Originally posted by Duchess64
He points out that African men want to have more children than women do,
I wonder where he got that from. In my own experience I have known women who wanted more children than their husbands, and in my own marriage the pressure to have children or more children came almost entirely from women.
It is true that in many cases the men do not participate very much in child rearing and that gives them the false impression that it is easy, so they have more. However, this largely applies to the poor where having more children is seen as financially beneficial. The moment people enter the middle class they discover that raising children is enormously expensive and they have a lot less children.
Also related to poverty is not thinking ahead. I experienced a culture shock when moving to South Africa in that South Africans think much further ahead than Zambians largely because they are wealthier. Most Zambians are too busy worrying about where their next meal will come from to be concerned about what the school fees might be 10 years from now.
Another major factor that has been noted globally is child survival rates. If children die at high rates people have more children to compensate and usually over compensate. If you improve child health and stop wars, then population growth rates tend to drop.
I do think educating and empowering women does help significantly in reducing population growth but I am not convinced that it is for the reason Engleman gives.