Marital Arrangements of Couples and Their Post-Marital Fertility Behaviour in India

Sayantani Chatterjee
Anshul Kastor, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

The fertility preferences of spouses do not necessarily be the same,but discussion between couples creates scope for mutual-understanding between them.Knowing each other’s opinions facilitates decision-making on sensitive matters such as contraception use and desired family-size. This study used IHDS-II(2011–12) to understand the role of marital-arrangements,studied through the choosing of husbands,mutual-communication before marriage and duration of time spouses knew each other before marriage on the fertility-preferences of couples’ post-marriage.Preferences included contraception-use, deciding number of children and the gap between desired and actual number of offspring.Wives who knew their husbands or had communication with them before marriage had a greater chance of being involved in fertility decisions. However, most fertility decisions were found to be male-driven.Wives were less likely to have more children/sons/daughters than desired if they had some communication with their husbands pre-marriage.A better understanding of fertility-preferences between spouses might help to curb unwanted births through delaying or limiting births.

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 Presented in Session 209. Fertility Intentions and Dynamics in Marriages and Families