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Chapter 6

SOC312H1 Chapter 6 Fertility.docx

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Brent Berry

Chapter 6: Fertility Fecundity and Fertility - The physiological ability of a woman, a man, or a couple to reproduce - Opposite of fecundity is infecundity –the total inability to reproduce (sterility) - Sub fecundity –is the term used to describe the condition couples incapable of having children because of impairments in any of the biological aspects of reproduction. These impairments o Coital inability: temporary or permanent inability to perform normal heterosexual interpose because of physical or psychological disease o Conceptive failure: the diminished ability to conceive or to bring about conception o Pregnancy loss: the involuntary termination of a pregnancy before a live birth, including spontaneous abortion, late fetal death and stillbirth but neither induced abortion not neonatal mortality Measures of Fertility - Period measures of fertility are computed on basis of current information, usually for a given year or some other specified interval, while cohort measures are derived from information on specific generations of women - Cohort measures are based on completed childbearing experience of a woman at the end of the cohorts reproductive lifespan Crude Birth Rate - Crude birth rate (CRB) measures the number of births over a specific period per 1000 population o CBR = B/P x 1000 where B represents the number of births in a given time period (usually in a year) and P is the corresponding mid-year population - General Fertility Rate: Simplest age limited measure of fertility is the general fertility (GFR), which represents the number of births per 1000 women between the ages of 15 and 49 f o GFR = B / P 15-49 1000 Age-Specific Fertility Rates - F x B /xW x x000 where F symboxizes the age specific fertility rate, B is thx,number of births in a given year to women aged x, and W is thx midyear female population aged x o This this formula, calculates the number of births to women of a given age group in a given period for every 1,000 women in the same age group - The hutterite are thought to be the most fertile group in history Total Fertility Rate - Total fertility rate (TFR) is a summary measure of the total reproductive outlet for a given population during a specific interval (usually a year) - Demographers frequently attempt to determine whether a population is growing fast enough to replace itself and the total fertility rate is useful in this exercise - The fertility level required for a population to replace itself varies depending on mortality conditions up to the end of the childbearing ages Gross Reproduction Rate - Demographers frequently use the total fertility rate to assess whether or not a population is growing fast enough to replace itself in the long term o GRR = TFR x pie where symbol pie is used to represent the proportion of all newborns in a given year that are female - In most populations the proportion of female to male newborns doesn’t vary significantly form one year to the next. It typically fluctuates around a proportion value 0.49 based on the fact that in most populations there are 105 boys born for every 100 girls; expressed as a proportion the ratio is 100/150 - If the computed GRR is below 1 – as it is in this case 0 it means that on average, mothers are having less than one daughter. Over the long term, this level of reproductively is insufficient to ensure that the population will replace itself; any value greater than 1 is generally considered to be above replacement fertility - Gross reproduction 1 would be consistent with the 0 population growth in the long run, meaning that each woman in the population would essentially be replacing herself with one female - Close connection between gross reproduction rate and total fertility rate: it is clear that total fertility rate around 2 will also imply 0 population growth in the long run, since in most populations approximately half of all births are male and half are female Net Reproduction Rate - The gross reproduction is useful in predicting whether a population will grow or decline over time, but to get an even more accurate view of a population’s prospects or long term growth, we need to account for the possibility that some of the women of childbearing age who are exposed to the chance of living birth may not survive through the childbearing age groups - The net reproduction rate (NRR) represents average number of female births to women after the effect of mortality to women in the reproductive ages has been take into account - The NRR is actuality the gross reproductive rate (GRR) adjusted for mortality to women in the childbearing ages o The GRR is computed to be exactly 1, we would expect the NRR to be somewhat lower than 1 because of mortality to women in their childbearing years o In order to derive the NEE we need the age specific survival ratios for women between the ages of 15 and 49 which can be obtained from an appropriate female life table  Life table reflects the mortality experience of a hypothetical cohort of newborns, followed through life as the cohort ages  At each age there will be deaths and survivors according to a schedule of age specific mortality rates taken from an actual population  Male and female life tables are calculated separately because men’s and women’s mortality rates differ substantially  So female age specific survival ratios (SR ) wxuld be computed as follows: SR = L / 100,000 where Lx represents the number of person x x years lived by the life table cohort for those in age group x. the value of 100,000 is a constant based on the size of the life table cohort at birth - The NRR is a key indicator of long term potential population growth - A NRR greater than 1 means population growth without limit in the long run - A NRR less than 1 will lead, into the long run, to the population becoming extinct - NRR provides an indication of where a population is headed with respect o long term growth or decline. A net reproduction rate equal to 1 will lead to 0 population growth only If it should prevail in the long run Cohort Fertility Rate - The answer lies in assembling retroactive information for generations of women who have already passed through their reproductive lifespans using this information to compute