Birth order has been examined over a wide variety of dimensions in the context of modern populations. A consistent message has been that it is better to be born first. The analysis of birth order in this paper is different in several ways from other investigations into birth order effects. First, we examine the effect of birth order in an egalitarian, small-scale, kin-based society, which has not been done before. Second, we use a different outcome measure, fertility, rather than (...) outcome measures of social, psychological, or economic success. We find, third, that being born late in an egalitarian, technologically simple society rather than being born early has a positive outcome on fertility, and fourth, that number of older siblings and sibling set size are even stronger predictors of fertility, especially for males. (shrink)
Male provisioning ability may have evolved as a “good dad” indicator through sexual selection, whereas male creativity may have evolved partly as a “good genes” indicator. If so, women near peak fertility (midcycle) should prefer creativity over wealth, especially in short-term mating. Forty-one normally cycling women read vignettes describing creative but poor men vs. uncreative but rich men. Women’s estimated fertility predicted their short-term (but not long-term) preference for creativity over wealth, in both their desirability ratings of individual (...) men (r=.40, p<.01) and their forced-choice decisions between men (r=.46, p<.01). These preliminary results are consistent with the view that creativity evolved at least partly as a good genes indicator through mate choice. (shrink)
Based on historical data pertaining to the Krummhörn population (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Germany), we compared reproductive histories of mothers according to whether the maternal grandmother (MGM) or the paternal grandmother (PGM) or neither of them was resident in the parents’ parish at the time of the mother’s first birth. In contrast to effects of PGMs, we discovered conditional differences in the MGM’s effects between landless people and wealthier, commercial farmers. Our data indicate that the presence of the MGM only (...) lowers the woman’s age at marriage (AAM) and her age at the birth of her first child (AFB) in the case of landless families. However, among commercial farmers, who can generally be characterized by a lower AAM and AFB, we found opposite tendencies for the MGM’s effect leading to a relatively small delay in AAM and AFB. Moreover, we also analyzed differences in the completed fertility (i.e., children ever born: CEB). Results indicate that landless families in general do have fewer CEB compared with commercial farmers except for those families in which the MGM has been present. Emphasizing that the adaptiveness of investment decisions should depend on the interaction of genetic, lineage-specific (intrinsic) and ecologically imposed (extrinsic) constraints, we conclude that kin strategies consequently address different fitness components under different conditions. (shrink)
Our objective is to test an optimality model of human fertility that specifies the behavioral requirements for fitness maximization in order (a) to determine whether current behavior does maximize fitness and, if not, (b) to use the specific nature of the behavioral deviations from fitness maximization towards the development of models of evolved proximate mechanisms that may have maximized fitness in the past but lead to deviations under present conditions. To test the model we use data from a representative (...) sample of 7,107 men living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, between 1990 and 1993. The model we test proposes that low fertility in modern settings maximizes number of grandchildren as a result of a trade-off between parental fertility and next generation fertility. Results do not show the optimization, although the data do reveal a trade-off between parental fertility and offspring education and income.We propose that two characteristics of modern economies have led to a period of sustained fertility reduction and to a corresponding lack of association between income and fertility. The first is the direct link between costs of investment and wage rates due to the forces of supply and demand for labor in competitive economies. The second is the increasing emphasis on cumulative knowledge, skills, and technologies in the production of resources. Together they produce historically novel conditions. These two features of modern economies may interact with evolved psychological and physiological mechanisms governing fertility and parental investment to produce behavior that maximizes the economic productivity of lineages at the expense of fitness. If cognitive processes evolved to track diminishing returns to parental investment and if physiological processes evolved to regulate fertility in response to nutritional state and patterns of breast feeding, we might expect non-adaptive responses when returns from parental investment do not diminish until extremely high levels are reached. With high economic payoffs from parental investment, people have begun to exercise cognitive regulation of fertility through contraception and family planning practices. Those cognitive processes maynot have evolved to handle fitness trade-offs between fertility and parental investment. (shrink)
