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To the Editor:—
In an editorial in The Journal, May 22, "Reproductive Performance in Man" is the statement "... she would produce as an average... 3.3 births."My genealogy is so complete that I know practically all the births on both sides to 1697 and on my maternal side for hundreds of years more. I once tabulated, for each twenty-five year marriage, the number of births to a marriage. It was uniformly, if I now remember correctly, 3.4, until I went back of 1600, when it began to vary for lack of sufficient data. Families were no larger in the 1700's than today. Some had eight or ten children, many, as today, had none.I have used these figures to combat the birth control idea. The average woman, with no prevention, will have an average of 3.4 births. This just covers the losses from deaths in infancy and keeps the population
Cadwallader R. REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE IN MAN. JAMA. 1937;109(2):150. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780280056024