the average completed family size for specific generations of women Mean Age at Childbearing - MAC, a measure of average age at which women bear children. An increasing trend in the MAC reflects a postponement effect, which sees women putting off childbirth until later in life and correlates closely with total fertility: a greater degree of postponement translates into higher MAC and a lower period TFR - From age specific fertility rates we can derive the average age at childbearing of mothers (MAC) - Postponed fertility in today’s low fertility populations mostly reflects planned behavior by young couples striving to establish themselves economically as they pass through their prime childbearing years. This translates into low period TFRs, producing what Ryder would call a tempo effect since it concerns the late timing of childbearing, as reflected in older average age of childbearing - Quantum effect which concerns the quantity of childbearing as reflected in average number of children born to cohorts - Postponed fertility necessarily implies birth of fewer children on an annual basis and so period TFR’s have remained low 0 in many cases, below replacement levels - Also case that some postpone fertility actually turns into foregone fertility and therefore cohort completed fertility rates would be lower than estimated Population Momentum as a Cohort Phenomenon - Population momentum: abrupt period changes in the components of population change (ie. Fertility or mortality or both) tend to have delayed effects on population growth through change in population age structure - According to this principle, a prolonged period of population growth will not end immediately or even very quickly if fertility falls abruptly to replacement level - Similarly, a population that has had fertility below replacement level for some time cannot expect immediate population growth when its total fertility rises abruptly to 2.1 - Population momentum explains why, even thing fertility rates have dropped significantly in the industrialized countries since the 1970’s, natural population growth (natural increase) has for the most part been positive. In countries that experienced the post war baby boom, the echo effect has ensure a high number of births annually in spite of low birth rates - On a yearly basis births have exceeded deaths but in time the echo effect will diminish because newer generations have been smaller than those that preceded them - Population momentum is a cohort phenomenon - Even when a population has an NRR of 1.0, it will still be subject to population momentum, for the current age structure influences the future development of the population. At the point when the NRR reaches 1.0, the people born in earlier periods, when the NRR was greater than 1.0, will still be alive. Before the abrupt fall in fertility, the population was growing, so its age structure will be youthful. In the years after the decline in fertility, these young people will grow older, producing a relatively large proportion of the population who will be of childrearing age. This will inflate the number of children born relative to total population thus raising the birth rate and delaying the arrival of zero population growth. eventually of course, the age structure of the population will stabilize, but this is likely to take some time Society and Fertility: Social-Biological Interactions Age at Menarche and Age at First Birth - Variation in age at menarche, or first menstruation, influences the timing of first sexual intercourse, first marriage and first birth among women - Early onset of menstruation in girls is highly correlated with early sexual intercourse and a young age at first marriage both of which in turn correlate strongly with having a first birth relatively early in life Moral Codes Toward Sexuality, Contraception and Abortion - Throughout much of history, the key agent of social control over sexuality and fertility has been organized religion - Relaxing of these societal controls over contraception and abortion has had a significant depressing effect on fertility rates. Couples have greater means to prevent or abort an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. With this freedom comes a certain responsibility, the onus lies squarely on the individual to make important decisions about proper timing of childbearing based on personal socioeconomic considerations Seasonality of Conceptions and Births - Seasonal patterns of conceptions among different human populations. This seasonality may have biological (ie. hormonal), ecological, social, and even behavioral dimensions to it - More recently, preponderance of births occurring during the spring and early summer (march to july) with a secondary peak in births for the month of September. This pattern has been identified in the United States. - In general, there is a trough in births during late fall and winter months (coinciding with conceptions in January through may) - Unmistakable evidence of secondary peak in births occurring in September a trend that has been observed in both northern and southern hemispheres - There many other interpretations of the spring/summer effect in birth probabilities. Scholars have identified factors ranging from the biological (seasonal fluctuations in sex hormones) to the sociological (preference for having children in the spring and summer) and the cultural (influence of seasonal customers on birth timing motivation) - Proception, most couples procept during peak summer months, resulting in large number of births from march to july - And the greater conviviality of this time of year may have led to an increase in frequency of sexual activity producing a surge of births in the following September Natural and Human-Made Disasters and Fertility - Ice storm of 1998 was of such severity that it disrupted everyday routines of many people for an entire month and even longer in some exceptional cases. It is not inconceivable, then, that this disaster have had a much greater bearing on conception probabilities than a brief disruption like the new year blackout Proximate Determinants of Fertility Davis and Blake Framework (model page. 195) - Social structure and culture affect fertility indirectly though series of intermediate variables. These variables fall into 3 sets of factors o 1. Variables that affect exposure to intercourse