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Nobutaka Fukuda and Tomoko T. Saotome

Although the period fertility rate has reached the below-replacement level in Japan, scholarly attention has been hardly paid to a change in fertility preference. Hence, using the Japanese National Fertility Survey, we explore the patterns and characteristics of fertility preference in Japan. First of all, married women’s fertility preference has remained stable over the last few decades. In the second place, the planned number of children differs depending on wives’ educational qualifications. More specifically, as wives’ educational levels become higher, their planned number of children grows smaller. Third, while a preference for sons becomes gradually weak, daughters are more desired. Finally, although children born through assisted reproductive technologies (ART) treatments have been increasing in number since the 1990s, the dissemination of ART treatments had hardly any impact on the fertility preference of Japanese people. Many women, regardless of their age, are worried about their infertility and go to hospital for infertility treatments.