1987). They are interested in what ways adult love relationships are similar to the attachment patterns of infants. It seems that the intense fascination with the love object, parent or lover, is similar. The adult lover may gaze with intense fascination into the eyes of the beloved, much as the infant gazes into the eyes of the mother. Lovers feel distress at separation, as do infants when the mother leaves the room. In both situations strong efforts are made to be together, spend time together and avoid separation.

Adult love relationships also fall into the three attachment patterns described for children. One study showed that the majority of US citizens (59 %) are securely attached, whereas 25 percent are avoidant, and 11 percent are anxious-ambivalent (Mickelson, Kessler, & Shaver, 1997). There are differences as well, as adult relationships involve reciprocal care, and in some cases sexual attraction. Still, the mother would not gaze at the infant unless she found it very rewarding, and there is some reciprocal behavior there. The mother loves her child and is rewarded by adorable gazing and smiles of the infant.

Some psychologists feel that this early model of love becomes a working framework for later relationships. The infant who has secure attachments with parents comes to believe that similar relationships can be established as an adult, that people are good and can be trusted. On the other hand the anxious-ambivalent attachment may produce fear, rejection of intimacy, and distrust in the relationship in the adult. The burden of the generations occurs when a parent passes on to the next generation the attachment style he developed as an infant. The rejection a mother experienced as an infant may become the working model for her child rearing when she is a parent.

There is hope for victims of dysfunctional attachment styles. Sometimes an adult love relationship is so powerful that it can overcome any negative experiences from childhood. On the whole however, absent any major event affecting attachment, there is great stability in attachment styles across the life span (Fraley, 2002; Collins & Feeney, 2004). Secure adults are comfortable with intimacy and feel worthy of receiving affection from another person. As a consequence, they also perceive happiness and joy in their love relationships built on self-disclosure and shared activities. It should come as no surprise that secure individuals also have positive perceptions of parents as loving and fair. Later in life secure people develop more satisfying relationships. Secure people experience more satisfying intimacy and enjoyment, and feel positive emotions in their relationships (Tidwell, Reis, & Shaver, 1996). When life becomes stressful, secure individuals provide more mutual support, and are more effective and responsive to the partners needs (Feeney & Collins, 2001; Feeney & Hohaus, 2001). Avoidant persons, on the other hand, are often uncomfortable in getting intimate, and never develop full trust in the love partner. They spend much time denying love needs, do not self disclose, and place more importance on being independent and self-reliant. The anxious- ambivalent person wants to become intimate, but worry that the other person does not feel the same. Anxious adults tend to be obsessed with the object of love, experience emotional highs and lows, feel intense sexual attraction, and jealousy. They often feel unappreciated by their partners, and view their parents as being unhappy.

2.2 The transfer effect in our relationships
The transfer effect is well known in clinical psychology. In the effort to help the patient the therapist allows the patient to transfer feelings from some other significant other to the therapist. Temporarily the therapist becomes the father figure, or some other significant person in the therapeutic relationship. We have all met people who remind us of others. The authors have all had the experience of meeting someone who was certain to have met one of us before, or believed we were closely related to someone they knew. Does the professor of this class remind you of a favored uncle or aunt? Chances are that you will transfer positive feelings toward the professor, and with such an auspicious beginning the outcome may be very good for your study. The relational self-theory is based on the idea that our prior relationships determine how we feel toward those who remind us of such significant others from our past.

Andersen & Chen (2002) developed the idea of relational self-theory to demonstrate how prior relationships affect our current cognitions and interactions with others. They hypothesized that when we encounter someone who reminds us of a significant other from the past we are likely to activate a relational self that determines our interactions with the new person. Meeting people who remind us of past significant others even has emotional consequences. In one study the researchers assessed the participant’s emotional expressions after being exposed to information that resembled a positive or negative significant other from the past (Andersen, Reznik, & Manzella, 1996). The participants expressed more positive emotion as judged by facial expressions after being exposed to information about a past positive significant other, and more negative facial expressions after exposure to the information of a negative person.

Our past relationships also determine our current interactions. When we interact with someone who reminds us of someone else it affects our self-concept and behavior (Hinkley & Andersen, 1996). Encountering such a person alters how we think of ourselves, and the past relationship may affect our behavior at the automatic level (Andersen, Reznik, & Manzella, 1996). This finding helps explain our preference for some individuals, and our rejection of others. Positive emotions result from being in the presence of people who remind us of previous positive relations. However, we should remind ourselves that these gut feelings are not the consequence of actual behavior or interactions. Any immediate dislike may have more to do with unpleasant relations of the past, than the person with whom you are currently interacting.

2.3 Social cognition and previous relationships
We construe the world through processes of social cognition. Previous relationships affect how we come about this construction of the world. This is logical when we realize that relationships form the basis of many of our memories. In one study, for instance, participants were better able to remember information based on relationships than other sources of information (Sedikides, Olsen, & Reis, 1993).

We tend to be optimistic about self and close friends believing that the outcomes of life will be positive for ourselves and those with whom we relate (Perlof & Fetzer, 1986), and we include close others in our attributional biases assessing more positive traits and behaviors to partners in close relationships. Success for self and friends is attributed to dispositional causes, while failures are attributed to the situational environment (Fincham & Bradbury, 1993). Close others become in a very real sense a part of the self-concept (Aron & Aron, 1997; Aron & Fraley, 1999). A relationship helps to expand the self-concept by utilizing the resources and characteristics of the other person. These characteristics then become part of the self-concept. This became very visible to us when a close follower of a prominent leader we knew took on characteristics of the admired leader, even to the point of mimicking his speech patterns. Later this same individual married the former wife of the leader, and served as the director of the leader’s institute. Relationships are functional because of the self-concept expansion (Wegner, Erber, & Raymond, 1991). So-called transactive memory is demonstrated when partners know each other so well, that they can complete stories told by the other partner, and remember more information than two randomly paired people. Partners also collaborate in remembering facts. In driving to locations one partner may have good understanding of direction and long distance goals, and the other may remember specific street locations. Collaborative memory is based on such close relationships. Social cognition is central to an understanding of social psychology and will be discussed in detail in chapter 4.

3. Liking someone: the start of relationships
Why do we like some people and not others? Our past relationships with parents and close significant others have profound effects on attachment and liking, but that only partly answers the question of attraction. Another answer to what motivates people to embark on a relationship is its contribution to survival and success. However, the average person probably does not evaluate attraction to others on such a calculating basis. That is to say, when it comes to understanding deeper levels of motivation, we like those who are associated with rewarding events and whose behavior is intrinsically rewarding. We dislike those whose behaviors are a burden to us. At the level of motivation, conscious or unconscious, we seek to maximize our rewards and minimize costs. We seek relationships and continue in these if the rewards exceed the costs and therefore yield a profit (Kelley, 1979; Kelley & Thibaut, 1978; Rusbult, 1980).

3.1 Antecedents of attraction
Propinquity, similarity and physical attraction have been studied extensively by social psychologists. Many would consider these to be obvious variables in interpersonal attraction. Yet, in our culture we say, “beauty is only skin deep”, thereby denigrating the potential influence of physical attractiveness. As we shall see beauty is much more than skin deep, and along with similarity and propinquity have profound effects on whom we like, and on our relationships and social successes.

3.2 Propinquity: we like those living near us
Some of the very earliest research on attraction focused on the proximity of relationships (Festinger, Schachter, & Back, 1950). These early researchers performed a sociometric study in a housing complex for married students at MIT called Westgate West. The residents were asked to name their three closest friends. The majority of the respondents named people who lived in the same building, even though other housing units were nearby. Even within the building proximity was a striking factor, with 41 percent naming their next-door neighbors as best friends, 22 percent named those living two doors away, and only 10 percent pointed to those living at the end of hallways as close friends. The critical factor was the chance of coming in contact. Festinger et al. called this functional distance.

Although there are exceptions when we come to dislike people living next door the result of Festinger and colleagues is a very optimistic finding of social psychology. It suggests that most people have the capacity for friendships if only given the opportunity. This might even be extended to the most intimate relationships. Rather than waiting for the one and only knight on the white horse, or Cinderella, as romantic illusions would have you do, propinquity findings would suggest that there are millions of potential partners if only given the chance for encounters.

3.3 Mere exposure and familiarity
What is it about being given the chance to meet that leads to liking? Some research would indicate that proximity brings on a sense of familiarity that leads to liking (Borstein, 1989; Moreland & Zajonc, 1982; Zajonc, 1968). In the literature it is called the “mere exposure effect”. The more we see people the more we like them, so proximity is about familiarity. Then why does familiarity produce liking? Is there some sense of security that comes from knowing that the familiar produces no harm? Is it an evolutionary mechanism where the familiar reduces threat? Do we have an innate fear of the unfamiliar? Are strangers a threat, because we do not know enough about them to predict their behavior? Perhaps it is. Perhaps we like those who are familiar, because we can predict their behavior and they are non-threatening. Milgram (1970) suggested that the fear of living in large cities among strangers was eased by seeing the same faces or “familiar strangers” – as they passed on their way to work.

A study by Moreland and Beach (1992) showed that the “mere exposure” produced liking. They had female confederates attend class sitting in the first row. There was otherwise no interaction between the female confederates, the instructor, or other students. Yet, when asked at the end of the term, the students rated these women highly for both liking and attractiveness. The literature supports the idea that familiarity promotes liking (Bornstein, 1989; Moreland & Zajonc, 1982). There is one caveat. If you find yourself instantly disliking what you consider an obnoxious person, exposure will intensify that effect (Swap, 1977).

Still a large amount of literature has been published supporting the “mere exposure” effect (Borstein, 1989; Zajonc, 1968). For example there are strong correlations between the frequency of exposure to a variety of objects and liking. Flowers that are mentioned more frequently in our literature are liked more than those mentioned less frequently, e.g., violets are liked more than hyacinths. People, at least in the US, also like pine trees more than birches, and like frequently mentioned cities more than those less well known. Zajonc argues that it is the mere exposure effect. However, on the other hand perhaps people write more about violets than hyacinths because they are liked more? How do we explain the preferences for different letters in the English alphabet that correspond to the frequency of appearance in writing (Alluisi & Adams, 1962)? We also tend to see letters in our own name more frequently, and have a greater liking for these letters (Hoorens, Nuttin, Herman, & Pavakanun, 1990).

In another study the more the participants were exposed to words they did not understand (Turkish words or Chinese pictographs) the more they liked them (Zajonc, 1968). Still, even “mere exposure” effects must have an explanation in term of rewards or the absence of threats that familiarity brings from repeated exposure. Zajonc (2001) recently explained the “mere exposure’ effect as a form of classical conditioning. The stimulus is paired with something desirable, namely the absence of any aversive conditions. Therefore over time we learn to approach those objects considered “safe’ and avoid those that are unfamiliar.

Computers are often used to make contact these days. Keeping in mind that it is the “functional distance” which is important, how does computer technology contribute to establishing new relationships? (Lea & Spears, 1995). All modern tools of communication can be used either for ethical or unethical purposes. There are predators online who lie or manipulate to take advantage of innocent young people. It is not safe. Online the individual has no way to confirm the truth of what another person is saying. Person-to-person we can check for all the nonverbal signals that we have learned from experience indicating truthfulness and trust. On the other hand, we do not have to worry much about rejection in Internet relationships, so perhaps we have less to loose and therefore can be more honest online? We can more quickly establish intimate relationships, but we may in the process idealize the other person. Only face-to-face can we decide what is real, and even then we may idealize, although as we will see this can be healthy for long term relationship survival.

Proximity effects means that we often marry people who live in the same neighborhoods, or work for the same firm (Burr, 1973; Clarke, 1952). The variable is optimistic about meeting someone because our world of potential relationships is unlimited. If our eyes are open we can find a mate somewhere close by, certainly within walking distance. Perhaps proximity also points to other forms of interpersonal similarity. Generally people living in the same neighborhoods often also come from similar social classes, ethnic groups, and in some parts of the world from the same religious groups. Proximity may therefore also be another way of pointing to similarity as a basis for liking. Familiarity provides the basis for sharing, and the gradual building of trust (Latané, Liu, Bonevento, & Zheng, 1995). The vast majority of those who have had memorable interactions leading to intimacy lived either at the same residence or within one mile from the trusted person.

The mere exposure effect can also be discerned in peoples’ reactions to their own faces. Faces are not completely symmetrical as most of us display some asymmetry where the left side of the face does not perfectly match the right. Our face to a friend looks different from that we see our selves. The mirror image with which we are familiar is reverse from that which the world sees. If familiarity or mere exposure has an effect, our friends should like the face to which they are accustomed, whereas the individual should also like the mirror image with which he is familiar. Mita, Dermer, & Knight (1977) showed that the participants liked best the face with which they were most familiar.

3.4 Proximity and anticipating the cost of negative relationships
Proximity, moreover, reduces the cost of interaction. It takes a great deal of effort and expense to maintain long distance relationships. As a result of our work we have relationships in different parts of the world. As the years go by it is more and more difficult to continue with friendships that when we were young we thought would last forever. When you do not see someone in the course of daily activities it takes more effort, and may be costly in other ways. Long distance relationships take more dedication, time, and expense.

Proximity may exert pressures toward liking. It is difficult living or working with someone we dislike. That cognitive dissonance may cause us to remove stress by stronger efforts of liking the individual. Therefore, even the anticipation of interaction will increase liking, because we want to get along (Berscheid, Graziano, Monson, & Dermer, 1976). When we know we will interact with someone over time we are likely to focus on the positive qualities, as the alternative is too costly. Think of working with a boss you do not like, how costly that could be? Therefore we put our best foot forward when we meet people who may become part of our daily lives. Even the anticipation of interaction with others produce liking. Why else would people make extraordinary efforts to be nice at “get acquainted parties” at work, or in new neighborhoods? Putting your best foot forward is a strategy to produce reciprocal liking.

4. Similarity: rubbing our back
We like to be massaged, and therefore like those who validate and reinforce who we are and what we believe. The research literature supports this proposition (Bercheid & Reis, 1998; Ptacek & Dodge, 1995; Rosenblatt & Greenberg, 1988). It will come as no surprise that we tend to find our spouse among those who are similar to us on many different characteristics including race, religion, and political persuasion (Burgess & Wallin, 1953). Showing again the opportunistic nature of our most intimate relationships, similarity in social class and religion were the strongest predictors of liking.

Similarity of religion or social class may just be frequency or proximity factors, as the likelihood of exposure is greater for these categories. Similarity in physical attractiveness also plays a role and personality characteristics, although to a lesser extent (Buss, 1984). In a classic study, Newcomb (1961) showed that after a year of living together, student’s liking of roommates was determined by how similar they were. In other studies where the participants thought they were rating another participant (in fact a bogus participant) either similar or dissimilar, the similar person was liked more (Byrne, 1961; Tan & Singh, 1995). The similarity effect holds true across a variety of relationships including friendship and marriage.

Similarity in education and even age seems to determine attraction (Kupersmidt, DeRosier, & Patterson, 1995). Not only are friends similar in social class and education, but also gender, academic achievement, and social behavior. A meta-analysis of 80 separate studies showed moderate relationships between similarity and attraction (AhYun, 2002). Today dating services are established on the principle that similarity is good and functional in relationships. A good match means finding someone who is similar. Dating services try to match after background checks and participant surveys of values, attitudes, and even physical appearance (Hill & Peplau, 1998). Those participants who were matched in attitudes toward gender roles and sexual behavior had the most lasting relationships, one year and even 15 years later.

4.1 How does similarity work?
As mentioned above similarity is a potent variable in friendship and mate selection. What are some of the mechanisms that produce this effect? Similarity gives a common platform for understanding, and that in turn promotes feelings of intimacy essential for trust, empathy and long lasting relationships (Aron, 1988; Kalick & Hamilton, 1988). If the issue is important only those with the same or similar values are acceptable. So attraction is selective and we rarely encounter those whose views are different. In relationships where the participant committed to someone with different values, or where the parties successfully hide their views, similarity could still be the outcome. Typically long time married couples have similar views because over time they persuade the partner to change his/her mind. Social influence may also change our views over time and produce more similarity.

