What are the determinants of fertility

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What are the determinants of fertility

An important question before us is that what is the reason for the difference in fertility? In other words, what are the factors that affect the fertility rate of a developed or underdeveloped country to some degree? Fertility Differential

Variation is found in the fertility rates of different sections of a society. Certain types of fertility differences have been observed in the fertility rates of developed and underdeveloped countries. In some social, economic, caste-related, religious and cultural communities, the tendency of fertility rates to be lower or higher than the national average birth rates has been revealed through demographic research. But why does this happen? What can be the social factors of class differences of reproduction? There are many opinions and research available in this regard.

In fact, the process of reproduction is not only a biological process but also a social process. Under population theories, we find it as a biological process, which can be rightly called Biological Determinism.

Biological deterministic ideas may appear to be working on animals and plants, but in the context of human society, their full functioning seems impossible. The reason for this is the cultural achievement of man and his socialized personality. Human behavior is not entirely biological but is modeled according to its culture.

When we see the process of reproduction as a biological process, then our attention becomes focused on the ability to produce children. The ability to produce offspring itself depends on many important factors like age and sex. In the context of these different elements, the ability to produce offspring is found to differ in the context of all societies and their members. This variation is highly influenced by the age factor. Reproductive process is related to the population of a particular age, which is termed as the age of child production capacity (15 to 50 years). Even at different stages of this age

The propensity for fertility varies with the ability to produce offspring. From the biological point of view, the variation in the ability to produce offspring is the main factor of reproductive variation. When we look at the process of reproduction from the socio-cultural point of view, many cultural factors appear to be influencing it. These factors can be seen as follows

Marital Status –

Marital status affects the fertility rate to a great extent. The variation in the fertility rate will depend on the number of years of reproduction in the marital strata of the different classes. That is, how many years was the maternity period? In some culture, child marriage is done but the girl reaches her reproductive age (ie, the age at which the girl starts menstruating and is able to produce children) late, then the effect of the time of marriage on fertility rate But it will be less. Similarly, where marriages take place late, that is, the social, economic and cultural conditions are such that one can live without marriage, the fertility rate is low.

Customs can also be taken into factors that make the fertility rate low and high, for example, where divorce is prevalent and not remarriage, the fertility rate will be low, because there is no possibility of reproduction after divorce, so that The total progeny period also decreases, but on the contrary, where remarriage, widow remarriage and polygamy are possible, the fertility rate will be higher.

In America it has been seen that where the husband is 5 years or more older than the wife. There the fertility rate is below average, but when the husband is younger than the wife then the fertility rate is above average. There are two types of marriage systems prevalent in Lanka- (i) Diga and (ii) Bina. From ‘Diga’ the woman goes to the husband’s house and in ‘Bina’ the husband goes to the house of the woman. It has been observed that the fertility rate of ‘Diga’ is higher than ‘Bina’. In India, due to early marriage, the fertility rate is seen to be low due to the occurrence of gender defects at a later age. Then in India, separation (husband living away from wife) is found more than divorce, which has an impact on fertility rate.

In fact, the age of marriage plays an important role in the determination of overall fertility. It is often seen that in countries with low fertility rates, marriages are usually delayed by five to six years as compared to countries with high fertility rates. Apart from this, polyandry and polyandry also have an effect on the fertility rate. A decline in fertility has been observed in Africa due to polyandry.

Urbanization –
It is clear from the survey conducted in the rural and urban context that the fertility rate is generally found to be lower in the cities than in the villages.
Research shows that there is a negative correlation between education and fertility, that is, as the level of education increases, the fertility rate decreases. There can be many reasons for this, such as – educated women do work outside the home, so motherhood cannot be imposed on them like uneducated women, but unless both husband and wife desire, then they can do it voluntarily. Follows family planning.

Why educated women like this that they also marry late, this shortens their motherhood. Apart from this, the most productive age of life is spent in education. Today’s woman, at least in every developed country, is free and has social and political rights. Today it has got many special place in the capitalist system. But this does not mean that the educated and modern woman gives up her natural biological function (childbirth). There is joy in motherhood too and every woman wants to have it. But she doesn’t want to live as a mere baby-making machine. For this reason, the birth rate remains low in developed countries or in people of advanced societies.

Religion and Social Customs –

Religious beliefs and customs also affect the fertility rate. The fertility rate of Catholic Christians has been higher than that of Protestants and Jews. In India, the number of children of 0.4 years among 1000 women of 15-49 years of age was 678 among Hindus, 770 among Muslims and 808 among tribals. The birth rate is also found to be low among Parsis. It is clear that religion is also related to fertility rate.

In fact, it depends on the broader ideology of religion. Then the person also adapts himself according to the social rules. In some society, a person also produces children with a view to maintain his prestige. In religions where motherhood is not considered successful without a girl child, there will certainly be a higher fertility rate. In the West, the birth of a son is not necessary for ‘improving the hereafter’, so fewer children are produced there out of the desire to satisfy all the needs of the children.


Occupation – The fertility rate is found to vary even in the context of occupational differentiation. The fertility rate of people who do physical labor is higher than the people who do mental work.
Those who do business, their fertility rate is also low, because they are so busy in life that they do not get a chance to think in this direction. Similarly, in the context of female population also, the fertility rate of employed women is found to be low. The reason for this is that the conditions and conditions of work also affect the reproductive behavior and the presence of children proves to be a hindrance to the work.


Mortality Rate

The mortality rate also affects the fertility rate. When child and child rates are high, fertility rates are high. The reason is that the family becomes limited due to the high death rate, but because people have a longing for a son or a daughter, the birth rate is high. On the contrary, when the child mortality rate is low, people do not worry about the family being limited, so the fertility rate also decreases. Thus, due to the death of girls and old age, the fertility rate is also low.

Other Factors Apart from the above-mentioned influencing factors, the other factors that affect the fertility rate are the following

(i) Somewhere due to housing problem, unemployment and insecurity, people keep the fertility rate low by adopting family planning.

(ii) All such elements are present in the food items available in hot countries which generate more propensity for sex. In these countries, the physical development of girls takes place at an early age and due to the early attainment of reproductive age, the motherhood period increases, due to this the reproductive number per woman also increases. On the contrary, in cold tropical regions, girls attain the age of reproduction late and the food here is also not aphrodisiac. This lowers the fertility rate in these regions.

(iii) Because every class has started adopting family planning in developed countries, it has reduced the fertility rate.

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