A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Preferences
Edited by Stuart Gietel-Basten, John Casterline and Minja K. Choe
Chapter 2: Son preference and fertility: an overview
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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