Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Fertility intentions: are the undecided more like those who want more or want no more children?

TitleFertility intentions: are the undecided more like those who want more or want no more children?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsBecker, S, Sutradhar, SC
JournalJournal of Biosocial Science
Date PublishedJan
ISBN Number0021-9320; 0021-9320
Accession Number16566846
KeywordsAfrica South of the Sahara, Attitude to Health/ethnology, Birth Rate/trends, Cross-Cultural Comparison, demography, Family Characteristics, Family Planning Services, Female, Humans, Intention, Latin America, Male, Pregnancy, sexual behavior, Uncertainty

In fertility surveys often women (and sometimes men) are asked their fertility desires, i.e. whether they want a/nother birth or not. Some respond that they are undecided. This study examines whether these persons are more like those who say they want more births or like those who say they want no more births. Data on married men and women in 29 Demographic and Health Surveys with sample sizes ranging from 300 to 3000 are used. A logistic regression equation is estimated within each country for those with known desires and then used to classify each person who was undecided. In all sub-Saharan African countries (n=20) and for both sexes, 50% or more of the undecided persons are classified as wanting more children (with one exception of wives in Kenya). By contrast in all five Latin American countries for both sexes less than 50% of the undecided were classified in the 'want more' group (with an exception of husbands in the Dominican Republic). Generally, the undecided tend to be classified the same as the majority among those in the survey with stated desires.