The Fertility Transition in Latin America

By José Miguel Guzmán; Susheela Singh et al. | Go to book overview

23 The Fertility Transition in Peru
DELICIA FERRANDO and CARLOS E. ARAMBURÚ
Introduction
The trend toward fertility decline in Latin America is well documented at the national level, as well as at the level of regional and administrative districts in many countries. This undoubtedly represents a great advance when comparing the present situation to that of a couple of decades ago, when practically nothing was known about what was occurring in subnational areas. However, explanations for the changes in fertility levels as well as for the present overall level of fertility are still inadequate. The indicators of fertility do summarize the reproductive behaviour of women of diverse socio-cultural sectors ( Andean, coastal, jungle, the upper, middle, and lower strata, etc.), but they do not shed any light on the context of the decline.In this chapter, specific aspects of fertility transition will be examined from the vantage point of the socio-cultural groups most relevant to Peruvian society, which is very heterogeneous economically and culturally. The aspects to be studied are:
the changes in levels and structure of fertility on the coast, in the Andes and in the jungle, taking into account the type of area of residence (rural or urban).
the level of nuptiality and contraception and variations in the pattern of use by method, given that these variables are considered to be the most powerful determinants of fertility decline. In order to understand the complexity of factors involved in contraceptive practice and in nuptiality, it is necessary to analyse generational changes and cultural differences in sexual behaviour and contraception. For this purpose, we will present the results of an earlier study on the cultural context of sexuality and attitudes to contraception of three age-cohorts of women in three cultural contexts. The three age-cohorts are: women under 25 years of age, women aged 25 to 34, and women aged 35 and over; the three cultural groups are: El Agustino, an urban zone on the fringe of the capital; Huaraz, a popular sector of an Andean city; and Pueblo Nuevo (Lambayeque), a small rural village on the country's northern coast.

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