o 2. Variables that affect exposure to conception o 3. Variables that affect gestation and successful parturition of pregnancies - Change in level of fertility observed for population is the result of change in one or more of the intermediatete variables. For example, an increase in the suse of contraceptives (an intermediate variable that affects exposure to conception) will cause a decrease in fertility, assuming of course that the other intermediate variables remain constant Bongaart’s Proximate Determinants - Fluctuations in fertility rates attributed to four proximate variables 1. the extent of marriage 2. the extent of contraceptive use 3. The extent of induced abortion 4. the extent and duration of breastfeeding (a proxy for postpartum amenorrhea) - Natural Fertility to describe behavior of couples in earlier populations who didn’t plan their family size or alter their reproduction habits depending on how many children they already had. This type of procreative pattern differs radically from contemporary developed societies, where contraception is widely practiced and where couples adjust their childbearing to achieve the desired family size, the desired spacing of children, and even desired timing of each birth - Maximum average fertility for population is about 15.3 births per woan. This level of fertility can be achieved only by rare combination of conditions: o 1. There is continuous exposure to risk of conception between menarche and menopause, meaning that a woman is in a steady sexual relationship throughout their entire reproductive lifespan o 2. There is complete avoidance of any method of birth control, including natural methods of avoiding conception during a women’s entire reproductive lifespan. o 3. There is no reliance on abortion or any action that could cause a spontaneous miscarriage o 4. There is no practice of breastfeeding, the gap between maximum potential fertility and actual fertility achieved by high fertility populations today arises from the inhibiting effects of the proximate determinants on total fecundity Proximate Determinants of Fertility in Canada - today, Canada’s relatively low TFR is explained primarily by inhibiting effects on maximum fertility of marriage duration (shorter duration due to later entry into marriage) and the widespread use of contraception. Abortion and sterility play smaller roles compared to these other two variables Fertility Transition European Fertility Transition - fertility transition –low fertility in developed world today is culmination of century long period of change - 3 preconditions must be met for a fertility transition to occur o 1. Fertility decisions must be within calculus of conscious choice, that is beliefs and norms shouldn’t forbid family planning, nor should they favour large families  belief among those in distant past that they had very little control over their lives and environment. Fertility was regarded as matter of fate. Today, people recognize that they have the ability to make their own decision about number of children they wish to have and when to have them. Today, people recognize that they have ability to make their own decision about number of children they wish to have and when to have them o 2. Reduced fertility must be viewed by couples as economically advantageous  Modern society’s mortality rates are low and state provides plenty of security for the average citizen. The cos of raising and educating g children can be very high and so it’s reasonable that people today would desire fewer children than in past o 3. Effective methods of fertility control must be known and be available to couples  Adjustment theory argue that various methods of birth control, however primitive were known and available but that there wasn’t motivation to use them. Adjustment theorists believe that once motivation for reducing family size exists, people will choose whatever means are available to help realize their fertility plans. There means might include practice of abortion, massive emigration and rural to urban migration and later marriage and non-marriage  Innovative diffusion thesis posits that family limitation emerged as a novel th idea in mid-19 century as part of the social psychotically transformation that accompanies socioeconomic modernization, urbanization and secularization. Changed the way people felt about themselves and their social environment and in this case what they considered to be an ideal size of family. Once idea of small family diffused from urban areas to countryside, from wealthy to less wealthy from educated to the uneducated, family limitation became widespread. The State of Fertility Transition Today - Almost 30 percent of population in less developed regions has achieved below replacement fertility levels similar to those n ore developed countries Theories of Fertility Change Becker’s Theory - Demand for children –that is the number of children desired by parents –is conditioned by rational evaluations. Parents desire the best quality goods subject to their ability to afford them. The amount and quality of a good is therefore determined by the utility of the good to the individual and the buyer’s budgetary constraints (ie. affordability). Becker’s theory treats children as a special type of consumer durable for which quality considerations figure prominently - Fertility falls as income increases o Parents will opt for smaller families and invest more in each child, thus balancing their family size preferences with aspirations for child quality - For Becker, this substitution of child quality for child quantity explained the usually observed inverse association between income and fertility in the empire literature - Parents will try to produce best possible child given the household’s budgetary and time constraints - In short, if parents voluntary spend more on a child, it is because they obtain additional satisfaction through the child from additional expenditure; thus, parents choose the best combination of the number of children, their desired quality and the parents own standard of living subject to the lifetime income of the parents’ and the prices that they face in life toward maintain a household - Fewer children of greater quality. Modern context, children are no longer economic assets as they were in past, they a
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