Family Demography in Asia
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Family Demography in Asia

A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Preferences

Edited by Stuart Gietel-Basten, John Casterline and Minja K. Choe

The demographic future of Asia is a global issue. As the biggest driver of population growth, an understanding of patterns and trends in fertility throughout Asia is critical to understand our shared demographic future. This is the first book to comprehensively and systematically analyse fertility across the continent through the perspective of individuals themselves rather than as a consequence of top-down government policies.
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Chapter 2: Son preference and fertility: an overview

Sylvie Dubuc


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 commonplace, a large number of children is most likely to ensure families with at least one son. During fertility transition, parents develop son targeting childbearing behaviors. Early theoretical efforts to understand the links between fertility decline, gender preferences and son targeting childbearing behavior have revealed the complex nature of this relationship. This chapter presents an overview of the main currents relating to son preference and fertility in Asia and highlights subject related chapters throughout this book. The chapter concludes that, ultimately, the weakening of gender preference is expected to favor lower fertility while reducing sex-selection

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