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Son preference and fertility: an overview

Dubuc, S. (2018) Son preference and fertility: an overview. In: Family Demography in Asia. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781785363542 (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

The link between fertility and gender preferences, especially son preference in Asian contexts, has been extensively studied over the last 20 years. This link is complex. Son preference is deeply rooted in patriarchy. In traditional patriarchal society, where son preference and large family size are common place, a large number of children is most likely to provide families with at least one son (e.g. see Chapter 23, on Timor-Leste). When fertility transition is enacted, parents develop son targeting childbearing behaviors (Basu and De Jong, 2010). Early theoretical efforts to understand the links between fertility decline, gender preferences and son targeting childbearing behavior (e.g. Das Gupta and Bhat, 1997; Bhat and Zavier, 2003) have revealed the complex nature of this relationship. More recently, and following on the micro-level theoretical work proposed by Christophe Guilmoto (2009) on family size and gender composition preferences underpinning parental decision to use prenatal sex-selection, John Bongaarts (2013) has identified the successive fertility transition stages of the implementation of son preference into childbearing behavior. Ultimately the weakening of gender preference is expected to favor further fertility reduction.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:79630
Publisher:Edward Elgar Publishing Limited

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