We find pleasure in our relationships with similar others because they confirm our beliefs and the value of our person. When we meet with likeminded people, they validate our inner most values and expressed attitudes. The rest of the world may cast doubt on our beliefs, and may question who we are as persons, but the likeminded validate our ideologies and personal achievements. Even our physiological arousal corresponds to our liking someone (Clore & Gormly, 1974). Similarity allows for functional relationships and for more effective communication. When we are with those who are similar, communication is effortless, since we do not have to be on guard for disagreement or rejection.

4.2 A common social environment
Of course the social environment also has a selectivity bias. People meet likeminded people at Church, or those with similar occupational interests at work. In many cases the apparent similarity is caused by the selectivity of our social environment. A politically progressive person does not attend meetings of the Ku Klux Klan (a racist group) in order to find a soul mate. A longitudinal study of married couples showed that couples became more and more similar over time as they continued to persuade and experience a shared environment (Gruber-Baldini, Shai, & Willis, 1995).

We choose our friends from our social environment. In college we find our friends among those who are on the same track academically and can be of mutual aid (Kubitschek & Hallinan, 1998). Being in the same environment produces shared experiences and memories that serve to bond people. We perceive similarity and from that conclude that the other person will like us, thereby initiating communication (Berscheid, 1985). It is reinforcing to meet someone with similar views, as they validate our feelings of being right (Byrne & Clore, 1970). At the same time and for the same reasons we find those who disagree unpleasant (Rosenbaum, 1986; Houts, Robins, & Huston, 1996). As a result of having a common basis, similarity in personality traits provides for smooth communications and interactions between people, therefore similarity is less costly.

4.3 We like those who like us: reciprocal liking
Reciprocal liking is even a more powerful determinant of liking than similarity. In one study a young woman expressed an interest in a male participant by eye contact, listening with rapt attention, and leaning forward with interest. Even when told she had different views the male participants still expressed great liking for the woman (Gold, Ryckman, & Mosley, 1984). Regardless whether we show by means of verbal or non-verbal responses, the most significant factor determining our liking of another person is the belief that the person likes us (Berscheid & Walster, 1978; Kenny, 1994). When we come to believe someone likes us we behave in ways that encourage mutual liking. We express more warmth, and are more likely to disclose, and behave in a pleasant way. So liking someone works like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Expressing liking elicits pleasant behavior and reciprocal liking (Curtis & Miller, 1986).

4.4 Personal characteristics associated with liking
Physical attractiveness is very culturally bound. In some societies voluptuous women are considered beautiful, while in our society the fashion industry and the media define attractiveness as being thin. When it comes to personality based characteristics two factors lead to liking. We like people who show warmth toward others, and people who are socially competent (Lydon, Jamieson, & Zanna, 1988). Warm people are those who have an optimistic outlook on life and people. We like them because they are a source of encouragement in an otherwise discouraging world. Warm people are a pleasure to be around and therefore rewarding. In one study (Folkes & Sears, 1977) the researchers had the participants listen to an interviewee evaluate a variety of objects including movie stars, cities, political leaders. Sometimes the interviewees expressed negativity toward these objects, in other cases positive views. The participants expressed a greater liking for the interviewee who expressed positive views, i.e. displayed warmth toward the rated people and objects.

4.5 Communication skills
Likewise we like more the socially skilled. Social intelligence can be demonstrated by being a good conversationalist. Skilled speakers were seen as more likeable, whereas boring communicators were not only rated as less likeable, but also as less friendly and more impersonal (Leary, Rogers, Canfield, & Coe, 1986). Obviously communication skills are essential to long-lasting relationships. We are especially fond of people whose ways of relating to others are similar to our own (Burleson & Samter, 1996). Those with high communication skills saw interactions as complex with highly valued psychological components. People with low skill levels saw communications as more straightforward and less complicated. To communicate at the same level is a very important aspect of attraction and liking. Operating at the same skill level is rewarding, as we feel empathy and understanding. Those who do not share the same level of communications are less likely to develop long-lasting relationships (Burleson, 1994; Duck & Pittman, 1994).

4.6 Complementarity: Do opposites attract?
The importance of similarity suggests “birds of a feather flock together”. But are we not also told that opposites attract? Do tall dark men not prefer short attractive blonds? What about the assertive person meeting the less dominant individual? Or the person who has a rich fantasy life marrying the realist? Are there not times when opposites attract because in some ways we complement each other? Certainly, for sexual relations the vast majority of humankind seeks the opposite sex, only a minority is attracted to similarity. The masculine and feminine is the supreme example from nature that opposites attract.

Complementary personality traits produce liking for only a few personality traits (Levinger, 1964; Winch, 1955). On the whole, however, most studies fail to find evidence that complementarities attract in relationships (Antill, 1983; Levinger, Senn, & Jorgensen, 1970; Neimeyer & Mitchell, 1988). When complementarities lead to attraction, it appears to be a rare exception to the dominant effect of similarity. Even in cases where personalities are complementary on some traits, they have many more similar traits in common.

4.7 Ethnicity and relationships
Ethnic identification is only one dimension of similarity. Interracial couples are similar in other significant ways, in attitudes and values. The dissimilarity is, however, more prominent and is judged more prominently by society which affects an individual evaluation of the dissimilarity. But the significance of similarity in interethnic friendships is less important today than in former times. For example more and more US citizens are dating and marrying outside their own racial and ethnic groups (Fears & Deane, 2001). Attitudes toward interracial relationships and marriage are becoming increasingly accepted in society, and interracial marriages are on the increase. The vast majority of all racial groups in the US approve of interracial marriages today (Goodheart, 2004).

The studies which support interracial tolerance in intimate relationships appear to differ with the public opinion survey to be cited in chapter 9 which indicated parents prefer similarity of race for their daughters. The conclusion of the public opinion survey was that social norms now favor such relationships. However, when the respondents were asked something more personal namely, how would they feel if their daughter would be part of an interracial marriage, the outcome was slightly different. The respondents preferred that their daughter not be a part of an interracial relationship. People are willing to give the normative correct responses to surveys, but hold private and subtler negative attitudes when it affects members of their own family. It must be said, however, that negative evaluations of interracial relationships occur before a relationship is established. Once an interracial relationship is a fact, many opinions change in favor of family harmony and acceptance.

5. Physical Attractiveness: A recommendation for success!
Physical attraction is a powerful determinant of liking and has lifelong benefits. Attend any social event and who do you first notice? If you are a heterosexual man, you will first notice the attractive women, and if you are a woman your eyes will feast on the handsome men. As we shall see there are little differences between the sexes in the appeal of physical attractiveness. First impressions are important, as without these few people would initiate contact. So while physical attractiveness is important in the early phases of a relationship, the benefits continue in a variety of ways.

Notwithstanding the proverb “beauty is only skin deep”, most people behave strongly to physical attraction. There may even be a biological basis as preferences for attractive appearance occur early in life. Fortunately “love is blind”, and we also tend to find those whom we love to be attractive (Kniffin & Wilson, 2004). Since we idealize the beloved we observe beauty where others fail to see it (Murray & Holmes, 1997). Then there is always the case of the “ugly duckling” that later grew into a beautiful swan. Physical development sometimes brings beauty later in life (Zebrowitz, 1997).

In a now classic study (Walster, Aronson, Abrahams, & Rottman, 1966) the researchers randomly assigned freshmen at the University of Minnesota for dates to a dance. The students had previously taken a number of personality measures and aptitude tests. Participants had also been rated independently on physical attractiveness. Having spent a short time dancing and talking, the couples were asked to indicate liking and desire to meet the person again. Perhaps there was insufficient time to evaluate the complex aspects of the date’s personality, but the overriding factor in liking was the physical attractiveness of the date. It is also common to think that men pay more attention to women’s attractiveness than women do to male bodies. However, in this study there were no differences as female as well as males expressed preferences for physical attractiveness.

5.1 Women like attractive men: Imagine!
Despite the common stereotype that women are attracted to the deeper aspects of a person’s character, such as intelligence and competence, women, like men, are impressed by physical attractiveness. They pay as much attention to a handsome man as men do to beautiful women (Duck, 1994a; 1994b; Speed & Gangestad, 1997; Woll, 1986). However, a meta-analysis showed a slightly greater effect for physical attractiveness in men than in women (Feingold, 1990), and some studies supported the stereotype of stronger male preferences for physical attractiveness (Buss, 1989; Howard, Blumstein, & Schwartz, 1987). The contradictions are easy to explain when we remember the different norms governing the attractiveness issue for men and women. Men are more likely to respond to the common and accepted stereotype that physical attractiveness is important for men, whereas women respond to their stereotype that other traits matter. But in actual behavioral preferences there are few differences. In sexual preferences both men and women rate physical attractiveness as the single most important variable (Regan & Berscheid, 1997).

Physical attractiveness probably has biological roots as both genders think it is the single most important trait in eliciting sexual desire (Graziano, Jensen-Campbell, Shebilske, & Lundgren, 1993; Regan & Berscheid, 1995). In one study women participants looked at a photograph of either an attractive or unattractive man, and were led to believe they spoke with him on the phone (Andersen & Bem, 1981). The two photos were used to elicit the physical attractiveness or unattractiveness stereotype. The respondents in both the attractive and unattractive conditions spoke to the same person.

The purpose here, as in the previous study with men (Snyder, Tanke, & Berscheid, 1977), was to see if the women’s perceptions of likeability would change depending on whom they thought they were speaking with, an attractive or unattractive man. The “beautiful is good” stereotype also worked for women. When they believed they spoke to an attractive man they perceived him to be more sociable and likeable, compared to when they thought they “talked” to the unattractive man. Later meta-analyses across numerous studies (Eagly, Ashmore, Makhijani, & Longo, 1991; Feingold, 1992; Langlois, Kalakanis, Rubenstein, Larson, Hallam, & Smoot, 2000) produced convincing evidence that physical attractiveness is an important factor also in women’s lives.

5.2 As society sees it: the social advantages of the physically attractive
For both sexes and in nearly all the arenas of life the physical attractiveness of both sexes has profound advantages. The attractive person is more popular with both sexes (Curran & Lippold, 1975; Reis, Nezlek, & Wheeler, 1980). In the new age of video dating, participants show strong preferences for attractive potential dates (Woll, 1986). Are those who seek out video dating more shallow? Have they impossible high standards encouraged by Playboy and Glamour magazine? Perhaps, but attractiveness continues to be a positive trait across many forms of social interactions. When an attractive and unattractive confederate is presented as “author” of a novel, the novel is judged better if the participants believe it written by the “attractive author” (Cash & Trimer, 1984; Maruyama & Miller, 1981). Studies have also demonstrated direct effects in the workplace. Individuals make more money the higher their rating on physical attractiveness (Frieze, Oleson, & Russell, 1991; Roszell, Kennedy, & Grabb, 1989). Good looking victims are more likely to receive assistance (West & Brown, 1975), and good looking criminals to receive lower sentence (Stewart, 1980).

5.3 Some gender differences
However, the physical attractiveness factor may be muted for women, and compromises are sometimes made when evaluating a desirable long-term relationship involving the raising of children and the creation of a family. In the committed partnership women recognize also the importance of other traits like integrity, income potential, and stability. They are therefore more willing to marry a partner who is less than perfect in physical appearance. Perhaps for similar reasons women also prefer older partners, whereas men have a preference for youthful women. If the goal of the relationship is family development, women also pay more attention to the economic potential of their partners, whereas this is an indifferent issue for most men (Sprecher, Sullivan, & Hatfield, 1994). For men physical attractiveness is a necessity, whereas for women, while still important, it is more like a luxury. A partner’s status and access to resources on the other hand were considered a necessity for women, but a luxury for men (Li, Bailey, Kenrick, & Linsenmeier, 2002). In selecting long term partners, women gave more importance to a man’s warmth, trustworthiness, and status, whereas men placed more emphasis on the potential partners attractiveness and vitality (Fletcher, Tither, O’Loughlin, Friesen, & Overall, 2004). So there are some consistent gender differences.

5.4 What do gender differences in partner preference mean?
Evolutionary psychology would assert that gender differences exist because they are functional to the survival of the species. “What leads to maximum reproductive success?” is the question posed by evolutionary psychology (Buss & Kenrick, 1998). Women invest much effort and time in bringing a child into the world. To be successful in reproduction requires that women have stable partners with adequate economic and other resources. In the days of the caveman that meant a good cave, warm fire, and ability to provide game. In our day women look for good earning potential. Men on the other hand invest little, and can impregnate several females. For men therefore the key factor is physical attractiveness. In our evolutionary history men learned that youth and attractiveness is more sexually arousing, and incidentally these qualities in women are associated with fertility and health – men are not looking for fertility and health in the first place, but for good sex.

sociocultural perspective points to the different roles played by the genders historically (Eagly & Wood, 1999). Men have throughout history been the providers and builders of material comfort; women have been the homemakers. The greater interest in a man’s economic potential grew from the unfavorable position of women who even today earn less than men for comparable work. As noted some cross-cultural data (Eagly & Wood, 1999), sex differences in preferences for mates have shifted as women have made socio-economic gains. Other research shows that preferences leading to mate selection have changed, especially over the last number of decades of improved socioeconomic possibilities for women (Buss, Shackelford, Kirkpatrick, & Larson, 2001). Men in many Western countries now think it is a good idea that women earn money, and both sexes place more importance on physical attractiveness. So perhaps physical attractiveness was always important for women also, but confounded by the need for socio-economic support.

5.5 Selecting our mates: gender specific wanted ads in newspapers
Evolution has instilled the majority of both sexes with the desire to reproduce with mates who signal good reproductive health. Heterosexual men and women differ however, in the burden of bringing children into the world, and looking after their babies during the most vulnerable period. This gender difference would suggest that women would be more selective in their choices, as they have more at stake. In all societies studied men are more promiscuous, and women exercise more care in selecting partners, especially for long term relationships (Schmitt, 2003).

Men are attracted to fertility and physical qualities that happen to be associated with fertility, and therefore toward feminine features signaling youth (Singh, 1993). Women on the other hand, with a shorter biological clock, intuitively look for men who have the capacity and desire to invest in their children, and have a good economic future. In fact this difference can be observed weekly in the personal ads that appear in many local papers. Typically men seek youth and attractiveness whereas women seek accomplishments and economic resources (Kenrick & Keefe, 1992; Rajecki, Bledso, & Rasmussen, 1991). Support for this gender difference was found cross-culturally in a study of 37 different societies (Buss, 1989). In all cultures men rated physical attractiveness as more important in a mate, and they preferred younger partners. Women on the other hand preferred partners who were older, and who could provide material resources.

Consistent with the sociocultural perspective, gender differences in mate preferences have shifted somewhat across many cultures as women have gained more socio-economic and political power (Eagly & Wood, 1999). However, these recent changes have not removed fully the historical gender preferences. Men still rank good looks and health higher than women, and women rank the financial prospects of potential mates higher than men. These results call for an interactionist point of view. Gender differences are a function of both our evolutionary past, and our socio-cultural heritage, and it is unlikely we can separate one from the other.

5.6 Social attributions: What we believe about the physical attractive
All cultures have stereotypes that attribute positive qualities to the physically attractive. Dion, Berscheid, & Walster (1972) call this the “what is beautiful is good” attribution. Others have also found support for this common stereotype (Ashmore & Longo, 1995; Calvert, 1988). Meta-analyses have demonstrated the common belief that attractive people have higher levels of social competence, are more extraverted, happier, more assertive, and more sexual (Eagly, Ashmore, Makhijani, & Longo, 1991, Feingold, 1991).

Even young children at a very early age have an awareness of who is and is not attractive. Commonly accepted stereotypes attribute many positive traits and behaviors to the physically attractive. In several experiments the participants were asked to rate a variety of photographs varying in attractiveness (Bar-Tel & Saxe, 1976; Eagly, Ashmore, Makhijani, & Longo, 1991; Feingold, 1992b). Persons rated attractive were perceived to be happier, more intelligent, as having more socio-economic success, and possessing desirable personality traits. This undeserved stereotype is consistent across cultures but varies according to cultural values.

