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Family and reproductive behavior in urban Togo

Ekouevi, Koffi Agbeko. University of Pennsylvania. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1992. 9235134.

Abstract (summary)

Two fundamental questions are addressed in this study: (1) What kind of changes are occurring to the family institution? and (2) In what direction are they leading? These questions are studied by contrasting two main paradigms: the developmental paradigm and the non-developmental one. The developmental paradigm suggests that as social and economic development occur, the African family would converge to the nuclear model observed in the West. In the contrary, the non-developmental paradigm suggests that changes would emerge from traditional lifestyles and respond to social and economic conditions. The data used are from two retrospective surveys conducted in the eighties. The effects of social background and mostly socioeconomic status on the institution of marriage, postpartum behavior and fertility intentions are examined using the logistic regression technique. Results suggest that customary marriage practices are being adapted in urban Togo. The participation of lineage members in the mate selection process and the practice of polygyny have resisted legislation of colonial administrations, evangelism efforts of missionaries and Western education. Urban polygyny is associated with various alternative living arrangements. The tendency of spouses to live in separate residences is consistent with historical and structural changes that have created a sexual division of labor that encourages female economic independence and divergence in goals and priorities within the conjugal unit. Results also indicate the erosion of prolonged breastfeeding and particularly prolonged sexual abstinence. The erosion of these practices is not followed by a substantial use of modern contraception. Traditional contraceptive methods are mostly used. Concerning fertility intentions, results suggest that the majority of women would like to space their children rather than to stop childbearing. Generally, women reported preference for a family of four children. From a theoretical standpoint, results of this study support arguments of the non-developmental paradigm where attitudes and behaviors are viewed as influenced by endogenous historical factors and contextual structural conditions and constraints. Studies conducted within this paradigm might be more adequate to design effective family policies.

Indexing (details)

Families & family life;
Personal relationships;
0938: Demographics
0628: Families & family life
0628: Personal relationships
0628: Sociology
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Africa; polygyny; urban family
Family and reproductive behavior in urban Togo
Ekouevi, Koffi Agbeko
Number of pages
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 53/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL