Minister of education in Barbados, Ronald Jones, has more than once complained about the decline in the birth rate in the Barbados population. The low birth rate in Barbados has been attributed to the highly successful birth control programme led by the Barbados Family Planning Association. However, a phenomenon like this can hardly be the due to the influence of a single factor. As a social scientist and researcher, I have wondered about the “official” explanation. A recent BBC video confirms my suspicions that there is more to this than the received view.
For some time now, I have surmised that the decline in the birth rate in the Barbados may also be due in part to what I am tentatively calling “surrogate sexual pleasure”; the idea that other sources of sexual pleasure may be shirt-circuiting or subverting the “normal” reproductive drive. While updating my Twitter account and thinking about the CCME’s research agenda earlier in the weekend, I came across this BBC video entitled, Sexless in Japan, which seems to strengthen my hypothesis (well, let’s say “suspicion”) and raises at least two interesting research questions: What is sexual pleasure? Can sexual pleasure be derived from activities other than sexual activity, however defined?
Pleasure is an emotion and like all other emotions, it is experienced in the brain. But is sexual pleasure different from say, the pleasure of earning a master’s degree, the pleasure of landing a now job or getting a promotion?
My miniscule knowledge of neuroscience suggests that the same neurons (nerve cells) that fire during sexual excitement may very well be the same neurons that come into play (no pun intended) when faced with some of the other “exciting” events I alluded to above. Perhaps some expert out there will weigh in on this matter? If this turns out to be so, we in Barbados may very well be victims of our own success!
Watch the video located here and tell us what you think in the anonymous poll below.