For women more than for men, physical attractiveness is a door opener. Just a look at women’s journals, and the obsessive concern with beauty and weight suggests a differential advantage accrues to attractive women. This affects not only personal interactions, but also treatment on the job (Bar-Tal & Saxe, 1976). Over the centuries, physical attractiveness for women was tied to their survival, and social success. It is no wonder then that these historical facts have created a much stronger preoccupation with attractiveness for women (Fredrickson & Roberts (1997).

Some studies show that even from birth babies differ in their relative attractiveness. Mothers provide more affection and play more with their attractive infants than with those babies deemed less attractive (Langois, Ritter, Casey, & Sawin, 1995), and nursery school teachers see them as more intelligent (Martinek, 1981). Many rewards accrue to those deemed attractive in our society. While still infants the attractive child is more popular with other children (Dion & Berscheid, 1974). So very early in life the attractive child is given many benefits, including the perception that he/she posses many positive traits and behaviors (Dion, 1972).

There must be a biological basis when, even before interaction or experience, infants themselves show strong preferences for attractive faces (Langlois, Roggman, Casey, Ritter, Rieser-Danner, & Jenkins, 1987;Langlois, Ritter, Roggman, & Vaughn, 1991). Infant preferences for attractive faces held true for both adults as well as for the faces of other infants. Even when presented to strangers, the infants showed preference for the attractive face, and were more content to play and interact with the attractive stranger. On the other hand they turned away three times as often from the stranger deemed unattractive as from the one rated attractive (Langlois, Roggman, & Rieser-Danner, 1990).

Being given such great advantages at birth, it is no wonder that a person’s relative attractiveness has an effect on development and self-confidence. The physically attractive do in fact display more contentment and satisfaction with life, and feel more in control of their fates (Diener, Wolsic, & Fujita, 1995; Umberson & Hughes, 1987). Being treated so nice from birth onward produces the confidence and traits that encourage further positive interactions and rewards (Langlois et al, 2000). Other people by their positive regards create a self-fulfilling prophecy as the attractive person responds with the expected socially skillful behavior.

5.7 The universality of the “beautiful is good” attribution
Is the stereotype present in various cultures? Research would tend to support this contention (Albright, Malloy, Dong, Kenny, Fang, Winquist, & Yu, 1997; Chen, Shaffer, & Wu, 1997; Wheeler & Kim, 1997). Although beauty is a door opener in all cultures, each culture may vary as to what traits are considered desirable. Some traits associated with attractiveness like being strong and assertive are especially valued in North American samples. Other traits such as being sensitive, honest, and generous are valued in Korean cultures. Some traits like happy, poised, extraverted, and sexually warm and responsive are liked in all the cultures studied.

5.8 Physical attractiveness has immediate impact and provides vicarious prestige
Experimental research shows that vicarious prestige is derived from association with an attractive person (Sigall & Landy, 1973). In one study the participant’s impression of an experimental confederate was influenced by whether the collaborator was seated with an attractive or unattractive woman. When with an attractive woman the confederate was perceived as both likeable and confident. There are predictable gender differences. Being with an attractive woman has more positive consequences for a man, than being with an attractive man has for a woman (Bar-Tal & Saxe, 1976; Hebl & Mannix, 2003). US society has coined the term “trophy wife” to demonstrate the appreciation of a man, usually wealthy, being with a young and attractive spouse.

5.9 Cultural differences and consistencies in physical attractiveness: Reproductive health
There are some variations among cultures as to what is considered attractive. Western society has changed over time in evaluation of female beauty. Like mentioned before, just a short historical time ago voluptuous women were considered attractive whereas today the skinny woman is considered more alluring. In different cultures there is also different preferences for skin color and ornaments (Hebl & Heatherton, 1997). In the China of the past, artificially bound small feet of women were thought sexually stimulating and in other cultures women lengthened their necks by adding rings and stretching that body part. So there are cultural variations in what is considered beautiful and attractive. However, there is also considerable cross-cultural agreement on what is physically attractive as there are features of the human face and body that have universal appeal (Langlois et al, 2000; Rhodes, Yoshikawa, Clark, Lee, McKay, & Akamatsu, 2001). Asians, Blacks and Caucasians share common opinions about what are considered attractive facial features (Bernstein, Lin, McClennan, 1982; Perrett, May, & Yoshikawa, 1994).

As discussed previously, even infants have a preference for attractive faces. The appreciation of beauty must derive from something very functional to our survival and hence to reproduction. Physical attractiveness most importantly signifies good health, and reproductive fitness. Keep in mind that those traits that are functional to our survival are also preserved in biology and our genes. If our ancestors had been attracted to unhealthy persons, they would not have had any offspring. Nature informs us by physical attractiveness that the proposed partner possesses good reproductive health.

We are attracted to faces that typify the norm, and stay away from those that are anomalous. Langlois & Roggman, (1990) in fact, found evidence for the preference for the face scored by independent judges to be culturally typical or average. By means of computer technology, they managed to make composite faces of a number of persons (or average faces), and found that these were considered more attractive than different individual faces. Having average features is one component of beauty. Others have, however, shown that there are also other features (higher cheek bones, thinner jaw, and larger eyes) that contribute to attractiveness (Perett, May, & Yoshikawa, 2994).

Bilateral symmetryis a significant feature in physical attraction (Thornhill & Gangestad, 1993). Departures from bilateral symmetry may indicate the presence of disease, or the inability to resist disease. Average features and symmetry are attractive, from the evolutionary perspective, conceivably because they signal good health to a prospective mate. These cues exist at such a basic level that we have no conscious awareness of their presence. We just know what is attractive to us, and approach the other person depending on that quality, and our own level of attractiveness.

5.10 Attraction variables and first encounters
If we ask people to recall relationships of the past, what do they volunteer as being the cause of initial attraction? In one study, the participants were asked to describe how they had fallen in love or formed a friendship describing a specific relationship from the past (Aron, Dutton, Aron, & Iverson, 1989). These accounts were then categorized for the presence or absence of the attraction variables. For those describing falling in love, reciprocal liking and attractiveness were mentioned with high frequency. To start a relationship many of us just wait to see if an attractive person makes a move that we can interpret as liking. Reciprocal liking and attractiveness in several meanings are also associated with the formation of friendships. Although this holds true for both genders, conversation appears as one additional important quality for females. Women find quality conversation of greater importance than do men in friendship attraction (Duck, 1994a; Fehr, 1996).

Similarity and proximity, on the other hand, were mentioned with lower frequency. Perhaps these variables seem obvious and therefore do not become part of our memory or consciousness. Similarity and proximity may still play very important roles in interpersonal attraction. They respectively focus attention on those deemed eligible and of interest, and on opportunities for encounters. Similar reports emphasizing the importance of the attraction variables, reciprocal liking, attractiveness, similarity, and proximity, have been obtained from memory reports of initial encounters in other cultures as well (Aron & Rodriquez, 1992; Sprecher, Aron, Hatfield, Cortese, Potapova, & Levitskaya, 1994).

5.11 Level of attractiveness
Water finds its own level, and that seems to hold true for relationships. People seek out mates at the approximate same level of attractiveness they possess (Murstein, 1986). We tend to pair off with people who are rated similar in attractiveness whether for dating or for long-term relationships (Feingold, 1988). Similarity in physical attractiveness affects relationship satisfaction (White, 1980). Those similar in physical attractiveness fall in love.

What is an equitable match in the market place of relationships? If one partner is less attractive perhaps he has compensating qualities like being rich. The dating market is a social market place where potential friends or mates sell compensating qualities. Consistent with the previous discussion, men offer social status and seek attractiveness (Koestner & Wheeler, 1988). Since the market place dominates our psychology perhaps that explains also why beautiful women seek compensation if they are to consider a less attractive man. Beautiful women tend to marry higher in social status (Elder, 1969). In the long run market place psychology may also be responsible for our incredible divorce rates. If the exchange of relationship qualities is not satisfactory why not just look for something better? When relationships are based on exchange, and qualities like physical attractiveness deteriorate over the lifespan, no wonder that many become dissatisfied and consider their alternatives.

6. Theories of Interpersonal attraction
In some societies the market place seems to determine all aspects of culture and interpersonal interactions. It is no wonder then that theories of interpersonal attraction emphasize qualities important in the market place: rewards, costs, alternatives, and fairness. All relationships involve interdependence and we have the power to influence outcomes and satisfaction. In chapter1 we briefly discussed the following theories. Now it is time to see their application to interpersonal attraction.

6.1 Social exchange theory
The attraction variables we have discussed all contain potential rewards. Why is it rewarding to be with people who are similar? Similar people validate our self-concept, and that is experienced as rewarding. What are the rewarding aspects of propinquity? If a potential friend lives next door, we do not have to make much of an effort to meet him or her, and that is experienced as rewarding. Is physical attractiveness rewarding? Physical attractiveness brings status to the partner, and that is rewarding. What about reciprocal liking? That can be experienced as validating our self-concept and our sense of worthiness. So many of the variables we have discussed previously can be interpreted by a theory that has rewards and costs as a basis, one such theory is social exchange theory (Homans, 1961; Kelley & Thibaut, 1978; Secord & Backman, 1964; Thibaut & Kelley, 1959).

According to the economic perspective of social exchange theory people feel positive or negative toward their relationships depending on costs and benefits. All relationships involve rewards as well as costs, and relationship outcomes are defined as the rewards minus the costs. The partner may bring comfort, sexual excitement, support in bad times, someone to share information, someone to learn from, all possible rewards. However, the partnership also has costs. The partner might be arrogant, a poor provider, unfaithful, and have different values. These are the potential costs. Social exchange theory proposes that we calculate these rewards and costs consciously or at the subliminal level. If the outcome is positive, we are satisfied and stay in the relationship; if not, we bring the relationship to an end (Foa & Foa, 1974; Lott& Lott, 1974).

Relationship satisfaction in social exchange theory depends on one additional variable: our comparison level. What do you expect to be the outcome of your current relationship based on your past experiences in other relationships? If you were married to a fantastic man who died you will always have high expectations when meeting potential new partners. On the other hand, at work you have experienced successive poor managers. In transferring to a new department you are pleasantly surprised by an ordinary supervisor, as all your previous work relationships have been negative. Social exchange theory asserts that what we expect from current relationships is laid down in the history of our relationships. Some of us have had successful and rewarding friendships and therefore have high comparison levels. Others have experienced much disappointment and therefore have low expectations. Your satisfaction therefore depends on the comparison level developed from experience.

However, you may also evaluate the relationship from the perspective of what is possible. Perhaps you have friends that have rewarding relationships or rich partners. This provides you with another level of comparison, namely a comparison level of alternatives. If you ditched this partner and started circulating again, you might meet mister right who is rich, attractive and supportive. After all it is a big world so there is a probability that another relationship will prove more rewarding.

Some people have high comparison levels; they have had good fortune in past relationships. Their comparison level for an alternative relationship may therefore be very high, and not easy to meet. Others have low comparison levels for alternatives and will stay in a costly relationship, as they have no expectation that other attachments will provide better results. Women in abusive relationships, for example, often stay because they do not believe that other relationships will improve life (Simpson, 1987).

6.2 Equity theory: Our expectation of fairness
According to equity theory, we feel content in a relationship when what we offer is proportionate to what we receive. Happiness in relationships comes from a balance between inputs and rewards, so we are content when our social relationships are perceived to be equitable. On the other hand, our sense of fairness is disturbed when we are exploited and others take advantage of us. We all possess intuitive rules for determining whether we are being treated fairly (Clark & Chrisman, 1994). Workers who are paid very little while working very hard feel the unfairness or imbalance between input and reward, especially when others benefit from their hard work. These feelings of injustice constituted the original motivation of the workers movement, the trade unions, and the workers political parties.

At dinnertime do all the children get the same size piece of pie, do we distribute the food in an equitable manner? Equality is the main determinant of our evaluation of the outcome among friends and in family interactions (Austin, 1980). There are of course times when one child’s needs are greater than another sibling. Many will recognize that families respond to that issue with “from each according to his ability to each according to his need”. One child might be very sick and need all the family’s resources. The idea that benefits should be distributed according to need is another aspect of fairness (Clark, Graham, & Grote, 2002).

Equity theory asserts furthermore that people’s benefits should equal their input. If we work harder than others we should receive a larger salary (Hatfield, Traupmann, Sprecher, Utne, & Hay, 1985). When people perceive unfairness or inequity they will try to restore the balance. For example, if you work for a low wage you may get together with others who are unfairly treated as well and seek more compensation. You may also cognitively adjust by reasoning that there are no alternatives, and that you are lucky to have any income at all. Then you can use cognitive strategies to change your perception of unfairness. If neither of the strategies bring satisfaction, then it is time to quit and look for some other career.

In intimate relationships satisfaction is also determined to some degree by equity (Sprecher, 2001). For example, how to distribute the household work fairly is an important issue for many young couples. Those couples that cannot find an equitable balance report more distress (Grote & Clark, 2001). Gender ideology plays a role in relationship satisfaction. Feminist ideology historically reacted to the great unfairness brought on by discrimination toward women at home and at work. Feminist women may therefore be unhappier if they perceive inequity in household work (Van Yperen & Buunk, 1991).

6.3 Equity and power
Partners may prefer different solutions to daily equity problems. Should the resources of the family go toward the husband’s education, or to buying a house? In a world of scarce resources there are always decisions that may favor only one party. The power balance decides to what degree either partner in an intimate relationship can influence the feelings, thoughts and behaviors of the other partner. Are all decisions made mutually? How do partners come to an agreement about what type of decision-making is fair and equitable?

What determines power in a relationship? Social norms about gender behavior are a powerful determinant. Traditionally women were taught to respect the dominant role of men as “head” of the family. The man historically had total control over wife and children. Today similar traditional patterns continue throughout the world. There is even the very famous case of a princess in the Saudi Arabian royal family who was executed by orders of her grandfather. Her offense was having a relationship based on romance rather than accepting her father’s decision for an arranged marriage. These so-called honor killings, when women are murdered to restore family ”honor”, follow a similar pattern of absolute male control. In the western world these traditional gender roles are giving way to more equitable relations in society and in the family.

Partners may have different resources. When the man has resource advantages, he also tends to be more dominant. When the wife earns at least 50 percent of the household income, there is more equitable power sharing. Power is also partly based on the feelings of dependency within the relationship (Waller, 1938). When one partner is more dependent, the other has more power. This holds also for psychological dependency. If one partner has a greater interest in maintaining the relationship than the other, the dependency gives more power to the partner.

So there are variations in how power works out in relationships. In some relationships the man is totally dominant, and some cultures support this sex role resolution. However, we have observed many changes in gender roles and relations over the past decades. Women have gained more social power and more equity in intimate relationships. In one US survey of married couples the majority (64%) claimed equality in power relations (Blumstein & Schawartz, 1983). A large number (27%) reported that the man was dominant, and 9 percent that the wife controlled power in the marriage. In a more recent US study (Felmlee, 1994) 48 percent of the women and 42 percent of the men described their relationship as equal in power, with most of the remaining respondents reporting that the man was dominant. Couples can achieve equality in different ways with a division of responsibilities. Depending on the situation one of the parties may have more power, but overall there is a sense of equality. Some studies find that consensus between a couple is more important than negotiating all the fine details of power sharing, and relationship satisfaction appears equally high in male dominated as in power sharing relationships (Peplau, 1984). In close relationships there is less need to negotiate everything and produce equitable solutions. If the satisfaction level is high, the parties are less concerned with perfect equity. It is whether the relationship is rewarding that counts (Berscheid & Reis, 1998).

7. Exchange among strangers and in close communal relationships
Exchange relationships also exist between strangers or in functional relationships at work. Exchange relationships tend to be more temporary and the partners feel less responsibility toward one another compared to more intimate relationships. Satisfaction in all exchange relationships is as noted determined by the principle of fairness. Did your professor give you a grade that reflected your work? Work related outcomes and satisfactions are determined by application of the fairness principle.