Colonists, unlike indigenous peoples, are often assumed tohave little knowledge of their environment. However, their perceptions of the environment and their knowledgeof natural resource systems have a significant impact on their farming practices. Farmers in the frontier regionof Marabá, Eastern Amazonia, understand nutrient cycling and the links between different components in farmingsystems. Diagrams drawn by farmers show very diversified systems, and farmers' knowledge of soilcharacteristics, including sub-surface features, and distribution in their localities is very detailed in comparison to pedologicalclassifications. However, (...) knowledge about nutrient cycling is very uneven, even between farmers from the same area.Generally, farmers were found to have very detailed knowledge of environmental resources, but very patchyknowledge of processes and functions underlying systems, and this conforms to evolutionary models of ecologicalknowledge. Perceptions of change in soil fertility are related to the length of settlement, and are closelylinked to the presence of forest. Overall, the majority of farmers believe they will not be able to sustain cropping in thefuture, and as forest and fallow become scarce the most feasible option will be for them to move to other areas.Farmers are more optimistic about pasture, which is viewed as a more stable system, with the key to long-termsustainability being weed control. These findings imply that a high degree of information sharing between farmers andscientists is required to establish resource management strategies and social institutions to supportsustainable development strategies at the frontier. (shrink)
n some areas of clinical medicine, discussions about fertility preservation are routine, such as in the treatment of children and adolescents facing cancer treatments that will destroy their ability to produce gametes of their own. Certain professional organizations now offer guidelines for people who wish to modify their bodies and appearance in regard to sex traits, and these guidelines extend to recommendations about fertility preservation. Since the removal of testicles or ovaries will destroy the ability to have genetically (...) related children later on, it is imperative to counsel transgender people seeking body modifications about fertility preservation options. Fertility preservation with transgender people will, however, lead to unconventional outcomes. If transgender men and women use their ova and sperm, respectively, to have children, they will function as a mother or father in a gametic sense but will function in socially reversed parental identities. There is nothing, however, about fertility preservation with transgender men and women that is objectionable in its motives, practices, or outcomes that would justify closing off these options. In any case, novel reproductive technologies may extend this kind of role reversal in principle to all people, if sperm and ova can be derived from all human beings regardless of sex, as has happened with certain laboratory animals. (shrink)
Donors, scientists and farmers all benefit when research and development projects have high impact. However, potential benefits are sometimes not realized. Our objective in this study is to determine why resource-poor farmers in Togo (declined to) adopt recommended practices that were promoted through a multi-organizational project on soil fertility management. We examine the processes and outcomes related to the adoption process. The project was undertaken in three villages in the Central Region of Togo in West Africa. The development and (...) research processes that took place during the implementation of the project were critically analyzed using a conceptual framework that may be useful for improving the impact of future participatory projects. At the macro level, opportunities for innovation were not deliberately explored with participating farmers and other village members; consequently “pre-analytical choices” made during the planning phase resulted in practices that resource-poor farmers were, for a variety of reasons, unable or unwilling to adopt. From the outset, donors and scientists focused on soil fertility management, but failed to take into account the wider economic context within which soil fertility management took place. This was a major obstacle to the subsequent adoption of recommended management strategies. Scientists and donor partners measured the success of the Project in terms of crop productivity, but farmers’ choices were influenced by a complex mix of socio-economic, political and technical factors. We also illustrate the importance of selecting appropriate categories of farmers for a particular experiment. We conclude that for participatory research and development projects to be successful, it is not enough to develop technologies that “work” in a technical sense. In order to be scaled up and widely implemented, such technologies must also meet a variety of needs of resource-poor farmers and be acceptable from a socio-cultural point of view. (shrink)
