To the Editor
Not Born to Rebel
In his article "Dolly's Fashion and Louis's Passion" (June 1997), Stephen Jay Gould discusses Born to Rebel, Frank Sulloway's book documenting the effects of birth order on human personality. Firstborns, according to Sulloway, turn out to be moderates or conservatives, while their subsequent siblings are more open to innovation and change-indeed, are more likely to turn into revolutionaries.
I wonder whether anyone has examined the vast experiment, under way for several decades now, that might cast even more light on Sulloway's thesis. I refer to government edict in the People's Republic of China limiting all families to a single child. Since, according to Sulloway, laterborns are born to rebel, China's populations should eventually be composed entirely of conservative supporters of the status quota perfect situation for a totalitarian regime. Dissenters will not need to be arrested in the future; they will be unborn.
Marie Winn New York, New York
Why Street Children?
"Children at Risk" July/August, 1997) was so thoughtful and well conceived that it will undoubtedly constitute the definitive set of articles on street children for years to come. …