In communal relationships, such as families, on the other hand, people’s outcome depends on their need. In family relationships we give what we can, and receive from the family what it is able to provide. Communal relationships are typically long-lasting, and promote feelings of mutual responsibility (Clark & Mills, 1979). We look after our children not because we expect a reward, but rather to respond to the needs of our dependants. Likewise children look after their infirm parents, because of feelings of responsibility. In intimate relationships partners respond to the needs of the other, without expecting to be paid back in exact coin or immediately. There may be rewards for both parties in the long run. In short, exchange theory better predicts behavior in relationships where the parties are preoccupied with inputs and rewards, whereas in communal relations the partners are more concerned with meeting the needs of the relationship (Clark, Mills, Powell, 1986).

Mills and Clark (1994; 2001) have defined further differences between exchange in different types of relationships. Among strangers you are not likely to discuss emotional topics whereas that is expected in communal interactions. In communal relationships helping behavior is expected, whereas it would be seen as altruistic in relations between strangers. Moreover, a person is perceived as more selfish if failing to help a friend, than if he failed to come to the aid of a stranger. In real intimate relations between lovers the lines between partners is blurred as a feeling of “we” pervades. When we benefit a loved one, we feel like we are benefiting ourselves (Aron & Aron, 2000). The beloved is seen as part of the self, and terms like “we” is used more frequently than “I” as relations move beyond exchange and equity concerns (Agnew, Van Lange, Rusbolt, & Langston, 1998).

7.1 Culture and social exchange
Cultural differences affect relationships. In Western society some of our relationships reflect market economic values such as exchange and some forms of equity. Asian societies have in the past been based on more traditional, communal standards. Economic companies in Asia often take a paternal role, offering life long job security. How are the new market economies affecting psychology in Asia and Eastern Europe? Assuming a relationship between economic relations and psychology, we might expect a greater shift toward social exchange relations. Social exchange theory also plays a role in intimate relationships in a variety of cultures (Lin & Rusbult, 1995; Rusbult & Van Lange, 1996; Van Lange, Rusbolt, Drigotas, Arriaga, Witcher, & Cox, 1997). Although communal relations are more characteristic of interdependent cultures, there is still a role for social exchange for some relationships in these societies as well as in more independent cultures.

7.2 Evaluation of relationship satisfaction
How committed people are to a relationship depends on satisfaction, on the potential alternatives available, and on the investment made (Rusbult, 1983). If we are not satisfied in a relationship there are alternatives to be explored. Before we end the relationship we carefully assess one particular factor. Namely, how much have I invested in the relationship? How much would I lose if I left the relationship? Would I be better or worse off, many women in abusive relationships ask themselves. Investment is also a factor the individual considers prior to the commitment to dissolve of a relationship. Investment comprises several things: the money available for a new life, a house that might be lost, the emotional well being of children in the relationship, and of course all the work that has been invested in the relationship. This model also predicts commitment in destructive relationships (Rusbult & Martz, 1995). Women who had poorer economic prospects, and were strongly invested with children present, were more likely to tolerate some forms of abuse.

It is difficult to evaluate equitable outcomes as partners trade different resources. Equity however, remains a factor even in intimate relationships (Canary & Stafford, 2001). In intimate relationships there are few rigid give and take rules. Perhaps the wife does all the housework, does most of the child rising, and is a romantic partner while the husband is only a student. It may seem unfair, but the investment may pay off down the line in higher income and status. In intimate relationships partners have the long view in mind when evaluating equity. The partners trust that eventually everything will work out to the benefit of the whole family unit.

7.3 Self-disclosure: building intimate relationships
Self-disclosure is the bridge to intimacy and liking (Collins & Miller, 1994). When we disclose important information to others we become vulnerable, and so self-disclosure is a form of trust that invites reciprocation. People who self-disclose are therefore seen as trusting people, and trust is an essential component in intimate relationships. When we open ourselves up to another, reciprocation tends to occur (Dindia, 2002). Telling someone something significant is an investment in trust, and if the relationship is to move to another level, a gradual process of reciprocation is required. Reciprocal self-disclosure is a key factor in liking and builds bridges to the deeper and more meaningful part of a person’s inner self (Chaikin & Derlega, 1974).

There are of course risks involved in self-disclosure. The other person may not be interested and fail to reciprocate. We may also reveal something about ourselves that offends the values of the other person thereby causing rejection. Having revealed significant information, we have made ourselves vulnerable to the other person’s ability to manipulate or betray our confidence. Many prisoners have after the fact found it unwise that they confessed their crimes to cell mates who later sold the information. For these and other reasons we are often cautious in self-disclosure and will conceal inner feelings (Finkenauer & Hazam, 2000).

In individualist cultures relationship satisfaction is related to self-disclosure. In the more collectivist cultures social relations are often more inhibited (Barnlund, 1989). Japanese students were found to self-disclose much less than American students. Self-disclosure is important to love-based marriages in both American and Indian societies (Yelsma & Athappilly, 1988). However for Indian couples in arranged marriages, marital satisfaction was independent of self-disclosure. Perhaps in these formal relationships satisfaction depends more on completion of agreements and contractual expectations.

Cultural norms determine to a large extent the pattern of self-disclosure across many societies. In western culture emotional expression is normative for women and therefore acceptable. The emphasis on rugged individualism for men suggests that our society suppresses intimacy among men. Hence emotional expression by men is generally directed toward females. In Muslim countries and some societies in Asia, same sex intimacy is encouraged (Reis & Wheeler, 1991).

7.4 Gender differences in self-disclosure?
A meta-analysis of hundreds of studies showed that women disclose significantly more than men (Dindia & Allen, 1992). Although the overall differences were not large they were statistically significant. Within same sex friendships, women reveal more of themselves than men who are more cautious with their male friends. Verbal communication appears especially important to women, whereas men cement their relationships with best friends through shared activities (Caldwell & Peplau, 1992). Women also seem more willing to share their weaknesses, whereas men will disclose their strengths. The sexes also differ in revealing gender specific information. Men like to share their risk-taking behavior, for example their last mountain climbing trip, or when they saved someone from drowning. Women are more likely to share concerns about their appearance (Derlega, Durham, Gockel, & Sholis, 1981). Social psychology is history so perhaps things have changed since the time of this study.

8. Romantic and loving intimacy
Reciprocal liking is the first step on the road to romance and intimacy. Some basic components are common to all love relationships, whether romantic or friendship. Hallmarks of these loving relationships include valuing the partner, showing mutual support, and experiencing mutual enjoyment (Davis, 1985). Romantic love differs from friendship or parental love by its sexual interest, by fascination with the beloved, and by expectation of exclusiveness of affection. Passionate love is deeply emotional and exciting. It is the pervading and overwhelming desire for a union with the beloved (Hatfield, 1988). When reciprocated passionate love brings with it feelings of joy and fulfillment, all life can be managed with such a relationship secured. When the partners are insecure however, passionate love can also bring jealousy and pain (Kenrick & Cialdini, 1977).

8.1 Physiological arousal or emotion of love?
We can feel intense emotional excitement in a variety of situations. The physiological reactions are similar whether you are mountain climbing or being aroused by being physically close to your beloved. The attributions we make are what make some emotions romantic. Anything that arouses us physiologically can also create romantic feelings and more intense attractions (Dutton & Aron, 1989). From their classic experiment in which an attractive young lady approached young men as they crossed on a long suspension bridge high above the river (described in chapter 2) it would appear that the physical arousal produced by the high bridge (probably fear) increased the men’s romantic responses.

Are there gender differences in experiencing romantic love? Some findings indicate that men are more likely to fall in love, and are less likely to fall out of love, or break up a premarital relationship (Peplau & Gordon, 1985). Since the experience of love is different from promiscuity this finding is not a contradiction of the male tendency in that direction. Perhaps men are more deprived of intimacy and feel the greater need?

8.2 Intimacy and love
Many people in our world long to experience the feelings of intimacy and love with another person. What is intimacy and love? We may know how it feels, yet find it difficult to understand. Loneliness comes from being disconnected from others, and from feeling misunderstood or unappreciated. Intimacy is the reverse of that coin. Intimacy is that lovely moment when someone understands and validates us (Reis, Clark, & Holmes, 2004; Reis & Shaver, 1988). We feel intimate when our partner responds and extends to us unconditional positive regard. Intimacy is felt when despite our shortcomings our partner extends full support, and when we can truly “count on the other person” being steadfast despite the trials of life.

Initially intimacy may manifest itself as a giddy feeling of joy. We feel the fascination or infatuation, but do not always understand the experience at any rational level. The process begins by sharing important feelings either verbally or non-verbally. The partner reciprocates and conveys a feeling of understanding and support (Berscheid & Reis, 1998). Communication is the key to intimacy, the more partners engage in meaningful conversation the more intimacy is experienced (Reis, Sheldon, Gable, Roscoe, & Ryan, 2000). Sharing deep feelings of love and having these feelings reciprocated is the bridge over the still waters of love (Mackey, Diemer, & O’Brien, 2000).

Men and women experience intimacy in similar ways (Burleson, 2003). We all attach value and meaning to our intimate relationships. Women, however, tend to express more readily the emotions leading to intimacy (Aries, 1996). Women also tend to be more intimate in same sex relationships than men, and place a higher value on intimate relations. Our socialization allows women greater emotional expressiveness, and they become more skilled emotional communicators compared to men. One source of relationship dissatisfaction is the discrepancy between the genders in the desire for intimate interactions.

Romantic relationship brings intimacy to a logical conclusion. When two people fall in love, trust each other, and communicate at a meaningful level of intimacy, sexual relations becomes one more expression of love. Intimacy leads to passion, and if lucky also to commitment (Sternberg, 1986). Intimacy combined with passion is romantic love. In long lasting relationships the passion may fade away. When that occurs intimacy may combine with commitment and form companionate love, or intimacy without sexual arousal.

For those who have long futures together, intimacy, passion, and commitment form what Sternberg calls consummate love, the basis of a life long relationship. The longer a relationship survives the trials of life, the more likely it is to move toward companionate love. Companionate love is based on deep feelings of affectionate attachment derived from mutual history and shared values (Carlson & Hatfield, 1992). Many couples feel disillusionment when the romantic phase moves to the next step in life. The inability to keep the romantic flame alive contributes to loss of affection and our high divorce rate. People in the US tend to focus on the personal feelings of romance, a luxury of a wealthy society. People in Asia are more concerned with the practical aspects of living together (Dion & Dion, 1991; 1993). Passionate love brings children, but to raise them requires companionate love and not mutual obsession. Companionate love is just as real as the initial passion, and is essential for the survival of families and the species.

Most people experience romantic relationships at some point in their lives. Some will say that these relationships are essential to our sense of well-being (Myers, 2000a, Myers, 2000b). Successful romantic relations contribute to life satisfaction, and to our overall condition of health (Berscheid & Reis, 1998). However, not all romantic relationships are successful. As noted earlier about 50 percent of all marriages in the western world end in divorce, perhaps half of those that remain are unhappy. We need to understand what causes such profound disillusionment (Fincham, 2003).

8.3 Disillusionment and divorce
Many relationships become bankrupt and one or both parties decide to split (Myers, 2000a, Thernstrom, 2003). There are some who feel that if the trend continues eventually two-thirds of all marriages and partnerships will end in divorce (Spanier, 1992). And what of the surviving marriages? We cannot assume that they continue because the parties are happy in their relationship! Some unhappy relationships continue for reasons of dependency or moral requirements. The divorce statistics are a tragic commentary about our inability to adjust to changing sex roles in modern society. Divorce becomes an option for many couples in modern society as women feel less economically dependent on men, and feel they have alternatives.

Many studies indicate that marriages produce less contentment than they did 30 years ago (Glenn, 1991). Conflict in marriages has caused many negative health consequences, for example cardiac illness, and negative effects on the immune system (Kiecolt-Glaser, Malarkey, Cacioppo, & Glaser, 1994). There are always victims in divorce. Children of divorced parents experience many negative outcomes in childhood as well as later in life (Wallerstein, Lewis, & Blakeslee, 2000). Ending a romantic relationship produces extreme disillusionment in couples, and ranks among life’s most stressful experiences.

8.4 The role of social exchange and stressful negotiations
Why do relationships fail? We live in a world dominated by preoccupations about what is fair in relationships, is it a wonder that couples tire of the constant negotiations? Social exchange theory has helped researchers identify both destructive and constructive behaviors affecting divorce (Rusbult, 1987; Rusbult & Zembrodt, 1983). Contributing to divorce occurs when one party abuses his/her partner and threatens to leave the marriage. Other couples allow the relationship to slowly deteriorate by passively retreating and refusing to deal with issues. When both parties exhibit these destructive patterns, divorce is the typical outcome (Rusbult, Yovetich, & Verne, 1996).

8.5 Fatal attractions
One cause for divorce is what is called “fatal attractions” (Femlee, 1995). Often the qualities that first attract one to another end up being the quality most disliked. The outgoing individual attracts the shy person. However, after enduring constant social activity the shy person feels that enough is enough. Fatal attractions occur when someone is significantly different from the other person. The immature person is attracted to someone much older. Later in the marriage when the older person is not interested in youthful activities, the age difference becomes the cause for conflict (Femlee, 1998). These findings again point to the importance of similarity in the relationship which functions not just to produces initial attraction, but also long-term contentment. Some initial attractions of the socially gifted lead to negative outcomes also labeled “fatal attractions” (Felmlee, Flynn, & Bahr, 2004). An initial attraction to a partner’s competence and drive for example, was later in the relationship perceived as alienating and as demonstrating workaholic attitudes that were destructive to the relationship. Some respondents who were initially attracted to a partner’s intelligence later were repelled by what they considered a considerable ego.

8.6 Personality differences and demography
Other research has focused on the personality of those who divorce. People who come into a relationship with negative baggage from other relationships are more likely to split. Those who are neurotic, anxious, and emotionally volatile are divorce prone (Karney & Bradbury, 1997; Kurdek, 1992). Neurotics spend much time feeling negative emotions that negatively impacts the partner and the marriage. They are also more likely to bring other types of stress to the relationship including health issues and problems (Watson & Pennebaker, 1989). Neurotic people react strongly to interpersonal conflict and therefore are less satisfied in relationships (Bolger & Schilling, 1991). If a person is overly sensitive, he or she is more likely to look for rejection and have greater difficulties in establishing or continuing intimate relationships (Downey & Feldman, 1996;Downey, Freitas, Michaelis, & Khouri, 1998).

8.7 Demographic variables and divorce
Some demographic factors are related to dissatisfaction. Generally those who have lower socioeconomic status are more likely to end marriages (Williams & Collins, 1995). Lower socioeconomic status brings stress into a marriage, including money worries and job insecurity. Marrying at a young age is related to lower socioeconomic resources (Berscheid & Reis, 1998). Sometimes the very young do not have the education needed to succeed in an increasingly competitive world. If they have no other resources they often depend on minimum wage jobs, in a constant struggle to keep their heads above water. In the US young married couples often have no insurance, poor housing, and few prospects for improvement, but this situation is different in Western Europe. Young couples often lack the maturity to cope, and a willingness to put the interests of the other person first.

8.8 Conflict in intimate relationships
Most people do not care what mere acquaintances think of their preferences in life. Whatever acquaintances believe will have few consequences either good or bad. However, those people who are close to us can have profound effects on our goal attainment and our happiness. The frequency of interaction with intimate friends or family produces more opportunities for conflict. For example, a teenager wants to attend a party, but his parents want him to study. In intimate relationships we feel the stresses of life, and often latch out at those we should love and protect. The birth of a new child is experienced as stress by most couples, as is death in the family or other significant loss (Bradbury, Rogge, & Lawrence, 2001) but these types of stress usually does not lead to conflicts.

Most marriages experience at least occasional unpleasant disagreements (McGonagle, Kesler, & Schilling, 1992). No marriage or partnership is perfect, all relationships reflect varying interests and preferences. As couples become more interdependent, and do more things together, opportunities for conflict increase (McGonagle, Kessler, & Schilling, 1992). Intimate partners fight over a variety of issues from political and religious disagreements, to household responsibilities (Fincham, 2003).

