IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Is Fertility Behavior in Our Genes? Findings from a Danish Twin Study

  • Hans-Peter Kohler
  • Joseph L. Rodgers
  • Kaare Christensen
Registered author(s):

    This article investigates the fertility of Danish twins born during the periods 1870-1910 and 1953-64 in order to pursue two central questions for understanding human reproduction: Do genetic dispositions influence fertility and fertility-related behavior? Does the relevance of the "nature versus nurture" debate shift over time or with demographic regimes? The authors find that genetic influences on fertility exist, but that their relative magnitude and pattern are contingent on gender and on the socioeconomic environment experienced by cohorts. Among females born in 1880-90 and after 1955, about 30-50 percent of the variance in fertility is due to genetic influences; these influences are substantially smaller for earlier and for interim birth cohorts. Male fertility is generally subject to smaller genetic and larger shared-environment effects than female fertility. Because genetic effects are most prevalent in situations with deliberately controlled fertility and relatively egalitarian socioeconomic opportunities, the authors propose that the genetic dispositions affect primarily fertility behavior and motivations for having children. Analyses of fertility motivations, measured by age of first attempt to have a child, support this interpretation. Copyright 1999 by The Population Council, Inc..

    If 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.

    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1728-4457.1999.00253.x
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    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.

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

    Volume (Year): 25 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 253-288

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:25:y:1999:i:2:p:253-288
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0098-7921

    Order Information: Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0098-7921

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:25:y:1999:i:2:p:253-288. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.