Sustaining soil fertility is essential to the prosperity of many households in the mid-hills of Nepal, but there are concerns that the breakdown of the traditional linkages between forest, livestock, and cropping systems is adversely affecting fertility. This study used triangulated data from surveys of households, discussion groups, and key informants in 16 wards in eastern and western Nepal to determine the existing practices for soil fertility management, the extent of such practices, and the perception of the (...) direction of changes in soil fertility. The two principal practices for maintaining soil fertility were the application of farmyard manure (FYM) and of chemical fertilizer (mainly urea and diammonium phosphate). Green manuring, in-situ manuring, slicing terrace risers, and burning plant residues are rarely practiced. FYM usage was variable with more generally applied to khet land (average 6053 kg fresh weight manure ha−1) than to bari land (average 4185 kg fresh weight manure ha−1) with manure from goats and poultry preferred above that from cows and buffaloes. Almost all households (98%) apply urea to khet land and 87% to bari land, with 45% applying diammonium phosphate to both types of land. Application rates and timings of applications varied considerably both within and between wards suggesting poor knowledge transfer between the research and farming communities. The benefits of chemical fertilizers in terms of ease of application and transportation in comparison with FYM, were perceived to outweigh the widely reported detrimental hardening of soil associated with their continued usage. Among key informants, FYM applied in conjunction with chemical fertilizer was the most popular amendment, with FYM alone preferred more than chemical fertilizer alone – probably because of the latter’s long-term detrimental effects. Key informant and householder surveys differed in their perception of fertility changes in the last decade probably because of differences in age and site-specific knowledge. All key informants felt that fertility had declined but among households, only about 40% perceived a decline with the remainder about evenly divided between no change and an increase. Householders with small landholdings (< 0.5 ha) were more likely to perceive increasing soil fertility while those with larger landholdings (> 2 ha) were more likely to perceive declining fertility. Perceived changes in soil fertility were not related to food self-sufficiency. The reasons for the slow spread of new technologies within wards and the poor understanding of optimal use of chemical fertilizers in conjunction with improved quality FYM may repay further investigation in terms of sustaining soil fertility in this region. (shrink)
In the modern world, technology has enabled us to understand the connections between the menstrual cycle and female fertility and to observe the reproductive process even from conception. Unable to see inside the living body, however, eighteenth-century people imagined reproduction and fertility holistically. Their understanding of fertility was inseparable from the way in which they imagined the inner-workings of the humoral body. Although menstruation was understood to be connected to reproduction, it was considered unreliable, a peripheral indicator (...) of fertility. Above all, the best marker of a woman’s fecundity was good overall health. (shrink)
Australian women who are university graduates have fewer children than non-graduates. In most cases this appears to be the result of circumstantial pressures not preference. Long years of study fill the most fertile years of women students and new graduates need further time to establish their careers. The chance of medical infertility increases with age so, for some, this means that childbearing is not postponed but ruled out. Graduates who do make the transition from university to professional work find that (...) working hours are long and that professional occupations are now both highly demanding and insecure. Women who take time off to care for young children must depend on one insecure income (their partner’s) rather than two, and their return to work is uncertain. These difficulties of time, money and insecurity are compounded by problems in finding a suitable partner. They are magnified by the enduring tendency of women to marry up. Thus it can be more difficult for women graduates to find husbands than it is for women who are non-graduates. (shrink)
the virtues which are desirable for scientific theories to possess. In this paper I discuss the several species of theoretical virtues called 'fertility', and argue in each case that the desirability of 'fertility' can be explicated in terms of other, more fundamental theoretical virtues.
