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Absent and Problematic Men: Demographic Accounts of Male Reproductive Roles


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  • Margaret E. Greene
  • Ann E. Biddlecom
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    Both men and women are important actors in bringing children into life, yet demographic studies on reproduction have tended to focus on women alone. The aims of this article are: 1) to describe why men have attracted limited interest as subjects of such research; 2) to evaluate existing research on men's roles in developing countries; and 3) to suggest directions for future research on male reproductive roles. Men, once neglected, are now included in research on fertility but from a narrow, overly problem-oriented perspective. A review of the literature, however, raises questions about the adequacy of a problem oriented approach. The authors argue that demography should focus on men not only as women's partners, but also as individuals with distinct reproductive histories. In situations, now increasingly common, where the links between marriage and childbearing erode, the differences in men's and women's reproductive experiences and the costs and benefits of parenting will become more salient for future research. Copyright 2000 by The Population Council, Inc..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 81-115

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:26:y:2000:i:1:p:81-115

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    Cited by:
    1. Holger von der Lippe & Urs Fuhrer, 2002. "Where qualitative research meets demography: interdisciplinary explorations of conceptions on fatherhood in an extremely low fertility context," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-028, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. David Alich, 2007. "Differences between male and female fertility in Russia: an evaluation of basic pattern and data quality using the first wave of the Russian GGS," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2007-015, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. Thapa, Deependra Kaji & Niehof, Anke, 2013. "Women's autonomy and husbands' involvement in maternal health care in Nepal," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 1-10.
    4. Karen Guzzo, 2009. "Paternity Establishment for Men’s Nonmarital Births," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 28(6), pages 853-872, December.
    5. Ernestina Coast & Katherine Hampshire & Sara Randall, 2007. "Disciplining anthropological demography," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 16(16), pages 493-518, June.
    6. Angelika Tölke, 2004. "Die Bedeutung von Herkunftsfamilie, Berufsbiografie und Partnerschaften für den Übergang zur Ehe und Vaterschaft," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2004-007, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Gunnar Andersson & Boris Sobolev, 2001. "Small effects of selective migration and selective survival in retrospective studies of fertility," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-031, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    8. Alexandra Tragaki & Christos Bagavos, 2014. "Male fertility in Greece," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(6), pages 137-160, July.
    9. Marcia Carlson & Alicia VanOrman & Natasha Pilkauskas, 2013. "Examining the Antecedents of U.S. Nonmarital Fatherhood," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1421-1447, August.


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