Conflict occurs when we interfere with someone’s preferences, and frustrate goal attainment. One partner thinks it is important to save for a house or children’s education. The other partner wants to enjoy life now and use the money for travel. Compromises can often be found, but at times conflicting goals add to tension and disillusionment in the relationship.

Some conflicts are caused by the behaviors of the partner. Drinking to excess or using drugs are causes for conflict. Since we live in a changing world, we may also differ in our perceptions of our responsibilities and privileges in the relationship. A tradition minded man may see household chores as “woman’s work”, whereas an egalitarian woman may have expectations of an equal division of such tasks. Finally, conflict may also be caused by the attributions we make of the partner’s behavior. Do we give the partner the benefit of the doubt, or do we attribute her/his behavior to bad intent? If the partner has difficulty in finding rewarding work do we attribute that to an unpromising work situation and general unemployment, or do we believe the partner is indifferent and lazy?

These three levels of conflict – level of integration, interference and behavior – reflect the three ways that partners are interdependent. At the behavioral level, partners may have different expectations. At the normative level the partners believe in different rules (egalitarian or traditional) for their relationship. Conflict is likely if the wife has an egalitarian perspective, but the husband is traditionally minded. At the dispositional level, conflict may be a result of the partner’s disagreement over attributions for the conflictive behavior (Braiker & Kelley, 1979). Most conflicts have the potential to be harmful to marriages, but some relationships can be helped by an open discussion of disagreements and recognition of the possibility for change (Holman & Jarvis, 2003).

Conflict may also occur as a result of the blaming game. Attributions of blame are especially toxic to a relationship (Bradbury & Fincham, 1990). Dissatisfied couples blame each other for problems in the relationship. Blaming is another way of attributing negative causes to the partner’s behavior. Even when the partner performs a positive act the partner may attribute it to bad intentions. Gifts of flowers may for example not be considered an act of love by the blaming partner, but as designed to serve some ulterior purpose. Dissatisfied couples make attributions that consistently cast the partner’s behavior in a negative light (McNulty & Karney, 2001).

8.9 The interpersonal dynamics of unhappy couples
Studies of married partners have pointed to some significant dynamics that are powerful predictors of divorce (Levenson & Gottman 1983; Gottman & Levenson, 1992). The researchers got married couples to talk about a significant conflict in their lives and then subsequently coded the interaction for negative responses. Based on these observations the researchers identified four types of behaviors that could predict with 93 percent accuracy whether the couple would divorce (Gottman & Levenson, 2000).

The four toxic behaviors include criticism (1). Those who consistently find fault with their partners will have unhappy marriages. The tone of the criticism (2) also makes a difference. Some partners criticize in ways that belittle the other person. Others know how to criticize in a lighthearted or playful way, and the outcome can then be positive (Keltner, Young, Heerey, Oemig, & Monarch, 1998). To solve problems in a relationship requires the ability to talk openly, and without eliciting defensiveness in the partner. Some people are so neurotic that even the slightest criticism elicits anxiety and rejection. Another dysfunctional way of dealing with conflict is to stonewall the issue (3), deny the existence of any problems, or convey the impression that the problem is unworthy of serious discussion. Conflict denial is also related to the final toxic behavior, the emotion of contempt (4). When a partner consistently looks down on the other person as inferior and expresses feelings of superiority that contempt is the ultimate expression of disillusionment and highly predictive of divorce (Gottman & Levenson, 1999).

8.10 The market economy and divorce in China
Chinese society now exhibits similar marital problems to those of long established market economies. Nationwide the divorce rate has skyrocketed 67 percent between 2000 and 2005, and is still increasing (Beech, 2006). It would appear that psychological concepts derived from the market economy have entered marital relations in China with similar consequences to those in western capitalist nations. However, this development might also been explained by an emerging courage by women to break away from traditions and demand justice and an equal say in a relationship. New terms such as “flash divorce” have emerged as it is now possible to get divorced in China in as little as 15 minutes. The divorce rate is mainly due to women’s dissatisfaction with the unfaithfulness of men. Women themselves now have more economic power and do not have to put up with relationships that doomed the happiness of their mothers and grandmothers. Economic independence has increased women’s expectations from their relationships and, when not met, disillusionment has led to dissatisfaction. The material underpinnings of this revolution are indicated by female requirements for marriage in Shanghai that now include the necessity of the man owning a car, a nice apartment, and a considerable bank account. There are those who say, “materialism is being pursued at the expense of traditional values like love” (Beach, 2006: 52). Couples have become more skeptical or cynical about the marriage relationship. According to Beach there were 441,000 fewer marriages in 2005 compared to the previous year. The difference in valuing marriage between individualistic and collectivistic cultures is broken down by the relentless march of market economy psychology resulting from globalization (Dion & Dion, 1993; Dion & Dion, 1996).

8.11 The emotional consequences of ending a relationship
A key factor in how people react to a breakup of a relationship is the role each person played in the decision (Akert, 1998). The research showed that the person who decided the breakup coped the best. The partner who decided to split generally found the ending of the relationship less sad, although even in that case there were some negative consequences reported, including higher frequency of headaches. The party who was least responsible for the decision reported more unhappiness and anger. All partners in a breakup situation reported some physical reactions within weeks. The break of deep emotional ties is extremely stressful.

The least negative consequences occur when the couple allow for mutual decision-making. It reduces somewhat the negative symptoms reported, although 60 percent still reported some negative reactions, with women suffering the most (or perhaps being more honest in reporting). Can people stay friends after a romantic breakup? It depends on gender. Men are usually not interested in continuing a relationship on a friendship basis, whereas women are more interested. Again what seems to be a key is whether the breakup is based on a mutual decision; in that case there are stronger possibilities for a continued friendship.

8.12 Forming satisfying and lasting relationships
How can we create relationships that result in happy outcomes? From the perspective of exchange theory, the focus must be on more profit in the relationship. We can increase profit by either reducing the costs of interaction, or increasing rewards to each partner (Rusbult, 1983). The more rewarding a relationship as defined by the individual the more satisfactionit produces. What constitute costs is less well understood. When the wife puts a husband through college while raising their children is that a cost or a sacrifice for a happier future (Clark & Grote, 1998)? In intimate and close relationships costs are simply the willingness to put aside egoistic interest for the sake of the relationship. As noted earlier sacrifice may be perceived as being rewarding in the long-term vision of the future life of the couple.

Since we live in market economies which encourages social comparison and affects our psychology, many partners are tempted to look at the outcomes for other couples as well as their own expectations of satisfaction when evaluating their relationship. A key to happiness is to meet the expectations we had when we married. We can always find those that are doing less well that we are on a variety of criteria. One party may not be happy with the level of emotional intimacy in the relationship, but can point to the neighbor with an alcoholic spouse as a comparison standard (Buunk, Oldersma, & De Dreu, 2001). The satisfaction of downward comparison can be seen in the popularity of the yellow press and the scandal newspapers. Many people enjoy reading about the misfortune of the rich and famous because it makes them feel better about their own less than perfect lives.

Equity theory may also play a role in evaluating satisfaction in relationships. A balanced relationship where each partner contributes a fair share is more satisfying and happy (Cate & Lloyd, 1992). Fairness is always at the perceptual level, and so our evaluation of fairness depends on the quality of the relationship. If the partners are happy, the occasional inequity in contributions will be seen as a minor distraction. For unhappy relationships even minor discrepancies of contributions will contribute to dissatisfaction and conflict.

Cate & Lloyd (1992) also provide some practical ideas for creating lasting relationships. Marrying a little older for example, allows for better preparation and a better socioeconomic platform for marriage. Furthermore, they suggest we try to get over the infatuation stage and evaluate the prospective partners level of neuroticism and maturity because we all carry some baggage from past relationships, but some people’s burdens impact negatively on intimacy. Thirdly, happiness is also somewhat dependent on getting out of the blaming game. We should give our partner the benefit of the doubt and be willing to attribute positive dispositions and intent, and reward all positive acts by word and deed. These steps may avoid the trap and cycle of misery that lead to dissolution of relationships that once promised intimacy.

8.13 Making real commitments
Commitment is discussed in the psychological literature from several perspectives. Can your partner make the commitment and is it for the long haul? There are three variables related to commitment (Rusbult, 1983). The first is the accumulation of all the rewards of the relationship. The rewarding aspects of a romantic relationship are by far the most important determinant of satisfaction (Cate, Lloyd, Henton, &Larson, 1982). The support we receive, sexual satisfactions, home security, adventure and novelty, are all-important rewards that contribute to lasting relationships.

The second variable concerns the temptations of alternative partners. This may decrease commitment. The fewer alternatives that are present the less likely that the relationship will flounder (White & Booth, 1991). When the partners are young there are more temptations and more alternatives, but as time passes there are fewer alternatives. If you see your relationship as the only one possible, and if the feeling is mutual, the relationship will be more satisfying and lasting. Finally, the investments we have made may determine commitment. If we have invested a great deal in our mutual history, children, home, common religion, we are likely to stay within the relationship. More committed relationships produce more interdependent lives where the focus is on the unit and not the individual (Agnew, Van Lange, Rusbult, & Langston, 1998). The more committed can more easily adjust to demands and stresses of life such as the arrival of a new child. Commitment also encourages forgiveness, the feeling that one should never let the sun set on a bad argument (Finkel, Rusbult, Kumashiro, & Hannon, 2002).

8.14 The moral commitment
The foregoing emphasizes the social psychological factors that encourage commitment. For many in permanent relationships, commitment refers to basic integrity. From a moral perspective when you commit to another person your word should mean something, and support for your partner is for the better or worse of life. For some, moral commitment is a social obligation. It is the right thing to do for the marriage and the family. That does not imply that a relationship built on such commitment is loveless, on the contrary moral commitment may allow greater security and happiness. For some couples, commitment is also reinforced by religious beliefs. They believe that marriage is a religious duty not to be taken lightly. Marriage for some is an existential commitment; there are some things in life that are meant to last in an ever-changing world.

8.15 The positive view of life and the beloved
Much research points to the negative effects of having children on the happiness of marriage partners (Myers, 2000a). The arrival of children creates new conditions as children demand the focus of parents, and the relationship suffers. Partners often fail to return to the pre-child happiness until they are again alone after their children leave home. However, those who fight for their intimacy find it rewarding (Aron, Norman, Aron, McKenna, & Heyman, 2000). The key to marital happiness is to overcome boredom by finding new and exciting things to do as a couple. We all have needs for rootedness, but also for new and novel experiences. Those couples that build occasional excitement into their relationship feel more satisfied (Gable, Reis, Impett, & Asher, 2004). However, it takes an effort to do something new and different, and fighting for intimacy is a life long struggle. What novel activities couples can bring into their lives depends on many factors including socioeconomic variables and age. In the end it may be the effort toward renewal that wins over our partners and keeps the flame of intimacy alive. Rewards, pleasure and novelty are the keys to long-lasting romance and satisfaction with love and life.

8.16 Idealizations, positive illusions, and commitment
Romantic partners who feel “totally” in love manifest unrealistic, but delightful illusions about their partner’s behaviors and qualities. In chapter 2 we discussed positive illusions and mental health. Do such positive illusions also contribute to satisfaction and enduring relationships? There is much to support that contention. Partners who have positive illusions can think of nothing negative about the beloved. With powerful positive illusions dominating our perceptions, we experience the behaviors of our partner as rewarding and feel stronger commitment to the relationship. Murray (1999) suggested that satisfaction, and stability of a relationship depended on overstating the positive qualities of the partner. Those in love look at the behavior and reactions of the partner in the most positive way, consistently giving the partner any benefit of doubt, or not allowing doubt in the first place. The idealization of romantic partners is an essential component in satisfaction of intimate relationships (Murray & Holmes, 1993; 1997;Neff & Karney, 2002).

With positive illusions we overestimate what is good and underestimate the negative. Remember the results of reciprocal liking! In a similar way, idealizing the partner produces mutual liking and more relationship satisfaction. Even when asked about the partner’s greatest fault (Murray & Holmes, 1999), romantic participants were likely to refuse to accept the presence of any fault or turn it into a virtue. For example, if the partner was not ambitious, he was still a wonderful husband who helped around the house. If the partner did not express emotions, well it was because he felt so deeply, and expressed his feelings in other ways. So even the partner’s emotions were idealized (Hawkins, Carrere, & Gottman, 2002). In a study where the partner rated how much positive affect was expressed in a discussion on conflict, satisfied romantic partners overestimated the positive expressions of their partners when compared to neutral judge’s perceptions. In general, romantic couples that are happy see the interactions of their partner in a continuous positive way. There seems to be no substitute for happiness in couples, and it is as if a romantic partner can do no wrong. Having these positive illusions contributes to lasting relationships.

Even though half of all marriages in the US end in divorce, romantic illusions lead to the belief that one’s own marriage will succeed. Most people are unrealistic on probability grounds, and think there is little or no chance for divorce in their future (Fowers, Lyons, Montel, & Shakel, 2001). We can also see positive illusions at work when participants were asked about the quality of their relationships and these outcomes are compared to ratings of those who knew them well, such as parents and roommates. The participants were primarily positive and saw fewer obstacles to success than did those who were intimate observers. The observers were more evenhanded and saw both the strengths as well as the problems in the relationship.

Positive illusions are aided by our faulty memory. Many people believe their relationship is getting better all the time (Frye & Karney, 2004). For example although women’s satisfactions declined in a longitudinal study, the participants expressed beliefs that their current relationship was better than ever (Karney & Coombs, 2000). It is of course very useful to longevity of relationships that we do not remember the bad times or believe those days were better than was actually the case. It is helpful to long-lasting marriages that couples see an unbroken path to an ever improving and more intimate relationship. The relationship bias is found in American, European and Asian cultures (Endo, Heine, & Lehman, 2000). Participants consistently rated their own relationships better when compared to those of the “average” students. These results together demonstrate the functional utility of unconditional positive regard. If we want to be successful in love, we must really love the beloved!

This essay covered the most significant relationships of human life from the initial attachments to long lasting commitments. We introduced evolutionary psychology in an attempt to understand the initial attachments of infants present in all societies and cultures. The examples of feral children in the literature and the absence of discernable human traits in these children support the idea that human traits are forged in the interaction with significant others. There is also much to suggest that early attachment forms the basis for later relationships. The inference from Harlow’s studies is that social isolation is traumatic and results in abnormal development and adult personality. Humans have an even longer dependency period than the monkeys studied by Harlow, and need nurturing to survive. The bonding that occurs initially with the mother becomes the basis of all other bonding relationships.

If the need to belong is a biological drive, is that expressed in the universality of the mother-child relationship and romantic love? If the need to relate to other people is a biological drive, the need to belong should be satiable. When not sufficient the individual will reach out to establish new relationships; however, when sufficient there is no longer a motive to do so. Our relationships are essential to our sense of well-being and happiness. Those people who are deprived of supportive relations largely live unhappy lives, and isolation has negative consequences for health. Our relationship history defines largely who we are and the attributions we make.

The role of biology can be observed in the preferences of the two genders for qualities in the opposite sex. In all cultures women prefer men with material resources, and men prefer youth and beauty. Perhaps this finding could reflect the relative size differences between the two genders and the historical control of males over economic resources. On the other hand the evolutionary perspective suggests that these differences have a reproductive cause. There is no resolution of these varying interpretations, but the gender differences exist.

The experience of loneliness has many negative consequences. People may have an optimal number of relationships and still feel lonely. Perhaps the relationships are not satisfying some basic emotional needs for intimacy. We do know that those who live rich emotional lives are less dependent on others for satisfying emotional needs. There are those who are chronically lonely. Often that is related to the mobility and temporary nature of relationships due to movement, death, and life changes. Demographic variables may also play a role as the poor struggle with many forms of insecurity and have less time for relationships. Youth is a time of special danger of loneliness as biology demands attachments especially in this stage of life.

