The Limits to Low Fertility: A Biosocial Approach
AbstractIn light of 30 years of below-replacement fertility in many industrialized societies, demographers are asking whether fertility could drop even further, or whether there is a "floor" below which it will not fall. A key unanswered question is whether there may be a variable biological component to fertility motivation which ensures that we continue to reproduce. Drawing on evidence from evolutionary biology, ethology, quantitative genetics, developmental psychobiology, and psychology, the article argues that our evolved biological predisposition is toward nurturing behaviors, rather than having children per se. Humans have the unique ability to be aware of such biological predispositions and translate them into conscious, but nevertheless biologically based, fertility motivation. It is likely that we have already reached the limits to low fertility since this "need to nurture," in conjunction with normative pressures, ensures that the majority of women will want to bear at least one child. A sketch for a biosocial model of fertility motivation is outlined. Copyright 2000 by The Population Council, Inc..
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.
Volume (Year): 26 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0098-7921
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Anna Baranowska & Anna Matysiak, 2011.
"Does parenthood increase happiness? Evidence for Poland,"
Vienna Yearbook of Population Research,
Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 9(1), pages 307-325.
- Anna Baranowska & Anna Matysiak, 2011. "Does parenthood increase happiness? Evidence for Poland," Working Papers 38, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
- Jason Collins & Oliver Richards, 2013. "Evolution, Fertility and the Ageing Population," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 13-02, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
- Laura Stark & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2000. "The public perception and discussion of falling birth rates: the recent debate over low fertility in the popular press," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-009, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
- Tomas Sobotka, 2003. "Tempo-quantum and period-cohort interplay in fertility changes in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 8(6), pages 151-214, April.
- Samuel H. Preston & Caroline Sten Hartnett, 2010. "The Future of American Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demography and the Economy, pages 11-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.