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Trends Related to Fecundity ~ An Anthropological Perspective Physical and Environmental Factors Socio-Culture Factors Voluntary/Involuntary Childlessness.

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Presentation on theme: "Trends Related to Fecundity ~ An Anthropological Perspective Physical and Environmental Factors Socio-Culture Factors Voluntary/Involuntary Childlessness."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trends Related to Fecundity ~ An Anthropological Perspective Physical and Environmental Factors Socio-Culture Factors Voluntary/Involuntary Childlessness - Infertility Overcoming Infertility Techniques

2 Key Terms: Fertility—actual reproduction Fecundity ---denotes the ability to reproduce

3 How do cultural norms affect fertility rates? Overt (open) Covert (implied) China – Walking marriages – freedom is important – couples do not want to live together (crowded) To obtain an apartment, must be married Many women not wanting children Disassociation from traditional culture

4 Hong Kong – Tradition – wanting to give birth in year of the dragon – divinity and good fortune – children will be bright, smart and sensitive Otherwise, Hong Kong has lowest fertility rate in the world Israel – marriages can be dissolved after 10 years of childlessness (seen as tragic) – government subsidizes fertility treatments – more fertility clinics per capita

5 FERTILITY AND FECUNDITY 2 factors that contribute to change in fecundity rates: 1)physical and environmental factors 2)socio-culture factors

6 Physical and Environmental Factors Couple is considered infertile when it has been trying to conceive for over one year without success Factors: 1)Rapid spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STD/I’s) 2)Decline in male sperm count –can be linked to developed countries where water/food make contain high levels of estrogen High levels of estrogen are believed to be due to small amounts of women’s oral contraceptives finding their way into the water system By products of the chemicals also found in some food packaging and plastics

7 3) Changes in the Institution of Marriage and Family 4) Delayed Marriage Women delaying motherhood to pursue careers (trend in society) modernmarriage/ modernmarriage/

8 Fertility and Cultural Norms Demographers John Bongaarts and Robert Potter studied the proximate determinants of fertility Biological, and behavioural factors through which social, economic and environmental variables affect fertility

9 Bongaarts and Potter: “Fertility, Biology, and Behaviour: An Analysis of Proximate Determinates” Cultural norms are affected by: Age of first menstruation, age at marriage, frequency of intercourse, length of breast-feeding, use and effectiveness of contraception, and onset of permanent sterility

10 This suggest the following trends: Developed Countries… Use contraception to delay births and surgery to prevent them Developing Countries… Mothers breast feed children longer Once child is weaned (removed from breast milk) the mother is capable of becoming pregnant

11 Fertility and Cultural Norms h?v=KskX6LZYqv8n h?v=KskX6LZYqv8n Hutterites: High fertility rate Live in small communities Follow strict social and religious conduct and control Women bear average of 9 children (strict ban on contraceptives) Marriage occurs in mid 20s Shorter period of breast-feeding results in intervals of about 2 years

12 Why do fewer women breastfeed in developed societies than in developing societies? What impact does this have on fecundity? Notion that individuals are expected to be autonomous (independent) Babies expected to sleep in own cribs, play alone, and breast fed for only a few months

13 Links between breast-feeding and Fecundity In many countries mothers and their babies from the moment they are born are expected to be autonomous (sleep in their own crib, play alone, beast fed for only a few months) Mothers only get 6-8 weeks maternity leave at most places (others get up to a year)—when they return to work they can no longer upkeep breast feeding Maternity leave is short in US (6-8 weeks)

14 Infants benefit greatly from breast milk – meets their nutritional needs, immunizes against disease, improves digestion and body systems, reduces risk of allergies, economical Breast-feeding has a contraceptive effect on the woman Release of prolactin (pituitary hormone that regulates production of progesterone) and inhibits ovulation

15 Age of Menarche and Marriage Menarche—age at which a woman experiences her first menstrual period 2 other factors that affect fecundity: age of menarche and age upon marriage Developed countries: women eat diets high in fat, protein and calories, little physical activity, little exposure to elements =lower menarche age Developing/pre-industrial societies: low calorie diet (plants/roots), fish, little or no dairy products or processed grains, lots of physical activity = higher menarche age

16 Voluntary/Involuntary Childlessness

17 Involuntary and Voluntary Childlessness In many societies a marriage is seen as incomplete without children Many cultures—woman is seen as “defected” if she does not want children Many countries—not being able to have children is considered reasonable grounds for divorce (Ghana, marriage without children is considered incomplete and divorce is sought out, Israel a marriage that remains childless for 10 years is seen as grounds for divorce)

18 Voluntary Childlessness Voluntary Childlessness – couples or individuals who freely choose to remain childless Many couples who choose not to have children have to deal with unwanted sympathy or attacked for being “selfish” - DINKs

19 Voluntary Childlessness – Stereotypes/Reasons for women who choose childlessness: Hedonists – choose childlessness to preserve their standard of living Emotional – do not have the emotional draw to have children Idealistic – do not want to bring a child into the world because they feel it is unsuitable Practical – have a practical reason such as not wanting to pass on a genetic illness

20 Psychological Impact of Involuntary Childlessness Involuntary Childlessness – occurs when a couple or individual wants children and cannot. This is either caused by infertility or by not having a mate. 1. Emotional Devastation Guilt, sadness, loss of control, anger (especially towards doctors), isolation, grieving process similar to grieving a death News is almost always unexpected (go through life assuming when you want to have children that you will be able to) Many times family and friends underestimate the emotional impact which can make it that much harder

21 2. Burden of Reproductive Technologies: Reproductive Technologies – technologies designed to help improve the couple’s chances of conceiving and carrying a child to term through medical manipulation (expensive and not covered by health plans in most countries) Side effects from some treatments/fertility drugs can include blurred vision, irritability, increased risks of certain types of cancers Excessive time commitment (organize life around dates and times). Lose element of spontaneity Emotional relationship between parents is tested, possible feelings of blame and guilt, stress, anxiety, depression

22 Overcoming Infertility

23 Adoption Estimated over 20,000 children in need of homes Only 1,200 adopted yearly Approximately 2000 adopted internationally Very expensive and long process Tedious application process ml ml

24 Reproductive Technologies Medical reproduction of the woman’s reproductive cycle or male sperm count to assist couple in having children Usually not covered by Healthcare system Expensive and lengthy process May not be successful Stressful on the relationship

25 Surrogacy Means replacement Surrogate mother lends her uterus to another couple so they can have a baby Raises ethical and legal questions Baby M case P196 milylaw/babym.htm milylaw/babym.htm

26 Canadian Law re: Reproduction, Surrogacy, Sperm Donation ons/prb0035-e.htm ons/prb0035-e.htm

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