The initial attachment is with the mother; later in normal development attachment is expanded to include the father, other family members and friends. The caregiver’s own sense of security and warmth is of signal importance to the infant’s attachment style. If the infant is secure and feels the human warmth of its mother, a similar pattern can be expected in adult attachments. The infant attachment style is stable over the individual’s lifetime, and those who were emotionally secure as infants will find it easier to develop similar healthy relationships as adults. Traumatic life events may also affect our ability to establish and maintain secure relationships. The death of a parent or divorce may produce lasting insecurity in the child. Secure attachments bring many benefits to the individual. Secure individuals bring out the best in others as they generally look for the positive even for negative behavior. Consequently there are fewer health problems and divorce among those who possess a basic sense of security.

Cultures produce somewhat different relationships and expectations. Some cultures are communal and put the interests of the family ahead of that of the individual. In these cultures resource distribution depend on the need of the family member at least as perceived by controlling heads of families. In individualist cultures the rights and needs of the individual is primary, and people generally look after number one or themselves. Some societies are authoritarian like the military, and emphasize status and the established hierarchy. In modern society in which individualistic culture dominates we see more emphasis on equality in resource distribution and outcomes. The question that couples seek to answer is, is the relationship fair.

Relational self-theory is based on the idea that prior relationships provide the framework for understanding our current attitudes and behaviors. If your current lover, boss or other significant person remind you of someone previously significant in your life, you may transfer the feeling you had from that previously significant person to the current relationship. Those who remind us of a positive relationship will have positive feelings transferred to the current relationship. Our past relationships may affect us at the automatic level and we may remain unaware of how these previous relationships affect our current thinking. Previous relationships form the basis of memories and social cognition. We also include family and close friends in our attributional biases, believing that the success of our beloved is due to personal dispositions, whereas failure in those close to us is thought to be caused by unfavorable environmental factors.

Liking someone is the start of relationships. In all its simplicity, we like those who are rewarding to us and we dislike those who are a burden. The literature supports the importance of some antecedents to liking; these include propinquity, similarity, and physical attraction. We tend to like those who live near us because propinquity provides the opportunity to meet, and repeated exposure creates feelings of familiarity. This is an optimistic finding from social psychology that suggests that many relationships are possible in a person’s life given the opportunity. The mere exposure effect supports the idea that repeated exposure leads to liking as exposure creates feelings of safety and security. Proximity may mask another variable important to liking relationships, that of similarity, as we often live in social environments where people share common values, or other characteristics. Also long distance relationships are more difficult to maintain and therefore more costly. Similarity is a powerful variable in liking relationships. We marry those who are similar to us in social class, religion and values. The more similar we are to someone, the more we like the other person. Dating services are based on the idea that a good match is with someone who is similar in values, attitudes, and even physical appearance. The reason similarity is central to liking relationships is that it provides a common platform for understanding the other person and therefore promotes intimacy and trust. Of course it is also reassuring to have our values confirmed by another person. Again, the similarity may be caused by selectivity of the social environment which produces shared experiences and therefore bonding. Those who come from the same culture would have a large set of experiences and values in common not present to outsiders.

Nothing can beat reciprocal liking in eliciting positive feelings; we like those who like us. Reciprocal liking is even more powerful than similarity in producing liking toward someone. Personal traits are also important. The research supports the significance of personal warmth and competence in producing liking in most people. Most members of the sexes are attracted to the opposite sex. Do opposites attract? It seems that opposite attraction holds only for the sexual relationship. Only a few complementary personality traits affect attraction. Although society is moving toward more tolerance on different ethnic relationships, these changing attitudes may only reflect changing norms and may not hold for the individual’s own family.

Physical attractiveness is a powerful antecedent to liking. There is in fact little difference between the genders, both like the physically attractive member of the opposite sex. It seems that physical attractiveness is the single most important variable in eliciting sexual desire and arousal. There are some gender differences. Women place greater importance on economic security and stability when considering marriage. They will therefore marry a less desirable male, or an older male, who possesses material resources. Evolutionary psychology would say that these gender differences exist for reproductive reasons. To form family, women must have stable partners. However, as society advances toward economic equality, both sexes place more importance on physical attractiveness.

The physically attractive have many social advantages. All societies subscribe to the “beautiful is good” norm. One consequence is the attribution of positive traits like competence to the physically attractive. It is no wonder they also experience more socio-economic success. Culture determines somewhat the features that are considered attractive. However, there are also universal traits considered attractive in all cultures. Faces that signal reproductive fitness and health are considered attractive in all societies. This lends support to the evolutionary perspective. Faces that typify the norm, and express bilateral symmetry also have universal appeal. From an evolutionary perspective these faces signal reproductive fitness.

In today’s world the market place economy dominates in all aspects of culture and interpersonal interactions. Interpersonal attraction is also dominated by market ideas. The theories of interpersonal attraction emerged in western capitalist societies and reflect therefore common social ideas of rewards, costs, and fairness. Social exchange theory states that relationship liking depends on outcomes that is defined as the rewards minus the costs of a relationship. The theory suggests that relationships have rewards, but also costs and the rewards must be larger for the relationship to be lasting and satisfying. Our satisfaction may also to some degree depend on past relationships that serve as a comparison level. Equity theory states that contentment depends on equity, the give and take in a relationship. Essentially equality and fairness is what governs relationship satisfaction from this perspective. In modern times this perspective in intimate relations leads to tiresome negotiations, issues perhaps better solved by consensus about division of responsibilities.

Theories of interpersonal attraction seem more valid for functional relationships one might find at work or school. Western-based societies are more based on exchange, equity and market economies, whereas societies in Asia are more communally based. In communal relations the outcome for the individual depends on need. Also in close relationships, topics dealing with emotional support and satisfaction are relevant, and altruistic behaviors are expected.

Relationship satisfaction depends also on other factors. First of all the level of investment in the relationship in terms of children, common history, and economic achievements may affect stability. Secondly, what is the level of commitment, and do the partners have alternatives and other prospects? In all these cases, intimate relationships are dominated by the long view, and not just the immediate reward. Thirdly, self-disclosure is an essential factor in building trust and intimate relations. When self-disclosure is reciprocated, such behavior leads to intimacy. Self-disclosure is perhaps more important in individualist societies, as in collectivist societies couples are more inhibited. Women disclose more within same sex relationships, and men are more cautious. Men are more likely to share risk-taking experiences, whereas women will share concerns about appearance.

Romantic love differs from friendship by its emphasis on sexual interest, by the fascination and infatuation with the partner, and the exclusiveness of the relationship. Such relationships are emotional and exciting. Men and women experience intimacy in similar ways, but women are more likely to express the feelings that lead to intimacy. Romantic love can be defined as intimacy combined with passionate feelings. When couples also feel commitment there is the basis for lasting relationships. Having a successful romantic relationship is basic to feelings of well-being and health.

However, we can observe by the reported divorce statistics that all is not well in marriages. This discontentment appears a tragic commentary on our inability to adjust to changing gender roles as society moves toward more equality. Central to many relationship failures is a preoccupation with fairness and endless negations requiring change in partners. Personality also matters in discontentment. The neurotic individual’s preoccupation with negative emotions kills intimate relations. The neurotics bad past experiences influence current expectations, and cause the neurotic to act with strong emotion to any conflict. Stress as represented by socio-economic factors may produce discontentment. The poor are struggling with many forms of insecurity and have little time for intimate relations. Likewise the young are at risk for divorce as lacking the maturity, and struggling with many stresses.

Conflict in relationships comes furthermore about when we interfere with a person’s preferences, or frustrate important goals. The behavior of the partner may also have an effect. Drug abuse for example kills the possibility of intimate relations. Attributional blame is also toxic, along with endless criticisms, denying the existence of problems, and displaying the emotion of contempt toward the partner. Breaking emotional ties is extremely painful. The party that is least responsible suffers more unhappiness. What can be done? If we believe in social exchange and equity, we can increase rewards and seek to develop more fairness in the relationship. Presumably the more rewarding and fair our relationship, the more happy. We can also just love more.

Generational walks in Doorn and other educational projects

Huis Doorn

Life histories

Explanatory notes
Many pre-university pupils and students attending higher vocational education study generations. They write papers on this topic, often supplementing them nowadays with video reports. Social studies, history, economics and management, particularly, lend themselves to theses and graduation papers on generations.
Most students write papers on the life histories of members of generations. This practice is known as a ‘life history approach’, which is habitually used in historical sciences and sociology. Several chapters in Generations of Lucky Devils and Unlucky Dogs contain examples of this approach.
Because this book, Generations of Lucky Devils and Unlucky Dogs, will likely inspire many pupils to learn about generations during their studies some examples are provided here, the first being interviews with seniors of the Pre-War Generation and the Silent Generation. What was their childhood like and how did their formative years affect the rest of their lives? What impressions have they retained of the ‘Cultural Revolution’ of the late 1960s and early 1970s? How did they benefit from the economically favourable 1990s and how did they prepare themselves for their retirement years?

A second example is interviews with women concerning their experience with discrimination against women. Members of the Pre-War and Silent Generations suffered serious discrimination on the employment market. Take, for instance, women in public service who automatically lost their job upon getting married. One of the radical effects of the ‘Cultural Revolution’ is the strongly reduced discrimination against women, although it is still not entirely eradicated even in the year 2011.

A third example is papers that compare life histories in several generations. This approach often involves collaboration between several pupils or students and lends itself to comparing lucky devils and unlucky dogs. Who has been able to benefit from favourable circumstances and how did they put these advantages to use? Who had to deal with unfavourable conditions? Were the consequences compensated later on in life and did they leave generational scars?

A fourth example concerns changes between generations resulting from the rise of IT and the Internet. Chapter 2 in Generations of Lucky Devils and Unlucky Dogs discusses research into technology generations. Many sectors in society can similarly be considered on the basis of the effects of mainly young people becoming digital savvy. In the ‘old days’ youngsters used to learn from adults; nowadays many young people help their grandparents as well as their parents to use PCs and the Internet.
Attention usually focuses on general social generations. They dominate the picture that members of society have of generations. However, specific generations, such as in the art of painting or the art of music, or in professions such as teaching are also suitable topics for papers.
Scientific research projects on generations can be a useful source of information for these papers.

Generational walks ‘Doorn in Europe’

Explanatory notes
In the 1930s, sociology husband-and-wife team Lynd explained the consequences of the economic crisis in the United States by describing them in the setting of a medium-sized town. They called it Middletown which, as it later emerged, was actually a town called Munci. When, a few years later, the economy recovered upon the introduction of the ‘New Deal’ the Lynds described the upturn in their book Middletown in Transition. The authors wrote both books based on participating observation. Munci acquired international fame through these books.
Many more examples of social developments and involvements are described against the background of a town or village, including examples outside of sciences. Take, for instance, Amsterdam during the depression in the 1930s seen through the eyes of Geert Mak, a Dutch journalist and a non-fiction writer in the field of history.

This exercise chapter takes the Dutch town of Doorn as a concrete example for writing papers. The author’s participating observation gives this chapter its scientific basis; however, literary sources are available as well. Author Simon Vestdijk discussed ‘het dorp van de donder’ (the village of thunder) in his essay Gestalten tegenover mij (Shapes in front of me). At the beginning of this century Marjolijn Februari used Doorn ‘anonymously’ as the background for one of her novels. Website www.heuvelrug.nl contains a video of Doorn and other towns of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug (Utrecht Ridge).
The preceding section on life histories can be read as a separate entity but can also be read in preparation of the section on generational walks.

From bad to worse
The first example of a generational walk is based on Simon Vestdijk’s novel De Zwarte Ruiter (The Black Rider). It is set in the woods around the Ruiterberg estate in Doorn and centres on two leading figures, a young girl and her father. The father is a typical member of the conservative Pre-War Generation. In his opinion, father knows best. He is the kind of father who, when arguing with a child, tends to say ‘end of discussion’, breaking off any further argumentation. This kind of behaviour has filled many children with despair.

When she was young, the father ill-treated his daughter, crippling her for life. In remorse the father changed his behaviour towards his daughter, but his ill-treatment worsened the fate of the child. Therefore, the saying ‘from bad to worse’ is highly relevant. In despair and in a trance the girl wanders through the heathland near her father’s estate, the Ruiterberg, where she encounters the Black Rider. The girl sets fire to some heather. Due to a fatal twist of fate the heath catches fire and the girl perishes in the flames.

The idea of a Black Rider is based on a legend of the Spessart, a woodland in Germany. In this legend a father gambles away his daughter. When the winners of the dice game come to claim their prize the nobleman jumps on his horse, with his daughter riding pillion, and tries to flee the fortress. During this flight the daughter is killed.
This legend forms the background for the first generational walk through the town of Doorn. In our mind’s eye Vestdijk’s novel unfolds before us. The heathland is still there and the Ruiterberg estate still graces the landscape.

The saying ‘from bad to worse’ has lost nothing of its meaning. Even in our day and age parents sometimes make decisions that make children ‘jump out of the frying pan into the fire’. Policy makers in organisations issue orders that go wrong. National governments and international bodies have been known to pursue a policy that does not improve but only worsens the situation. In these instances, the mechanism ‘from bad to worse’ usually relates to the relationship between generations, often concerning general and sometimes specific generations as well.
For purposes of writing a paper, one can take parents whose generation is not very authoritarian. Initially, they are very forgiving towards their children. However, if this approach results in unwelcome behaviour abrupt harsh demands for discipline might be made, in which case the children can be expected to rebel. Numerous situations in society can be analysed on the basis of ‘from bad to worse’. Examining lives can sometimes bring such mechanisms to one’s notice.

Generational scars
Being part of a social generation can in time lead to bottlenecks in the form of generational scars influencing one’s life. If we take an imaginary walk through Doorn we first come across a large woodland studded with dozens of bungalows housing military victims of the Second World War and later military campaigns. The residents are provided help and support from a central building. The Second World War is a well-known cause of generational scars among citizens and the military. Later military operations have in turn affected later generations.
Continuing our walk we come across an entirely different kind of generational scar. In the heart of the town is a building that used to be a Calvinist church. Due to the sharp fall in the number of people who foster Calvinist religious convictions the members of the Calvinist church had to merge with other religious communities, such as those of the Dutch Reformed Church. The Maartenskerk (church) now accommodates both Calvinists and members of the Dutch Reformed Church, a development that will have left many Calvinists with a generational scar.
Those who have lived in Doorn for many years can point out the spot where a kindergarten used to be. When the number of births in Doorn dropped starting in 1970, the number of under-fives decreased as well and the school became redundant. Perhaps not a dramatic generational scar, but a symbol of a radical social trend break nevertheless.

Those who wish to write a paper on generational scars can walk around their town and record the traces of such unwelcome trend breaks. If life histories have already been compiled then signs pointing to generational scars can usually be derived from this data as well.

Generations in the arts

Ch.Toorop – Three Generations – Museum Boymans van Beuningen Rotterdam

The town centre and rural areas around the town in particular boast numerous buildings that reflect a pattern of generations. Generations of affluent citizens who commissioned houses; generations of architects who were given the opportunity to express their artistic convictions in buildings; titled families who built manor houses along a waterway just outside of town. Doorn features stately mansions built in the 17th century as country houses for wealthy people from Amsterdam. Of more recent date is a residence designed by architect Rietveld.
During this walk we also come across several sculptures in the public space that reflect the difference between generations of artists and their donors.
Those who focus their attention on buildings and works of art will make interesting observations, especially in cities. Take, for instance, remnants of the Jugendstil, originating from a generation of rather influential artists around the turn of the century.


Tours around historic buildings
Those who wander through Doorn will certainly want to visit ‘Huis Doorn’, originally the country seat of the bishops of Utrecht and occupied for many years in the 20th century by the last emperor of Germany. Huis Doorn is now a museum centred on the interbellum period. Its visitors include many seniors and particularly members of older generations from Germany. Members of younger generations, possibly on a school trip with a historical perspective, are also seen touring the manor house and its surrounding park. Huis Doorn and the history of the German emperor give generational walks through Doorn a special European distinction.
Quite a few readers of Generations of Lucky Devils and Unlucky Dogs will find one or more historical locations in their own town or city that attract visitors of different generations. This can arouse interest for generationally-aware tours through or past those sites.