In this paper, we recommend expanding infertility insurance mandates to people who may become infertile because of cancer treatments. Such an expansion would ensure cancer patients can receive fertility preservation technology (FPT) prior to commencing treatment. We base our proposal for extending coverage to cancer patients on the infertility mandate in Massachusetts because it is one of the most inclusive. While we use Massachusetts as a model, our arguments and analysis of possible routes to coverage can be applied to (...) all states' seeking inclusive coverage for infertility treatment. Furthermore, our proposal can also be applied to people with other diseases who may be rendered infertile by treatment. (shrink)
It has been claimed that modern long-standing scientific theories are fertile, in the sense of having been progressively successfully modified to meet new experimental observations or theoretical developments in related areas, and that these modifications arise naturally from each preceding version of the theory. McMullin has advanced this form of fertility as a vindication of scientific realism, since if the theories did not approximate the real, the observation would be inexplicable. In response Nolan has denied the existence of (...) class='Hi'>fertility in this sense as an independent virtue. The present paper argues that the rebuttal is flawed. Introduction McMullin's P-fertilityFertility Explained Away as Novel Prediction Conclusion CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Human population growth must end, and the sooner the better, for both nature and a humanity that pursues boundlessly increasing affluence. Poisoning of organisms and massive extinctions result, exacerbated by population momentum. Infliction of pain and death largely for trivial reasons constitutes the ignoble dénouement of our history. Reducing human numbers would be only one fitting response to recognition of this situation. Reliance on voluntary socio-economic reforms, including even the empowennent of women, appears unlikely to lead to below-replacement-level fertility, (...) since families on average still elect to have more than two children. Discussed are three reasons for thinking that coercive measures could help to engender a decreasing human population without negating preferable voluntary efforts to the same end. Hence some coercion to reduce fertility is justifiable. (shrink)
Preference for partners with low fluctuating asymmetry (FA) may produce “good gene” benefits. However, Gangestad & Simpson's analysis does not exclude immediate benefits of fertility. Low FA is related to fertility in men and women. Short-term changes in FA are correlated with fertility in women. It is not known whether temporal fluctuations in the FA of men are related to short-term fertility status.
The use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has expanded both in number and scope over the past 2 decades. Initially carried out to avoid the birth of children with severe genetic disease, PGD is now used for a variety of medical and non-medical purposes. While some human studies have concluded that PGD is safe, animal studies and a recent human study suggest that the embryo biopsy procedure may result in neurological problems for the offspring. Given that the long-term safety of (...) PGD has not been clearly established in humans, this study sought to determine how PGD safety is presented to prospective patients by means of a detailed website analysis. The websites of 262 US fertility centres performing PGD were analysed and comments about safety and risk were catalogued. Results of the analysis demonstrated that 78.2% of centre websites did not mention safety or risk of PGD at all. Of the 21.8% of centres that did contain safety or risk information about PGD, 28.1% included statements highlighting the potential risks, 38.6% presented information touting the procedure as safe and 33.3% included statements highlighting potential risks and the overall safety of the procedure. Thus, 86.6% of PGD-performing centres state that PGD is safe and/or fail to disclose any risks on their websites despite the fact that the impact of the procedure on the long-term health of offspring is unproven. This lack of disclosure suggests that informed consent is inadequate; this study examines numerous factors that are likely to inhibit comprehensive discussions of safety. (shrink)
In this article we examine the nature of intimacy and knowing in the nurse-patient relationship in the context of advanced nursing roles in fertility care. We suggest that psychoanalytical approaches to emotions may contribute to an increased understanding of how emotions are managed in advanced nursing roles. These roles include nurses undertaking tasks that were formerly performed by doctors. Rather than limiting the potential for intimacy between nurses and fertility patients, we argue that such roles allow nurses to (...) provide increased continuity of care. This facilitates the management of emotions where a feeling of closeness is created while at the same time maintaining a distance or safe boundary with which both nurses and patients are comfortable. We argue that this distanced or ‘bounded’ relationship can be understood as a defence against the anxiety of emotions raised in the nurse-fertility patient relationship. (shrink)
