Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Following the Crowd

H/T to thatmarriedcouple for pointing out and writing on this great article

The phrase herd mentality is pretty common. People tend to follow the crowd on many things - how else would ladies fashion trends be profitable? I do not have the money to buy many trendy clothes nor do I find it very important, but there are many aspect of my life that are impacted by the herd mentality. The biggest example I can think of is my career path. I am from an upper-middle class family so of course I am going to college. That was never a doubt in my mind even before I had any idea what I wanted to do. If I had really thought about it I might have ended up a hairdresser - one of my more unique childhood dreams as opposed to the very common teacher aspirations. That storyline is unlikely, but possible.

How might we describe a mentality (there are many examples past the herd)? Here is one definition as found in the article titled "Contraceptive Mentality"

A "mentality" exists in a society when enough people react automatically to a situation without thinking of the long-range consequences. "Mentality" describes a pervasive—almost Pavlovian —mindset that is awake to the immediate benefit but asleep to the distant repercussion.
The contraceptive mentality truly fits this definition. People automatically turn to artificial means of contraception to regulate family size. That is what the culture teaches and that is what is assumed by most. I can't blame anyone because I have followed many other types of herd mentalities as well. The immediate benefit is widely advertised - postponing pregnancy/parenthood while the disadvantages are reasoned away. It is hard to get past the mentality that postponing pregnancy is best left to doctors and not to a beautiful and holistic understanding of female anatomy.

If you want to read more I encourage you to go here and read the blog by thatmarriedcouple (in case you missed it) who was able to give a better and wider review of the idea of "contraceptive mentality" than I.

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