Paul G. Stanley, American botanist, described how he was impressed by the naturalness, dignity without affection, intelligence of the mass of Costa Ricans, the beauty and femininity of its women". Regarding the latter, many Americans have come to Costa Rica and found a good and beautiful girl and married. Submissiveness of women in marriage is still somewhat prevalent in husband and wife relations although this practice is gradually being eroded as many women now hold jobs in government and private firms and have become more independent. However, much of the macho spirit prevails and more so in the rural areas.
Since there's still plenty of domestic violence going on, the judicial courts are now taking strong action against it and length of penalties have been increased. Obligatory DNA testing has been introduced as a clause in the recent enactment of the Responsible Paternity Law as a way of forcing men, who have illegitimate children, to accept them as legally theirs and take the responsibility of financing their upbringing.
Costa Ricans in general, as is the case with most Latinos, are good conversationalists. In the past, while cities including San José were still small, it was very common to meet several acquaintances while walking downtown and stopping to chat. Visiting friends and relatives was one of the main pastimes. It was a practice originating in colonial times and the custom persisted through half of the 20th.Century. It lessened when homes began to have telephones and radios. The cities were smaller and everything seemed to be within walking distance. The custom changed radically on the arrival of television and the explosive growth of population and urban development.
A Rapidly Growing Population
While in 1956 Costa Rica had only one million inhabitants, the July 2000 census by National Institute of Statistics and Census recorded the population as being 3,810,1794. This population increase was almost a whopping 400 per cent in just 45 years. The increase has come about principally from a high birth rate and internal growth, but immigration also has been responsible for a part especially during the past twenty years. The population increase in the future may not be as phenomenal since the national high birth rate of yesteryear has been declining gradually.