The birth rates per 1000 married females of specified ages and durations of marriage generally attained their post-war maxima in 19463000 and (b) the cumulative fertility up to 5 or 10 years of marriage duration of later cohorts was considerably higher (13–40% higher) than that of earlier cohorts. These facts, and similar ones for Australia covering a wider period (Basavarajappa, 1964), are thought to suggest that the total fertility of cohorts who have not yet completed their childbearing might (...) not be far outside the limits of 2500 and 3000. (shrink)
Charles James William Pfoundes (1840?1907), a young emigrant from Southeast Ireland, spent most of his adult life in Japan, received a Japanese name ?Omoie Tetzunostzuke?, first embraced and then turned against Theosophy and, from 1893, was ordained in several Japanese Buddhist traditions. Lacking independent means but educated, intellectually curious, entrepreneurial, fluent in Japanese and with a keen interest in Asian culture, Pfoundes subsisted as a cultural intermediary, explaining Japan and Asia to both Japanese and foreign audiences and actively seeking involvement (...) in global expositions and congresses, in Asia and beyond. Drawing on a previously unstudied collection of Pfoundes' personal documents, this paper first outlines Pfoundes' unusual career and then focuses on his engagement, in the last 15 years of his life, in actual or proposed international congresses and expositions in London, Chicago, Japan, Hanoi, St Louis and Oregon. The paper thereby draws attention, through the forgotten figure of Charles Pfoundes, to the distinctive nineteenth century phenomenon of great international expositions and their associated congresses, viewing these complicated events as another kind of crossroads; innovative nodes and material stimuli to the kinds of travel, cultural communication and interaction which, like monastic, trade, political and ethnic networks, helped to exchange and promote modern representations of Buddhism. (shrink)
Botswana is one of the sub[hyphen]Saharan countries where actual fertility has declined. This study examines the fertility preferences of both men and women and shows that fertility intentions have a significant influence on future fertility behaviour. Fertility preferences are relatively low and there is no significant difference between those of men and women. Men's preference for sons influences desired family size and eventual fertility. For women as well as men, child survival is an important (...) factor. Women's income is also influential. (shrink)
The percentage of accidental pregnancies, the Pearl pregnancy rate and the life-table method have all been used to study the effectiveness of contraception in Belgium, using data from the Second National Fertility Survey (1971), which covered 3397 Belgian women in the age group 30–34 years. Though all three methods yield generally similar results, it is only by using the third method that we can obtain in an optimum way changes in contraceptive effectiveness by birth order and birth interval.
Background: Studies of sexual conditioning typically focus on the development of conditioned responses to a stimulus that precedes and has become associated with a sexual unconditioned stimulus (US). Such a sexually conditioned stimulus (CS) provides the opportunity for feed-forward regulation of sexual behavior, which improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the sexual activity. Objective and Design: The present experiments were conducted to provide evidence of such feed-forward regulation of sexual behavior in laboratory studies with domesticated quail by measuring how many (...) fertilized eggs were produced by the female after the sexual encounter. During the conditioning phase, male and female quail received a conditioned stimulus paired with the opportunity to copulate with each other. Results: Sexual conditioning increased the number of eggs that were fertilized as a consequence of copulation, especially if both the male and the female were exposed to the sexual CS. This conditioned fertility effect occurred with a range of CS durations and CS types. The conditioned fertility effect also occurred in situations involving sexual competition. When two males copulated with the same female, DNA fingerprinting showed that the male whose sexual encounter was signaled by a sexual CS was responsible for most of the resulting offspring. Sexual conditioning also reduced the first-male disadvantage in fertilization that occurs when two males copulate with the same female separated by several hours. Another significant finding was that sexual conditioning attenuated the usual drop in fertilization rate that occurs when the same male copulates with two females in succession. Conclusion: These results show that sexual conditioning increases the number of offspring that are produced in both isolated male-female encounters and in situations that involve two males copulating with the same female or one male copulating with more than one female. By increasing fertilization rates, sexual conditioning can alter genetic transmission across generations and shape evolutionary change. Keywords: sexual conditioning; sexual learning; conditioned fertility; sexual competition; quail; pavlovian conditioning (Published: 15 March 2012) Citation: Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 2012, 2 : 17333 - DOI: 10.3402/snp.v2i0.17333. (shrink)
Using nationally representative data, it is shown that marital unions are relatively stable in Nigeria. Remarriage rates are high so little time is lost between unions. Consequently, the fertility of women who have experienced marital disruption is only slightly lower than for those in stable unions. Their slightly lower parity may be a function of a high incidence of reproductive impairment, which is a major reason for divorce and separation in Nigeria.
