Academic journal article International Family Planning Perspectives

Women's Networks and the Social World of Fertility Behavior. (Articles)

Academic journal article International Family Planning Perspectives

Women's Networks and the Social World of Fertility Behavior. (Articles)

Article excerpt

CONTEXT: Demographic phenomena occur within social contexts and, therefore, should be studied as social processes. However, how to conceptualize and measure the social worlds that individuals inhabit has been the subject of debate.

METHODS: Data from a study conducted in Mali in 1996-1997 are used to explore the social networks of Bamanan women and their impact on fertility decisions. Ordinary least-squares and logistic regression techniques are employed to examine the relationship between selected household and social network characteristics and two fertility measures: children ever born and ever-use of contraceptives.

RESULTS: Household characteristics do not have a significant effect on either outcome, whereas network attributes do. The more prominently conjugal kin are represented in a network, the fewer children a woman has ever had; however, fertility increases if the husband or unrelated older women are part of the network. Ever-use of contraceptives is elevated if the woman participates in a credit scheme, and rises as the proportion of net work members located outside the village increases; it declines sharply as the proportion of network members who are conjugal kin increases, and is significantly elevated if the woman's mother is present. Network effects on fertility are much more pronounced for women aged 30 or older than for younger women, and network effects on contraceptive use are markedly different for younger and older women.

CONCLUSIONS: Programs should consider not only women's individual and household characteristics, but also their larger social networks. Additionally, programs should be designed for specific age-groups, given the different network effects on older and younger women.

International Family Planning Perspectives, 29(2):58-68

RESUMEN

Contexto: Los fenomenos demograficos ocurren dentro de los contextos sociales, y par lo tanto, deben ser estudiados como procesos sociales. No obstante, la forma de conceptualizar y medir los mundos sociales que los individuos habitan ha sido un tema de debate.

Metodos: Se utilizaron datos obtenidos de un estudio realizado en Mali, en 1996-1997, para explorar las redes sociales de las mujeres Bamnanan y su impacto en las decisiones relativas a la fecundidad. Se emplearon metodos de minimos cuadrados ordinarios y analisis de regresion logistica para examinar la relacion entre caracteristicas de hogares y sociales y dos medidas de fecundidad: el numero de hijos tenidos y el use de anticonceptivos.

Resultados: Las caracteristicas de los hogares no product an ningun efecto significativo sobre los resultado estudiados, pero si lo hacian las caracteristicas de las redes sociales. Cuanto mas prominente es la representacion de los parientes conyugales en la red social, menor es el numero de hijos que tiene una mujer; sin embargo, la fecundidad aumenta si el esposo o las mujeres no relacionadas forman parte de esa red. Es elevado el uso de anticonceptivos si la mujer participa en un programa de desarrollo economico de microcredito, y aumenta a medida que aumenta la proporcion de miembros de la red ubicados fuera del pueblo; el uso disminuye sensiblemente a medida que aumentan los miembros de la red que son parientes conyugales, y es significativamente elevado si la madre de la mujer se encuentra presente. Los efectos de la red social sobre la fecundidad son mucho mas pronunciados entre las mujeres de 30 y mas anos de edad que entre las mas jovenes, y sus efectos con respecto al uso anticonceptivo son marcadam ente diferentes entre las mujeres jovenes y mayores.

Conclusiones: Los programas deberian considerar no solamente las caracteristicas individuales y del hogar de la mujer, sino tambien el marco social suds amplio de las redes sociales. Ademas, los programas deben ser desarrollados para atender los grupos por edad especifica, tomando en cuenta los diferentes efectos que las redes socials se producen entre las mnujeres mas jovenes y las mayores. …

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