A generational walk in 2050
An entirely different generational walk through a town like Doorn is one that explores what the town would be like in 2050. Doorn has housing complexes dedicated to the care of infirm senior citizens. Would care robots be put to use in these facilities in 2050 and what functions would they be able to perform? Doorn counts many restaurants and bars. Would robot waiters work in these establishments in 2050?
Surely, by 2050 ‘the alternative workplace strategy’ would have been widely implemented. Many professionals would work a few days each week from home using the Internet and particularly video conferencing. International universities would be able to provide top courses from decentralised, collaborating centres in any required language. This has already been sketched in this book. One chapter also mentions how language barriers can be bridged in the future.

Science courts

Explanatory notes
Those who wish to write a paper on generations can also opt to use a ‘science tribunal’. This approach was first taken when the debate on the environment first emerged. Practical issues came to light that could not be solved entirely by way of traditional debates between advocates and opponents. Differences of opinion can be mostly solved by involving a science tribunal, although this approach does not take into account the possibility that some problems cannot be solved at all.

Science tribunals are along the lines of a criminal court. Three roles are involved, each of which can be fulfilled by one or more people: firstly, the role of prosecutor; secondly, the role of defender; thirdly, the role of ‘passive judge’. Criminal judges do not first make their own judgement but try to discover the truth by asking both prosecutor and defender questions. As explained in the chapter on environmental issues, science tribunals were held in the Netherlands in 1982 with respect to the Social Debate on Energy Policy. In those days they were referred to as ‘controversy sessions’.
A science tribunal can be deployed for purposes of an educational paper to methodically debate a specific difficult issue. The author of the paper organises a science tribunal while collecting material for the paper. The tribunal holds one or several sessions, each dealing with one or several dossiers. The results of these sessions can be processed into knowledge concerning the central social issue.
Social justice between generations can be considered a serious social issue. How much should the older generations, the baby boom generations and the younger generations each contribute in order to ensure a fair distribution of the costs of pensions and health care up to 2050?
The same can be asked with respect to the environmental problems up to 2050.

Should any questions arise with respect to the operationalisation of variables while studying social generations, one or more science tribunal sessions can help to explain matters.

Training sessions on generationally-aware policy
The Europe 2020 – A strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth report provides clear evidence for the necessity of generationally-aware policy. It also shows that this kind of approach goes beyond what we have at our disposal today. New methods are required for studies, strategy formation and pre-assessment, called social impact assessment. This section contains a preliminary study.
Once the new methods are available policy makers and all other involved parties will need to attend training sessions to learn how to use them.
The main thing here is that there is no way to accurately predict the future of the countries concerned. The best possible policy is one that, prior to implementation, reduces the chance of our eventually regretting that policy to a minimum.
Suppose a generationally-aware policy is being considered for implementation in a certain part in society. Studies will first need to be done to show which social bottlenecks are involved and how the policy could be pursued. This is called the preparatory phase. This is followed by the main phase which in turn is followed by an institutionalisation phase. Each of these phases will now be discussed in succession. This phase model constitutes a checklist; it is, therefore, an overview of sub-analyses from which the author of a paper can choose.

The preparatory phase
Suppose a religious community wants to take a new approach to the generation-related decline in the number of its members and their activities. A second example is a university that aims to improve its courses and the way in which it practices science so as to bridge generational differences amongst its scientists.
Both these examples first require a problem analysis to determine the key focus actor. Is this focus actor a part of an organisation? An organisation as a whole? A collaboration between organisations? A combination of these actors?
Focus actors are the parties that must realise a strategy that is to be formulated. They are often a collaborating association made up of actors that are each other’s competitors. Take, for instance, local communities or universities.
The next step is to list the focus actor’s activities. What is the mission? Which strategies are currently in place? What tactics are involved? Which operational planning applies? What phases does one propose?
An organisation’s official mission, such as is described in publicity brochures for instance, and its actual mission usually contain discrepancies. Copy out both the official mission and the actual mission. Sometimes the aims are difficult to put down in writing, but they certainly can be defined in guarded terms.

Problem analysis
What problems does the focus actor expect in realising the mission and other plans? Policy makers fairly often respond: ‘It’s not my job to have unsolved problems’. To get around this, policy makers can best be asked what dilemmas they have to contend with. Dilemmas are ‘equally desirable (or undesirable) alternatives’ to policy choices.

System analysis
Next, it is necessary to ascertain which organisations are involved in the planned policy. First, the focus actor is put on paper, from where an arrow diagram is drawn up containing the positions of all significant opponents. Which organisations must the focus actor reckon with?

Trend analysis
Which social developments must be considered when formulating a strategy? Which social developments have a heavy impact on the strategy and which have a lighter impact? A preliminary trend analysis gives a tentative idea.

Project design
The project design describes the target situation, including the deadline for achieving the target. It also involves several advisable interim situations towards the final goal and includes a list of available resources.
The preparatory phase starts with rough outlines which are then reviewed and improved bit by bit during the course of the preparatory phase.

The main phase
Those who draw up the strategy must try to put the main aspects of the problem and the solutions down on paper. A workable method is to first analyse and design in separate subgroups, then discuss the results in a plenary meeting, followed by another series of meetings in subgroups.

Environment scenarios
Those who help form a strategy tend to first consider developments around focus actor and opponents as following naturally from recent developments. To overcome this blinkered view several environment scenarios must be written up. In any case the consideration should include a trend scenario, a shrinkage scenario and a growth scenario. Several impeding developments should also be discussed so as to be sufficiently prepared for unexpected radical events.

Which policy alternatives should be included in the considerations? The current policy, usually referred to as business as usual, will need to be included in any case. A moderate and a more risky strategy can also be included.

Each strategy’s environment scenarios must be analysed. Which threats are at issue with respect to focus actor and opponents? Which opportunities do the actors have, both as regards established resources and hidden resources?

Decision-making concludes the main phase. All things must be considered. A phased plan specifies how the objectives can be realised.

The institutionalising phase
Next, it must be specified how the generationally-aware policy is to be embedded in the organisation. How should the focus actor do this? What manpower must be deployed? This phase also specifies what organisational units are needed. Take, for instance, departments and their cohesion.

Continuous assessment
A periodic formative assessment is required during the implementation of the policy. A summative assessment is done upon completion.

Training sessions
The above is called ‘strategic learning’. The activities produce results vis-à-vis strategic goals. The activities also require ongoing reflection and adjustment if necessary.
The training sessions need to address ‘instant assessments’, or in other words lightning analyses. Some instances require that the cycle is completed within fifteen minutes or an hour. If the strategy that is to be formed involves serious implications, a lightning analysis is only a stopgap solution. The training sessions must also discuss medium-term and long-term policy processes.
Very experienced policy makers have learned – often the hard way – that completing the cycle is an absolute necessity as all too often it turns out that a strategy designed in haste eventually results in unwelcome surprises.

Five worked out cases

Case 1 : Generationally-aware policy in secondary education
The first case concerns secondary education. Those who work on this case are advised to first revisit the chapter in Generations of Lucky Devils and Unlucky Dogs on generations in education as well as the chapter on generations and language barriers.
This case takes an imaginary regional network of secondary education schools. The growing shortage of teachers over the coming years is the first problem set related to the dynamics of generations. The second problem set is the increasing shortage of pupils for certain subjects due to the fall in the birth rate. The third problem set is the English-language pre-university-plus courses for which language assistance is advised. Expected cutbacks are the fourth problem set.
Virtual distance learning can solve the problem of long-term vacancies or a teacher’s prolonged illness. Virtual distance learning enables one teacher to teach two classes, provided the class without a teacher does have a class assistant present.
An inspiring example is education provided in the Frisian language as discussed elsewhere in this book. The interested pupils live so far apart that they cannot be grouped into a class, so they are taught individually via virtual distance learning.
Pre-university-plus courses are taught in English. Students usually acquire sufficient working knowledge; however, once complicated constructions have to be used multilingual communication support can prove necessary.

The Zuyderzee College merits particular attention. Its website contains information on computer-assisted learning as well as on the ‘electronic learning environment’ (ELE) which eliminates the use of textbooks. Papers that are written on generationally-aware policy in secondary education should make special mention of ELE.

Case 2 : Generationally-aware policy in a religious community
The second case requires that the chapter in Generations of Lucky Devils and Unlucky Dogs on generational differences in the environment and religions is revisited, after which the relevant problem sets merit attention. The first problem set has to do with risk awareness. The relevant chapter has already pointed out that growing risk and risk awareness can cause an increase in the number of people who say they foster religious faith. Risk awareness is expected to grow over the coming years, particularly amongst the younger generations. The second problem set is that not many Dutch people still attend church. This poses a problem for church communities, who are now looking for new ways to survive.

Sociologist of culture and religion Joep de Hart studies the situation with respect to religion in the Netherlands in his book entitled Zwevende gelovigen: oude religie en nieuwe spiritualiteit (Floating believers: old religion and new spirituality), which was published in Amsterdam in 2010 by Bert Bakker. The churches are dying but religion is not dying out. Approximately 40% of the Dutch population is a member of a church community and 15% attends church every week. Approximately 60% of the population believes in God or ‘a higher force’. Two out of every three Dutch people believe in life after death. 40% believes in miracles and in the usefulness of prayer.
In other countries more and more church communities are establishing a ‘virtual church’ alongside their traditional church organisation. In the Netherlands, the Protestantse Kerk in Nederland (PKN/Protestant Churches in the Netherlands) has already introduced a virtual church. Information on this church can be found on the Internet.

An interesting challenge with respect to generationally-aware policy is to design a ‘virtual church’ for a religious organisation of one’s own choice that caters to generational differences among its potential members. The Nederlandse Protestantenbond (Dutch Protestant Union) can serve as an example. Families with young children like to enjoy outdoor activities on Sunday mornings and therefore have little or no interest in church services, even if they are also geared to children. Middle-aged as well as senior believers usually want to spend their Sunday mornings enjoying nature and culture. A virtual church can organise services that can be attended via the Internet on weekday evenings. Distance meditation can also be presented. The components of a virtual church can be worked out in a paper.

Case 3 : Generationally-aware policy in university education
The third case requires that the chapter in Generations of Lucky Devils and Unlucky Dogs on generations in science be revisited. The first problem set presents the significant shrinkage that can be expected in the number of academics working in universities. The shrinkage can be expected as a result of the baby boomers retiring.
The second problem set is additional expected cutbacks. Presumably many vacancies will remain unfilled. A hidden resource in the Dutch academic system presents an opportunity. If universities join forces with respect to education a significant amount of manpower could be deployed more efficiently, such as in the case of one discipline that is taught in several universities. During the first few years of the course the universities could share subjects such as the history of the discipline, statistics as well as research methods and techniques. Besides this communal part, the courses can also comprise a specific part geared to the peculiarities of the discipline. The Zuyderzee College can again serve as a tangible example. The manner in which generationally-aware virtual distance learning could be realised in the university system could be a topic for a paper. The specific features of the youngest generation of students ought to be discounted, particularly their IT skills. The specific characteristics of older generation university teachers can also be deployed systematically.

Case 4 : Generationally-aware policy in the practice of science
To work on the fourth case the chapter in Generations of Lucky Devils and Unlucky Dogs on generations in science should be revisited before examining the problem sets. The first problem set involves the ever-growing competition between universities, faculties and research groups. External assessments and rankings force the collective social actors involved to constantly heighten their research activities and publication behaviour. The second problem set is the necessity for ensuring not only acute top specialism but also a wide perspective on one’s field of expertise. The occurrence of ‘blinkered specialists’ must be prevented. The third problem set can be found in the hidden resources among emeriti and other senior scientists. To exemplify, an international market for top emeriti has emerged. Problem set number four relates to the hidden resources that can be found in the opportunities for universities to collaborate within their own country as well as abroad, the latter as part of the globalisation of science.
Those who wish to write a paper on this topic can design a ‘virtual institute of advanced studies’ (VIAS). Virtual Institutes of Advanced Studies can recruit English-speaking scientists from around the world. Top emeriti should be given special attention here.

Case 5 : Generationally-aware policy and the alternative working strategy
Those who wish to work on the fifth case must first reread the chapter on generations and language barriers in Generations of Lucky Devils and Unlucky Dogs . They are also advised to revisit Chapter 2 containing examples of generation patterns.
It is a well-known phenomenon that more people are mastering the advancing English language in large parts of the Western world, although French-speaking countries and most other Mediterranean countries still do not have a working knowledge of English. The chapter on generations and language barriers shows that systems for multilingual communication, such as Sociolingafranca, can overcome this shortcoming.
The alternative working strategy implies that paid work can be carried out for clients all around the world from alternative workplaces, such as one’s own home. The globalisation of the labour market is in full swing. This means that assignments can be carried out in the language of the customer’s country. Take, for instance, French and other Mediterranean languages. The work can involve education and training courses; or coaching; or administration and bookkeeping.
Designing, testing and institutionalising distance working in accordance with the possibilities provided by the alternative working strategy requires quite a few organisational facilities. This constitutes a useful challenge for developing a training course and drawing up a master document.

In closing

Bonus chapter 15 containing ‘frequently asked questions’ includes an example of a report on a generational walk. This bonus chapter will also contain an example of a paper pertaining to a form of generationally-aware policy.

Background information on designing a generationally-aware policy can be found in: Henk A. Becker 1997. Social impact assessment: method and experience in Europe, North America and the Developing World. Routledge, London. Also in Henk A. Becker & Frank Vanclay (eds.) 2003. The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment: Conceptual and Methodological Advances. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

For the bonus chapter see: www.europegenerations.com

The book accompanies the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012


About the author: Henk A. Becker was born in Greifswald, Germany, in 1933. In 1946 he emigrated to the Netherlands, where he obtained his sociology degree (cum laude) at Leiden University in 1958. From 1956 to 1964 he held a staff position within a government ministry.From 1964 to 1968 he was the head of the research department of the Sociological Institute at the Netherlands School of Economics, which today is Erasmus University Rotterdam. He took his doctoral degree there in 1968 with a thesis on management careers, which concerned an early version of a normative career analysis and of a computerized career simulation. The University of Utrecht appointed him professor of sociology as well as of methodology of social research in 1968.

He organized his scientific work in line with the TRIPOD model, i.e., discussing (1) substantive issues, (2) methods and (3) meta-aspects of the relevant scientific discipline in a coherent manner. As regards substantive topics he is primarily concerned with careers and life in cohorts as well as in generations. As to methods he has published on computer simulations, cohorts analyses and social impact assessment. The meta-aspects concern the state of the art in sociology and related aspects of the science of philosophy. When lecturing at the University of Utrecht, he taught general sociology as well as the sociology of planning and policy.

He was dean of both a faculty and a sub-faculty and a committee member of science associations in the Netherlands and abroad. In 1996 he was knighted in the Order of the Netherlands Lion (Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw). In the year 2000 the International Association for Impact Assessment presented him with the Rose-Hulman Award for his work on ​​demographic impact assessments.
In 1998 he turned 65 and was accorded emeritus status, since which time he continues his scientific work on a part time basis.

Henk Becker is married to Johanna Enzlin. The couple has two daughters and two grandsons.
A detailed biography is provided in Henk A. Becker & John J.F. Schroots (Eds) 2008. Releasing the Potentials of Senior Scholars & Scientists, Utrecht: Igitur.

The Return of the Underground Retail Cannabis Market?

Attitudes of Dutch coffeeshop owners and cannabis users to the proposed ‘cannabis ID’ and the consequences they expect.

