Human Fertility in Latin America: Sociological Perspectives

By J. Mayone Stycos | Go to book overview

10
Social Class and Preferred Family Size in Peru

In 1960 and 1961, with the financial assistance of the Population Council and the collaboration of the Peruvian School of Social Work, about 2,000 currently mated women in the city of Lima, Peru, and several hundred women in the highland town of Huaylas were administered a questionnaire on fertility and attitudes toward fertility.1 (Data on Huaylas occasionally will be introduced for contrast with Lima, but the small number of cases and skewed distribution of social class there prevent detailed breakdowns.) Interviewers were instructed to categorize the respondent's social class in one of four ranked groups, depending on a list of criteria provided by a Peruvian commercial research firm. In the urban area, 13 percent of the sample was placed in the highest class (A), 25 percent in class B, 38 percent in class C, and 25 percent in class D. Although the judgments were largely subjective, differences among the classes in education, expenditure, occupational distribution, and so on are marked (Table 16).

As regards occupation and household appliances, a very decided gap appears between classes B and C. Educational variation is more regular. Whereas 73 percent of the class A women have

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1
For details concerning sampling and interviewing in Lima, see Chapter 15. For contrast with the capital city, the highland town of Huaylas was chosen; and 344 women, representing the total eligible population who could be contacted, were interviewed.

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