To try to solve an overpopulation problem
, governments (in fiction and real life
) may limit the total number of children a person or couple can have; enforced with sterility, abortions, infanticide, criminal punishment, or social stigmas. Less frequently, a dystopia
may try to reduce (or eliminate, if other methods like cloning or bottle babies
are in use) pregnancy by banning sex
altogether. However, the absolute rarest version of this trope is where the Powers That Be
encourage (or require) homosexuality in some or all of the populace in order to keep the population down.
This is different from a Cast Full of Gay
, which is just a story where the majority of characters happen to be gay, or tropes such as Everyone Is Gay
and Het is Ew
which are about fanfiction (where straight characters in original works are turned gay for the purpose of the story). Also differs from Situational Sexuality
or from homosexuality being the result of a One-Gender Race
. Of course, in some universes, Homosexual Reproduction
is still a possibility...
- In Joe Haldeman's The Forever War, the Earth's government officially encouraged homosexuality ("homolife") to promote Population Control, which had caused worldwide food wars; eventually, they eliminated heterosexual reproduction altogether and employed cloning to perpetuate (and change) the species. With the time dilation the protagonist experiences he eventually ends up as one of the few heterosexuals and is regarded as aberrant.
- In L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth dekalogy, the Rockecenter Corporation (which secretly controls the world) promotes homosexuality as "psychiatric birth control."
- In Anthony Burgess' The Wanting Seed, heterosexuals are discriminated against while homosexuality ("It's sapiens to be homo!"), self-sterilization, and eventually even cannibalism are responses to overpopulation and limited resources.
- In I Will Fear No Evil by Robert A. Heinlein, the government doesn't quite go so far as to forbid heterosexual sex, but they strongly encourage homosexuality for this reason.
- In Charles Beaumont's "The Crooked Man," homosexuality became the norm but heterosexuality was tolerated for a while. Then a politician demonizes straights and they are forced to chemically change their orientation.
- While it's not exactly encouraged directly, the wizards of Discworld (who are forbidden to reproduce as a means of preventing sourcery) apparently are willing to tolerate homosexuality among their fellows.
- The Shore of Women, by Pamela Sargent. Men exist outside the walls of the central city, so the only relationships available are between women.
- From the New World uses the trope, but only among children and not for population control reasons. Instead, it's expected that teenagers below a certain age will have sexual relationships within their own gender until they're teamed with a student of the opposite gender "for schoolwork purposes," at which point they're permitted to enter into opposite-sex relationships. This is done because the fact that Everyone Is Bi is part of Kamisu 66' social control system, or as one infodump puts it, "the society of love."
- In one episode of Barney Miller, a man claiming to be a time-traveller is arrested. He says that in the future (he doesn't specify when exactly), the government encourages homosexuality as a way of keeping the population down.
- In Fallout: Equestria, the Pegasus Enclave encourage homosexual relationships in order to keep population numbers down.