The sale of cannabis to persons aged 18 or older is permitted in the Netherlands under certain conditions in commercial establishments called coffeeshops. The present Dutch government has proposed that access to coffeeshops be restricted to persons holding a cannabis ID, a mandatory membership card known colloquially as a ‘weed pass’ (wietpas). Recent interviews with 66 Amsterdam coffeeshop owners reveal that they expect mainly detrimental effects from the proposed measure. In particular, they predict customer resistance to compulsory registration, the discriminatory exclusion of tourists and other non-members, and a resurgence of cannabis street dealing. Two surveys of cannabis users (in a local sample of 1214 Amsterdam coffeeshop customers and a nationwide sample of 1049 last-month users) confirmed that many, but not all, users would oppose registration. The majority of respondents intended to look for other suppliers or to grow their own marijuana if the cannabis ID becomes law. Surprisingly, about one in ten said they would stop smoking cannabis.

Wide differences exist between Western countries in terms of national cannabis policies (MacCoun & Reuter, 2002; Decorte et al., 2011; EMCDDA, 2010). In the Netherlands, cannabis is officially an illicit drug, but the retail cannabis market has uniquely been decriminalised by measures providing for the legal toleration of hashish and marijuana sales to consumers via commercial venues known as coffeeshops (Box I). Most coffeeshops are cafés, but some function more as take-away shops, where cannabis can be bought but not consumed.

Box I  – Coffeeshops and Dutch cannabis legislation
The first Dutch drug law dates from nearly a century ago: the Opium Act of 1919. The import and export of cannabis was added to the act in 1928; possession, manufacture and sale became offences in 1953. The statutory decriminalisation of cannabis took place in 1976. De facto decriminalisation had set in earlier, as local authorities began tolerating ‘house dealers’ in youth centres in the early 1970s. Experiments with this approach were formalised in the revised Opium Act of 1976. It distinguishes between Schedule I drugs (such as heroin and cocaine), seen as posing an ‘unacceptable’ risk, and Schedule II substances (mainly cannabis products), which carry lower official penalties.

The legal basis for coffeeshops had been laid by the Dutch government when it decriminalised cannabis in 1976. Latitude was created for sales of small amounts of cannabis to consumers (though selling remained officially illegal), on the crucial condition that the sale of cannabis be strictly separated from markets for hard drugs. Coffeeshops were one result of the deriminalisation process, albeit not exactly what policymakers had envisaged. A series of later court decisions effectively subsumed coffeeshops under existing legislation.

Since the 1960s, the Dutch retail market for cannabis has gone through different stages, originating in the sale of cannabis in underground markets. During the 1970s, sales shifted to tolerated ‘house dealers’ in youth clubs and nightspots, and coffeeshops took over the market in the 1980s (Jansen, 1991; Korf, 2002). The number of coffeeshops expanded dramatically during the 1980s, peaking in the mid-1990s at about 1,500 throughout the country (Bieleman & Goeree, 2001). A new phase then ensued, and the number began to diminish. Although coffeeshops must meet nationally defined criteria (Box II), policy modifications in 1996 gave local governments the right to decide whether or not to authorise coffeeshops within their jurisdictions; they may now close down or ban coffeeshops, even if these do not violate national criteria. In the wake of that policy change, many municipalities decided to close down all existing coffeeshops or limit their number. By 1999, the number of coffeeshops in the country had almost halved to 846. The downward trend continued, and the most recent national figures reported 666 coffeeshops by the end of 2009; 340 (77.1%) of the then 441 municipalities had decided not to allow any coffeeshops at all (Bieleman & Nijkamp, 2010).

Box II – National guidelines for coffeeshops
Official national Guidelines for Investigation and Prosecution came into force in 1979. They stipulated that the retail sale of cannabis to consumers may be tolerated, provided that certain criteria were met: no advertising, no hard drugs, no nuisance and no young clientele (later defined in 1996 as under age 18). More recently, additional criteria were formulated: no large quantities (maximum of 5 grams of cannabis per client per transaction and per day; maximum of 500 grams of cannabis stock in coffeeshop at any one time); and no alcohol served on premises.

The newest criterion specifies minimum distances between coffeeshops and secondary schools. According to most current plans being discussed by the government, a nationwide minimum distance of 350 meters would be set, but the Parliament is still deliberating on this and other deterrent measures.

In recent years, the Dutch political agenda on coffeeshop policy has predominantly focused on issues involving the wholesale supply chains to coffeeshops (the ‘back door problem’; Korf, 2011) and on the pull exercised by coffeeshops in border areas on customers from neighbouring countries, which is a source of considerable nuisance. In an attempt to combat the latter problem, the national government has proposed mandatory club membership for coffeeshop customers. This would make all coffeeshops into private clubs accessible only to residents of the Netherlands aged 18 or older who have been issued a cannabis ID, a membership card meanwhile colloquially known as the ‘weed pass’. Persons wishing to patronise coffeeshops must register to do so, and this is intended to have a strong deterrent effect on cannabis users living in neighbouring countries (notably Germany, Belgium and France). Perhaps the most crucial question in terms of legal feasibility is whether the Netherlands would be entitled under EU treaties to exclude other EU citizens in such a way.

The future will tell whether and how the cannabis ID will be introduced. If that should indeed happen, though, what consequences could then be expected for the retail cannabis market? The purpose of this article is to gauge the breadth of support for the cannabis ID among the immediate stakeholders in that market and to assess the potential consequences of the measure.

Amsterdam coffeeshop proprietors and their opinions on the cannabis ID
One third of all Dutch coffeeshops are located in Amsterdam, though only 5% of the country’s population lives there. About half of the 222 Amsterdam coffeeshops are found in the city centre, and many attract a substantial number of tourists. Unlike the situation in border towns, the foreign visitors do not come to Amsterdam primarily for coffeeshops. Most stay in the city for several days at least, and coffeeshop customers cause little or no nuisance. Coffeeshops outside the city centre cater mainly to local residents.

In view of the large number of coffeeshops in Amsterdam, whether or not frequented by tourists, the introduction of a cannabis ID could have relatively drastic consequences for such businesses. In the spring of 2011, we therefore conducted face-to-face interviews with 66 coffeeshop owners (or their managers). Their coffeeshops were found all over the city, both in the inner city and in more outlying districts; the sample reliably reflected the variation in Amsterdam coffeeshops in terms of size, number of customers and customer profiles.

Almost nine in ten of the interviewed owners expected the introduction of IDs to have exclusively negative consequences. The rest likewise foresaw mainly detrimental effects but did cite some advantages, such as guaranteed custom. ‘Your regular customers will have to register at your coffeeshop and will be allowed to buy their grass or hash only from you. That ensures customer loyalty.’ Virtually all respondents listed a range of drawbacks to the proposed system, falling roughly into three categories:

1. The registration and privacy problem
To many coffeeshop owners, it was patently self-evident that the registration system would spark disquiet amongst customers. ‘People don’t want to be registered for anything, let alone as potheads.’ One proprietor with many doctors and lawyers in his clientele pointed to the detriment they might suffer if they were registered as cannabis users. ‘Nobody needs to know how much and how often they smoke. Why would they?’ A question many owners were asking is what would be done with the stored data. An additional drawback in this category is the constriction of customers’ freedom of choice if they can register for only one coffeeshop.

2. Exclusion of foreign tourists and other non-members
Introduction of cannabis IDs would, according to proprietors, ‘exclude tourists from participation’, a prospect that caused considerable indignation. ‘It’s pure discrimination!’ and ‘Tourists can now buy safe, good-quality cannabis. Who in the hell would want to change that?’ Since tourism is a mainstay of the broader Amsterdam economy, the measure might also deal a hard blow to the municipal coffers. Not only foreign tourists, but also shoppers and visiting relatives from other Dutch towns would be prohibited from buying cannabis in Amsterdam. People who only smoke cannabis occasionally would also be stigmatised; even if you only smoke once a year, you would still have to register as a pot smoker.

3. Revival of street dealing
If tourists are banned from coffeeshops, proprietors said, the lively cannabis street trade of decades ago will resurface. Dutch customers who oppose registration will also seek their sustenance elsewhere, and that could well be from street dealers. The illegal market would generate crime and nuisance. Some also foresaw an increase in under-the-counter sales. ‘Your customers will still be coming in to buy their joints from you, whether you’re a coffeeshop, a pub or a snack bar.’ A final objection was an expected black-market trade in cannabis IDs, which would provide tourists and minors with a good alternative means of procuring their drugs.

Two surveys of cannabis users
Directly after our interviews with the coffeeshop owners in the spring of 2011, we conducted a site survey of customers in 59 Amsterdam coffeeshops, similarly dispersed across the city. The 1214 respondents did not constitute a representative sample of all coffeeshop customers in the city. In our recruitment strategy, the more frequent customers had a much higher probability of being interviewed than occasional customers. The sample did provide a reasonably reliable picture of the clientele present in coffeeshops on peak days and at peak hours. By concentrating on peak days (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) and peak hours (3 to 9 pm), we compensated somewhat for the overrepresentation of frequent or  daily customers in the sample. The survey was further confined to customers who spoke sufficient Dutch, which in practice mainly excluded foreign tourists.

Subsequently, from May to mid-July 2011, we conducted a nationwide online survey entitled Sex & Drugs via the website of BNN, a Dutch public broadcasting organisation that targets mainly adolescents and young adults. A total of 3257 persons completed the questionnaire, of whom 1049 had smoked cannabis in the past month (current users). Questions on the cannabis ID were submitted to the latter group only.

The minimum age for entering a coffeeshop is 18. In our Amsterdam coffeeshop survey, the average age in the sample was 32.4, with a peak in the 25-34 age category. In the online survey, not confined to coffeeshop customers, the average age of the current cannabis users was distinctly lower (23.4), peaking in the 18-24 category (figure 1).

Figure 1 – Ages of Cannabis Users

The samples also differed in gender terms. A small minority of respondents in the coffeeshop survey were female (13.6%), whilst more than half (52.5%) of the current cannabis users nationwide were female.[i]

The Amsterdam coffeeshop customers we polled were also far more likely than the online respondents to be daily or near-daily cannabis users (figure 2).

Figure 2. Last Month Cannabis Users

Willingness to register for the cannabis ID
Both in the interviews with Amsterdam coffeeshop customers and in the online nationwide survey, we asked two questions about the proposed cannabis ID. The first was: ‘Imagine that a mandatory cannabis ID has just been introduced. You would then get registered at one coffeeshop and you would only be allowed into that coffeeshop. What would you think about that?’ Respondents could choose from three answer options (see table 1).

Table 1. Attitudes to Mandatory Registration for the Cannabis ID

Despite the large differences between the two surveys in terms of age, gender distribution and frequency of cannabis use, only a tiny minority in each survey indicated a willingness to register and obtain a cannabis ID from the coffeeshop of their choice. Slightly more respondents said they would register if the cannabis ID gave access to several coffeeshops of their choice. Large majorities came out against registration in the online survey and, still more strongly, in the Amsterdam customers’ survey.[ii]

Perceived consequences of the cannabis ID
We next asked both samples: ‘Suppose that the cannabis ID were absolutely restricted to a single coffeeshop. What would you do then?’ Out of eight answer options, respondents could choose the one that suited them best (see table 2).
Table 2.  – Suppose that the cannabis ID were absolutely restricted to a single coffeeshop. What would you do then?

Table 2. Cannabis ID restricted to a single Coffeeshop

Notwithstanding small variations between the surveys on various answers, similar patterns emerged (figure 3).[iii]

Figure 3. Consequences of Cannabis ID

The proportion that would now register despite earlier objections grew to just under one third, most of whom would opt for their regular coffeeshop. In contrast to them, a markedly smaller but noteworthy proportion (11%-12%) reported they would shun the ID and stop smoking cannabis should they be obliged to register with and patronise a single coffeeshop only.


The majority reported that they would refuse the cannabis ID and then obtain their cannabis from other sources outside the coffeeshops. Three types of intentions were distinguishable:

Delegating. These respondents would get someone else to go to the coffeeshop for them. Current cannabis users in the nationwide survey were about twice as likely to choose this ‘indirect supply from coffeeshops’ option as compared to the Amsterdam coffeeshop customers. The difference could be traced mainly to the non-daily users.

Market displacement towards home growing. Nearly one quarter of the Amsterdam coffeeshop customers and one fifth of the current users nationwide said they would grow their own marijuana or buy it from a grower.

Market displacement towards other drug dealers. Over one quarter of respondents in both surveys said they would buy marijuana or hashish in a setting other than coffeeshops (e.g. street settings), from a different source (e.g. a home-based dealer), or through home delivery.

Conclusions and discussion
Amsterdam coffeeshop owners foresee almost no advantages from the introduction of the proposed cannabis ID. They predict that it will compromise the privacy of customers (many of whom are expected to shun registration); that it will impose a discriminatory ban on foreign tourists and other non-residents of the city, which could eventually also have a significant impact on the local economy; and that it will trigger a revival of  street dealing in soft drugs, thus weakening the current separation of markets and making hard drugs more easily accessible to cannabis users.

The coffeeshop owners’ prediction that many customers will resist the cannabis ID is confirmed by our survey of Amsterdam coffeeshop customers. When informed about the proposed ID, the vast majority of customers spontaneously answered that they would oppose registering to qualify for an ID, as did a substantial majority of current cannabis users throughout the country. Resistance slackened somewhat when respondents were presented with a strict scenario of compulsory registration; almost one in three said they would then register after all. The majority of refusers would opt for growing their own marijuana or buying directly from a cannabis grower, or for purchasing cannabis through other channels than coffeeshops, such as drugs delivery services, home-based dealers or street dealers. Some refusers would get others to go to coffeeshops for them, thus still indirectly patronising the coffeeshops.

Notably, over ten per cent of respondents said they would stop smoking cannabis if the ID becomes law. Coffeeshop owners did not appear to expect any such development, and it is questionable whether those who say they would quit would actually do so. After all, intention is no guarantee for real behavioural change (Ajzen, 1985; Bamberg et al., 2003; Bandura, 1986; De Vries et al., 1998; Prochaska & DiClemente, 1982). Similar uncertainty applies to the prediction – made by coffeeshop owners, customers and surveyed current users alike – that the cannabis supply would shift to the streets and other locations and to home grow.

A limitation to this study is that the surveys were based on non-normative convenience samples. Some caution is therefore warranted as to the generalisability of the reported percentages. That said, there were striking similarities between the two samples both in attitudes to mandatory registration and in the perceived consequences of the cannabis ID, despite differences between the surveys in terms of method (site versus online survey), geographical scope (Amsterdam versus nationwide) and respondent characteristics (age, gender, frequency of cannabis use). Displacement of the retail cannabis market to non-coffeeshop settings, as indicated by both surveys, therefore seems a very real possibility, although it is unclear to what extent and in what ways that might happen.

All in all, our surveys of cannabis users provide empirical evidence in support of fears, as expressed by opponents of the cannabis ID, that it will lead to a resurgence of the underground retail cannabis market and the accompanying crime and nuisance. Proponents of the ID will undoubtedly be keen to argue in the political debate that introducing the ID will help curb the use of cannabis.

[i] Women were somewhat overrepresented in the total Sex & Drugs sample (55.1% female versus 43.6% male). Males in that sample were slightly more likely to have consumed cannabis in the past month (34.3% versus 30.9%, p < .05).
[ii] Some of the current cannabis users in the nationwide online survey were under 18 and hence too young to enter a coffeeshop. Amongst respondents 18 and older, the percentages were similar to those in the overall sample (6.0% and 22.7% would register and 71.8% would refuse; percentages for under-18s were 2.3%, 14.8% and 82.9%.
[iii] Confining ourselves to the nationwide respondents aged 18 or older, virtually the same pattern emerges as in the overall sample: 32.1% would register, 12.9% would refuse and get others to buy for them in a coffeeshop, 43.5% would opt for a non-coffeeshop supplier (market displacement) and 11.5% would refuse and give up smoking (percentages for under-18s were 25.0%, 18.1%, 43.1% en 13.9%.

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Published in The Bonger International Bulletin – September 2011

The Bonger International Bulletin reports and discusses findings from research studies conducted at the Bonger Institute of Criminology.

Willem Adriaan Bonger (1876-1940) was one of the founding fathers of Dutch criminology and the first professor of sociology and criminology in the Netherlands. He argued that crime is social in origin and is causally linked to economic and social conditions.

Bonger Institute of Criminology
Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam