We'll be performing maintenance on our books content from Saturday, June 26th 2021 14:00 until Saturday, June 26th 2021 22:00 UTC.

Patterns of reproductive control in sub-Saharan Africa: A couple approach

Ezeh, Alex Chika. University of Pennsylvania. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1993. 9413828.

Abstract (summary)

There is an increasing concern in the demographic literature regarding the utility of one-sex demographic surveys in predicting couple reproductive behavior. Earlier attempts at dealing with this concern seem to have focused primarily on the existence (or lack) of similarities in the reproductive preferences of husbands and wives. These studies assume that if spouses have similar reproductive preferences, we could predict the couple's reproductive behavior with information from anyone spouse. However, similar reproductive preferences does not necessarily imply similar impact of each spouse's preference on actual behavior. To understand the relative impact of each spouse's preference on actual behavior, this study develops the model of spousal influence which takes spouses' influence over each other's reproductive attitudes and preferences as a measure of their relative influence over the couple's actual reproductive decisions and behavior. This model of spousal influence is then applied to data from matched husband-wife pairs in the Ghana and Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).

The model identified husbands as exercising greater control over couple reproductive decisions in Ghana, but wives as having greater control in Kenya. A further examination or the mechanism or spousal influence show that the influence of Ghanaian husbands over their wives' reproductive motivations follow closely the path of dominance, whereas the influence of Kenyan wives reflects a combination of both the selection and dominance mechanisms. The study also shows that the characteristics of the spouse identified by the model of spousal influence as being more dominant, showed up as more important predictors of couple contraceptive use. However, information from both spouses are more important in predicting couple contraceptive use than information from only one spouse. These patterns of gender relations have considerable implications for demographic trends in the two countries. They support the hypothesis that in the process of demographic transition, women have greater control over reproductive behavior. Evidence from focus group discussions conducted in Ghana was used to examine the practical ways Ghanaian husbands effect their control of reproductive decisions.

Indexing (details)

Families & family life;
Personal relationships;
Womens studies
0938: Demographics
0628: Families & family life
0628: Personal relationships
0628: Sociology
0453: Womens studies
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Ghana; Kenya
Patterns of reproductive control in sub-Saharan Africa: A couple approach
Ezeh, Alex Chika
Number of pages
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 54/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Menken, Jane
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