The effect of husbands' and wives' fertility preferences on the likelihood of a subsequent pregnancy, Bangladesh 1998-2003

Jessica D. Gipson, Michelle J. Hindin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using cross-sectional and longitudinal data from 3,052 rural Bangladeshi couples, we investigated the influence of husbands' and wives' fertility preferences on the likelihood of a subsequent pregnancy in the period 1998-2003. Although reproductive behaviour is relatively consistent with fertility preferences, 17 per cent of couples who reported they did not want more children in 1998 had a subsequent pregnancy by 2003. Wives in this setting appear to be more pronatalist than those in other less developed countries. Moreover, wives' rather than husbands' fertility preferences appear to have dominated over the 5-year study period. As expected, the incidence of pregnancy decreased over the study period for most couples, but increased among couples in which only the husband wanted more children. This finding suggests that wives who disagree with their husbands about having more children are either less likely to prevent pregnancy through consistent use of contraception or acquiesce to their husbands' desire for more children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalPopulation Studies
Volume63
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

Keywords

  • Bangladesh
  • Couples
  • Fertility
  • Fertility preferences
  • Gender
  • Longitudinal study
  • Survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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