While Brazil Telenovelas Shrink Families, Jdramas Seek to Expand Them?

In September last year, I read a VERY interesting article in National Geographic titled Brazil’s Girl Power — El Poder de Las Brasileñas, in Spanish — by Cynthia Gorney, who was exploring the decrease in the birth rate in the nation from 6.3 children in the 1960s, to 2.36 children twelve years ago to an average of 1.9 nowadays.

What made the article interesting is the fact that they were attributing this demographic miracle to the Brazilian telenovelas, where “90% of the female characters have an average of one child or none, which could have pushed Brazilian women to want smaller families.

 ‘Is the Globo network trying to introduce family planning on purpose?’ says Elza Berquó, a veteran Brazilian demographer who helped study the novelas’ effects. You know what they answered? ‘No. It’s because it’s much easier to write the novelas about small families.’

And you know I’m a firm believer in the power of mass communication, and there’s no stronger tool than television where information is fed to you with you pressing the ON button, instead of having to look for it online.

While Brazilian shrinking families seem to be the demographic talk of the town, there’s another demographic hot topic: Japan’s Aging Demographic [1][2], which is said will decrease by nearly 10% in people under the age of 14, and increase by nearly 40% in people over the age of 65 by 2060. The fact is, Japanese people aren’t having children! They’re also living pretty long, but that’s another issue~


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

9 Responses

  1. Camiele says:

    Of course, television influences society. At least I know here in America, from the commercials to the “reality” television, everything is obviously designated for certain demagraphics of the population. From an early age, even, girls are taught that they’re going to need to take care of children, cook (commercials with baby dolls, Barbies, and makshift kitchens), and do the shopping while the men are going to fix things, get jobs, and provide for the family, and even go to war (Tonka trucks, tools, Nerf guns — sniper rifles to close range weapons).

    As much as we like to preach about progress, a more conservative society sells products like crazy. So we have the commercials and the idiot television shows that everyone is so entranced by. Makes me SICK! HaHa.

    But, it seems like that’s what modern society wants — to go back to the 50s (or whatever equivalent decade/era in another country).

    • amy says:

      @Camiele, I always felt so weird that I never was the kind of girl that liked to play with dolls or wear pink. I used to hate pink, like… with a passion. And I used to give mohawks to the barbies I got as presents, though there weren’t many… my family used to give me loads of fruity balls (you know, the ones that smell like grapes, and stuff) because we had a thorny jujube tree, so I was always in need of fruity balls or footballs.

      One thing is true… telenovelas can fuck you up. Down here, the most common theme in telenovelas are the ones about the girl from the poor family that ends up as a maid in a rich people’s home, and ends up falling in love with the patron or the patron’s son, who also ends up miraculously falling in love with her because the rich women are bitches. LOL

      Social-climb through marriage is something a lot of people grow up dreaming of, I guess. Especially to telenovela viewers.

      • Camiele says:

        @amy, Yeah. It’s a bit disgusting. I never wanted kids nor did I ever want to get married. I don’t know if it was some sort of subconscious rebellion or not, but it never really was something that was very high on my to-do list.

        I was always the perverted kid that had her dolls become… very intimate >.>. Yeah, my parents should’ve known that marriage and kids wasn’t my thing… Ken never came with Barbie, just sayin… HaHa.

        • amy says:

          @Camiele, my cousins and I always used to play “la casita” but we never thought of it as making a family, we build our “houses” with our toys’ chests and bedsheets and we had like a business and jobs hahahaha.

  2. Mirella says:

    TV is trying to tell them that if you can afford them, have as many kids as possible please… WE NEED TEH BABIEZ!!!11!1

    • amy says:

      @Mirella, as long as it’s not “have babies and be rich (or die trying?)” it’s fine. The best way is to prohibit having sex and having babies, lets see how many of them do xD just, you know, for the thrill of it. XD

  3. Camiele says:

    @amy, HaHa. That’s adorable. Yeah, I was all about building forts and pretending I was a secretary. Don’t ask me why that’s something I wanted to do as a kid, I just loved the sound of typewriters and being busy… HaHa. It was never about kids and marriage with me. Give me a job any damn day of the week… HaHA.

  1. February 16, 2012

    […] While Brazil Telenovelas Shrink Families, Jdramas Seek to Expand Them? […]

  2. August 30, 2014

    […] and shotgun weddings, but I still believe they are trying to make people have more babies [1]. I SWEAR. Though having Asahi and Azusa accepting to have their kid (eventually) after many […]

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