Prior research on facial beauty has suggested that the average female face in a population is perceived to be the most attractive face. This finding, however, is based on an image processing methodology that appears to be flawed. An alternative method for generating attractive faces is described and the findings using this procedure are compared with the reports of other experimenters. The results suggest that (1) beautiful female faces are not average, but vary from the average in a systematic manner, (...) and (2) female beauty can best be explained by a sexual selection viewpoint, whereby selection favors cues that are reliable indicators of fertility. (shrink)
Since 1980, the number of twin births in the United States has increased 76 percent, and the number of triplets or higher-order multiples has increased over 400 percent. These increases are due in part to increased maternal age, which is associated with spontaneous twinning. But the primary reason for these increases is that more and more people are undergoing fertility treatment. Despite an emerging (but not absolute) consensus in the medical literature that multiples, including twins, should be a far (...) less frequent outcome of fertility treatment, American clinicians currently practice fertility medicine in ways likely to result in twins and, occasionally, triplets-often, they tell us, at the request of their patients. At first blush, one might conclude that these practice patterns show that patients and their doctors have weighed the risks associated with twins against the benefits of swiftly completing their families and decided that the risks are worth taking. That is, their requests for twins must represent their free and informed choices. But there are reasons to be skeptical of this interpretation, including that the preferences of many patients seem to be very strongly shaped, if not sometimes completely constrained, by concerns about costs-costs that mainly result from the routine exclusion of in vitro fertilization from health insurance coverage. It is quite possible, we believe, that these cost concerns actually undermine the autonomy of fertility patients, pushing many of them to take risks with their health and the health of their hoped-for future children. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]. (shrink)
A sociologist examines contemporary engagements of queer bodies and identities with fertility biomedicine. Drawing on social science, media culture, and the author’s own empirical research, three questions frame the analysis: 1. In what ways have queers on the gendered margins moved into the center and become implicated or central users of biomedicine’s fertility offerings? 2. In what ways is Fertility Inc. transformed by its own incorporation of various gendered and queered bodies and identities? And 3. What are (...) the biosocial and bioethical implications of expanded queer engagements and possibilities with Fertility Inc.? The author argues that “patient” activism through web 2.0 coupled with a largely unregulated free-market of assisted reproduction has included various queer identities as “parents-in-waiting.” Such inclusions raise a set of ethical tensions regarding how to be accountable to the many people implicated in this supply and demand industry. (shrink)
The social interface between reproductive medicine and embryonic stem cell research has been investigated in a pilot study at a large IVF clinic in central China. Methods included observation, interviews with hospital personnel, and five in-depth qualitative interviews with women who underwent IVF and who were asked for their consent to the donation of embryos for use in medical (in fact human embryonic stem cell) research. This paper reports, and discusses from an ethical perspective, the results of an analysis of (...) these interviews. The participants talked of extreme social pressure to become pregnant. Once they had a baby, ‘spare’ embryos lost practical significance due to the Chinese one-child policy. In the context of decision making about donating embryos to research, the women used the clinical distinctions between ‘good and bad quality’ embryos and also between frozen and transferred embryos, as guiding moral distinctions. In the absence of concrete information about what sort of research their embryos should be used for, the women interviewed either refused consent (for fear that the embryo would be given to another couple) or accepted, expressing motives of solidarity with other women in a similar situation. This reveals that they filled the knowledge gap with an image of research improving fertility treatment. (shrink)
Data on patterns of marriage, differential fertility and mortality were collected from 211 Kotia women residing in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh, India. Consanguineous marriages made up just over a quarter of the total, and of these, father's sister's daughter (FSD) were more common than mother's brother's daughter (MBD). The mean inbreeding coefficient for the sample (F) was 0·0172. Women in consanguineous marriages had a lower mean number of total conceptions, live births and living offspring (net fertility) than (...) women in non[hyphen]consanguineous marriages. Significant heterogeneity was found in the means of living offspring for FSD, MBD and non-consanguineous couples, but not for conceptions and live births. (shrink)
Using the matched wife fertility intention. The analysis used logistic regression models for predicting the effects of selected socioeconomic background characteristics on a couples fertility intention was associated with age, education, place of residence, frequency of television-watching and number of living children. Therefore, programme interventions aimed at promoting fertility reduction in Nigeria should convey fertility regulation messages to both husbands and wives.
