Haitian. Attitudes toward
Family SizeOver the past decade results from studies of attitudes toward
family size have been surprisingly similar. When lower-income,
poorly educated women are asked for their ideal family size or
the number of children they desire, the responses cluster around
three or four children. Such surveys have heartened those interested in population control, and have convinced many social
scientists that motivational aspects present only minor obstacles
to public acceptance of birth control. However, there are a
number of reasons for raising questions about highly optimistic
conclusions in this regard.
|1. ||Studies by the writer and his colleagues show that high
proportions of the women who state family size preferences also
admit that they have never thought about this question before.|
|2. ||Such studies also disclose a high degree of ambivalence
about numbers of children. Respondents are able to agree with
contradictory statements about family size.|
|3. ||There is some evidence that public and private opinions
concerning family size may differ, private opinion favoring small
families, public opinion favoring large. Since interviews are characteristically conducted "in private," the opinions elicited may
be biased in this direction. Actually, public opinions may be at
least as influential as private in predicting behavior, especially in
the village culture of underdeveloped countries.|
|4. ||There is also the possibility that the converse of the above|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Human Fertility in Latin America:Sociological Perspectives.
Contributors: J. Mayone Stycos - Author.
Publisher: Cornell University Press.
Place of publication: Ithaca, NY.
Publication year: 1968.
Page number: 116.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may
not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.