At Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen recalls a 1981 book:
by Tyler Cowen November 23, 2023 at 12:44 am in Books Medicine
The author of this excellent book is Nancy Scheper-Hughes, and the subtitle is Mental Illness in Rural Ireland. One of the most interesting themes of this book is how life in rural Ireland became so “de-eroticized,” to use her word.
The decline in the population of Ireland (whether measured as the entire island or, as in this graph, of the southern 26 of the island’s 32 counties) following the 1846 potato blight famine was extraordinary.
My guess is that Catholic Ireland took to heart the English Protestant Malthusian critique that the 1846 famine was due to population growth due to excessive sexual reproduction and thus desexualized the culture.
Of course, America is currently suffering a high rate of schizophrenia among the absolute opposite of rural Irish Catholic farmers: homeless urban drug addicts.