6 July 2009

Brazil's racy telenovelas inspire drop in birth rate, rise in divorce.

From the UK Telegraph: “A study of population data stretching back to 1971 has revealed that Brazil’s popular and often fanciful soap operas have had a direct impact on the nation's divorce and birth rates, as the main channel that broadcast them gradually extended its reach across the country. According to the report… the rate of marriage break-up rose and the number of children born to each woman fell more quickly in areas receiving the TV Globo signal for the first time.… ‘We find that exposure to modern lifestyles as portrayed on television, to emancipated women’s roles, and to a critique of traditional values, was associated with increases in the share of separated and divorced woman across Brazil’s municipal areas,’ the report's authors said. What is more, they added, ‘Women living in areas covered by the Globo signal have significantly lower fertility.’”