, Volume 9, Issue 8, pp 901-914

An analysis of factors affecting traditional family expectations and perceptions of ideal fertility

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This study examines (1) the conditions giving rise to variation in sex-role orientation and the perceived cost of having children, and (2) the role these variables play as mechanisms linking antecedent variables to perceptions of ideal fertility. Data are drawn from a metropolitan area sampling of 401 adults. Antecedent variables of sex, employment status, age, education, exposure to metropolitan living, and religious traditionalism — though correlated with ideal fertility — have no direct effects on that variable. Rather, the effects of these variables on fertility are mediated through sex-role orientation and the perceived cost of having children.

The authors thank the College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Oklahoma, for providing funds for this project. The data in this report were collected as part of a larger survey of the graduate training program in methods and statistics in the Department of Sociology.