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Was there any gendered preferences for children during the fertility transition?: Results from Germany 1825-1900
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts. (Centrum för befolkningsstudier)
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS). (Age and living conditions)
2013 (English)In: XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference: Book of abstracts, 2013, 364-364 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Demographers demonstrate an increasing interest for studying parental gender preferences in developing countries and more developed societies. They find an association between the sex-composition of living offspring and the probability of having an additional child. In history, parents’ gender preferences have proven difficult to verify. This study makes use of John Knodel’s German village genealogies to obtain knowledge on this issue during a period of fertility transition, 1825-1900. Couples at first marriage who gave birth to minimum four children are targeted. Event history analyses (Cox regression models) of couples’ duration and propensity to progress to fifth parity, helps us to test if the probability to have additional children was influenced by the sex-composition of surviving children at lower parities. It appears that sex preferences for son(s) did influence parents’ reproductive behavior, as those having only girls experienced the highest transition rates to fifth parity. However, couples who married from approximately 1870 onward started to exhibit a fertility behavior that consistent with the desire to have at least one surviving boy and girl. That the gendered preferences became more symmetrical already during the fertility decline we view as an surprisingly early move toward a modern European pattern.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. 364-364 p.
, International Union for the Scientific Study of Populations (IUSSP), 27
National Category
Humanities Social Sciences
Research subject
History; Statistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-92051OAI: diva2:739348
XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference, August 26-31, 2013, Korea
Available from: 2014-08-20 Created: 2014-08-20 Last updated: 2014-08-20

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