In ecology, r/K selection theory relates to the selection of combinations of traits in an organism that trade off between quantity and quality of offspring. wikipedia
See also the Mathematics of Diversity.
The focus upon either increased quantity of offspring at the expense of individual parental investment, or reduced quantity of offspring with a corresponding increased parental investment, varies widely, seemingly to promote success in particular environments.
Perhaps capitalism and consumerism are r-selected while tradition and sustainability are K-selected. This might explain how Al Gore could get parents so concerned about their children's environmental future until the price of gas goes up 50 cents. It could also explain the weak Social Shaping of new technologies.