CH. 6.docx

8 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Robyn Pitman

CH. 6 FERTILITY AND HAVING A CHILD • In teens and twenties you focus on contraception • Couples in late twenties, early thirties switch to a focus on getting pregnant rather than preventing pregnancy • Although the path for later fertility has many obstacles  higher rates of miscarriage, more difficulty conceiving Transitions • The birth of a child to either a couple or single person represents a major life course transition • This transition is significant because we add the parental role  role is composed of both formal norms (laws) and informal norms about the level of care, economic and social support, nurturance, discipline, and protection adults are responsible for regarding their children • We add age-graded role of parent to our existing role • The parent role is dictated by the age of one’s child and the experiences that child brings to the parent (daycare, school, dating, extra-curricular) • The child, whether adopted or genetically related, is treated as a consanguine (blood) relative • Relationship is durable in cultural and legal ways • Can separate or divorce spouse, but to leave one’s child is considered abandonment and negligence by society and the courts • The birth of a child signifies dramatic changes in the relationship of many couples • Feelings of love decline, less motivated to work on the couple’s relationship • Transition point the actual day and time of the birth • Transition to the parent role is a process that involves deciding to have a baby, conception, gestation, birth, and adaptation • There are complex age- and duration-graded timing norms about relationships (ex. Breastfeed an infant but not a child) • The norms about parenting are tied to the maturation of the child and family relationships Why Do Couples Want a Child? • Reasons for fertility are not constant across time, culture, and place • Macro-structural causes  environment, social norms, and economic constraints • Expect fertility to decline in tough economic times and during periods of social upheaval CH. 6 FERTILITY AND HAVING A CHILD • Micro-individual level  choices of the individual and couple • Individual choices relate to macro-level, such as having a stable job, owning a home Typical Reasons 1. Conformity  having children is what adults are supposed to do  Not recognized as adults until parent role is in place  Social status of mature adult is tied to social role of parent  Achieve adult status in eyes of parents, relatives and society 2. Experience  don’t want to miss out on major life experience 3. Social Capital  network of relationships to which the individual has access  Social capital is necessary to the flow of social support and information from others  Many social networks are reserved for children  Child is the price of entry into networks 4. Old age security  assuring someone will take care of you in old age  As countries invest in old age security, the birth rate drops 5. Entertainment 6. Biological imperatives  Fail to explain different fertility across time Actual and Desired Fertility • Desired (intended) Fertility the number of children women say they would like to have by the time they complete their fertility • Actual fertility recorded live births collected as vital statistics • Desired fertility = 2.47 • Actual fertility = 1.5 • Wanting a child/children is attitudinal and more malleable than the process of having a child • Young adulthood don’t want children, but as they age they do – attitude is not stable • Voluntary childlessness vs. involuntary childlessness • After trying to conceive for a year or more people find they change desired fertility to no children CH. 6 FERTILITY AND HAVING A CHILD • People who do not want children because overpopulation, lowering ecological footprint, and having time for conjugal relationships • Those who expect to have a child in the future say having a secure job is important Recent History of Fertility in Canada • Fertility is measured among women, not couples • Crude birth rate (CBR) the number of live births in a country in a given year • Total fertility rate (TFR) an estimate of fertility per woman based on the assumption that (1) she will maintain the cohort rate of fertility for the past year, and (2) she will live to the end of her fertility (usually 45 to 50 years of age) • Age-specific fertility rates the number of children born to women in a given year for each age group. Often ages are grouped in 5-year increments (20 to 24, 25 to 29) • TFR in Canada began to decline in 1961 after post-war baby boom • Downward trend is seen as part of the demographic transition from an agrarian economy favouring large families to an urban-industrial economy favouring small families • As the world industrializes and urbanizes children become an economic liability, and therefore the number of children will decrease • As number of children decreases couples will spend increasing amounts of time in marital roles rather than parental roles • This change to an emphasis on conjugal roles is further buttressed by ideas of romantic love and individual mate selection • New family conjugal family  Goode’s name for the small nuclear family form that emphasizes the conjugal or marital roles over the parental roles, in part because small family size means that less of one’s lifetime will be spent in the parental role and more will be spent in the marital role with children having left home • Around 1970 the TFR in Canada slipped below replacement level • Replacement level fertility the fertility needed to replace each parent with a reproduction age offspring • There are 2 parents so we need 2 children as replacements • Not all babies will survive to reproduction age therefore TFR is slightly higher than 2 children (2.13) • Population decline the point at which more people die than are born (assuming that emigration and immigration are equal) Fertility Timing CH. 6 FERTILITY AND HAVING A CHILD • Fertility timing influences measures of intended fertility and actual fertility • If women delay their fertility they may not have sufficient time left in which to conceive in the manner they anticipated • Increasing difficulties with conception among women over 30 and infertility of male partners due to low sperm counts • Timing of events such as work and education has effect on our timing to have children • The traditionally most fertile age group (20-24 year olds) now have the lowest fertility • Teen births are declining • Older age groups (30-39 years old) are showing increase in fertility • Having children at older ages – weakening of social norms favouring having children • Women delaying fertility because changing timing norms:  Women’s participation in labour force  Education  Economic wellbeing (job security, home ownership, career advancement)
More Less

Related notes for FRHD 1020

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.