There is a great deal of interest in the relation between the status of women and fertility—by humanists, academics and policy-makers concerned with bringing about fertility declines. The three aspects of women's status most frequently linked to fertility are their education, employment and type of husband-wife interaction. Research to date has not given us a clear and consistent explanation of these relationships and has not confirmed causality. The effects of these three factors on fertility vary considerably (...) across national boundaries and even within different sectors of the same society. Some of the assumptions held by both researchers and policymakers must be re-thought in the interests of more useful future research and of sounder policy. (shrink)
The decline in the number of legitimate live births in England and Wales from the peak in 1964 has been partitioned into components due to changes in fertility rates, components due to changes in the composition of the population exposed to risk, and an interaction component. Fertility rates specific for age of mother at birth of child, duration of marriage, parity and age of mother at marriage were considered but in all cases it was found that the decline (...) was not as great as the change in fertility rates implied. This was due to increases in the number of births due to changes in the composition of the population exposed to risk. (shrink)
The objectives of this article are, first, to provide improved estimates of recent fertility levels and trends in Nepal and, second, to analyse the components of fertility change. The analysis is based on data from Nepals education. The own-children estimates for the whole country indicate that the TFR declined from 4·96 to 4·69 births per woman between the 3-year period preceding the 1996 survey and the 3-year period preceding the 2001 survey. About three-quarters of the decline stems from (...) reductions in age-specific marital fertility rates and about one-quarter from changes in age-specific proportions currently married. Further decomposition of the decline in marital fertility, as measured by births per currently married woman during the 5-year period before each survey, indicates that almost half of the decline in marital fertility is accounted for by changes in population composition by ecological region, development region, urban/rural residence, education, age at first cohabitation with husband, time elapsed since first cohabitation, number of living children at the start of the 5-year period and media exposure. With these variables controlled, another one-third of the decline is accounted for by increase in the proportion sterilized at the start of the 5-year period before each survey. (shrink)
The effect of nutrition on fertility and its contribution thereby to population dynamics are assessed in three social groups (elite, tradesmen and subsistence) in a marginal, pre-industrial population in northern England. This community was particularly susceptible to fluctuations in the price of grains, which formed their basic foodstuff. The subsistence class, who formed the largest part of the population, had low levels of fertility and small family sizes, but women from all social groups had a characteristic and marked (...) subfecundity in the early part of their reproductive lives. The health and nutrition of the mother during pregnancy was the most important factor in determining fertility and neonatal mortality. Inadequate nutrition had many subtle effects on reproduction which interacted to produce a complex web of events. A population boom occurred during the second half of the 18th century; fertility did not change but there was a marked improvement in infant mortality and it is suggested that the steadily improving nutritional standards of the population, particularly during crucial periods in pregnancy (i.e. the last trimester), probably made the biggest contribution to the improvement in infant mortality and so was probably the major factor in triggering the boom. (shrink)
Kuwait is a high fertility country where the average number of desired children still exceeds 5. However, fertility behaviour is beginning to show a noticeable change and the current TFR is about 4·2 children. In order to understand the decline in fertility, the impact of perceived benefits and costs of children on Kuwaiti womens demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. The sociocultural, economic and political contexts that shape the mother’s perceptions of the benefits and costs of children are analysed (...) and it is concluded that the need for children as social and national capital is currently the most important driving force behind fertility desires and behaviour. (shrink)
Fertility awareness-based methods of family planning help women to identify the days of the cycle they should avoid unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy. Therefore using fertility awareness-based methods influences the timing of sexual activity, which may affect the nature of the sexual relationship. Data are used from the clinical trials of two fertility awareness-based methods to determine the frequency and timing of intercourse during the cycle, and the determinants of coital frequency. The mean coital frequency of study (...) participants was similar to that reported by users of other methods. Results suggest that coital frequency increases with consecutive cycles of method use. At the same time the frequency of intercourse during the identified fertile days and during menses decreases. This evidence implies a behavioural change as couples get more experience using their method and communicating about the fertile days. Coital frequency was also influenced by the method used and by the study sites. Potential differences between the methods and sites that may contribute to this effect are discussed. (shrink)
The final estimate of South Africa's population as of October 1996 from the first post-apartheid census by Statistics South Africa was lower (40·6 million) than expected (42 million). The expectation of a total population of 42 million was largely based on results of apartheid projections of South Africa's population. The results of the last apartheid census in South Africa in 1991 had been adjusted such that it was consistent with results modelling the population size of South Africa. The discrepancy between (...) the final estimate of the 1996 census and that expected from the modelling described above, and the departure by Statistics South Africa from previous practice of adjusting the census results to be consistent with demographic models, has generated controversies regarding the accuracy of the final results from the 1996 census. This study re-examines levels and differential in fertility in South Africa from recent evidence in order to assess whether or not the fertility inputs in projections of South Africa's population during the apartheid era overestimated fertility. (shrink)
The hypothesis that family size limitation by parents enhances the upward mobility chances of their children in (post)industrial populations has a long-standing record in many disciplines, including sociology and economics, as well as evolutionary anthropology and social biology. Yet the empirical record supporting or contradicting the theory is surprisingly limited. The aim of this contribution is to develop a test of the effect of family size limitation on children’s intergenerational mobility. This test is applied to an urban population in Belgium (...) that was in the process of experiencing its demographic transition, including the decline of fertility, at the end of the 19th century. The results indicate that the effect of family size was strong, even after controlling for parental social status as well as birth order. Surprisingly, the effects of birth order and family size appear to be largely independent. (shrink)
A subcategory of medical tourism, reproductive tourism has been the subject of much public and policy debate in recent years. Specific concerns include: the exploitation of individuals and communities, access to needed health care services, fair allocation of limited resources, and the quality and safety of services provided by private clinics. To date, the focus of attention has been on the thriving medical and reproductive tourism sectors in Asia and Eastern Europe; there has been much less consideration given to more (...) recent ‘players’ in Latin America, notably fertility clinics in Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. In this paper, we examine the context-specific ethical and policy implications of private Argentinean fertility clinics that market reproductive services via the internet. Whether or not one agrees that reproductive services should be made available as consumer goods, the fact is that they are provided as such by private clinics around the world. We argue that basic national regulatory mechanisms are required in countries such as Argentina that are marketing fertility services to local and international publics. Specifically, regular oversight of all fertility clinics is essential to ensure that consumer information is accurate and that marketed services are safe and effective. It is in the best interests of consumers, health professionals and policy makers that the reproductive tourism industry adopts safe and responsible medical practices. (shrink)
In November–December 2006, a four-part documentary, A Child against All Odds, aired on BBC television, presented by a renowned British infertility specialist, physician Robert Winston. The series portrayed the reproductive journeys of several couples who apparently had very low chances of biologically conceiving their own children. The series had all the ingredients of a medical thriller, with individuals, couples, and reproductive body parts (their own and donors’) crossing national boundaries and traveling thousands of miles in what Marcia Inhorn (2002) calls (...) a “quest for conception.” Whether it is “mail order” conception facilitated by courier services or actual persons traveling, a growing number of .. (shrink)