Limits...
Social age deadlines for the childbearing of women and men.

Billari FC, Goisis A, Liefbroer AC, Settersten RA, Aassve A, Hagestad G, Spéder Z - Hum. Reprod. (2010)

Bottom Line: At the country level, the presence of social age deadlines for the childbearing of women was negatively associated with birth rates at advanced ages and the prevalence of ART, and later deadlines were positively associated with these factors.While biological factors condition fertility, so do social expectations.These findings provide widespread evidence across Europe that social limits exist alongside biological ones, though both sets of factors are more binding for women.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Decision Sciences, Carlo F Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and IGIER, Bocconi University, Roentgen 1, 20136 Milan, Italy. billari@unibocconi.it

ABSTRACT

Background: This study examines whether social age deadlines exist for childbearing in women and men, how they vary across countries, whether they are lower than actual biological deadlines and whether they are associated with childbearing at later ages and the availability of assisted reproduction techniques (ARTs).

Methods: This study is based on the European Social Survey, Round 3 (2006-2007), which covers 25 countries. Data were gathered on social age deadlines for childbearing in women (21 909 cases) and men (21 239 cases) from samples of representative community-dwelling populations aged 15 and older.

Results: Social age deadlines for childbearing were perceived more frequently for women than men. These deadlines are often lower than actual biological limits, and for women and men alike: 57.2% of respondents perceived a maternal social age deadline ≤ 40 years of age; 46.2% of the respondents perceived a paternal social age deadline ≤ 45 years of age. There is also considerable variability in deadlines across countries, as well as within them. At the country level, the presence of social age deadlines for the childbearing of women was negatively associated with birth rates at advanced ages and the prevalence of ART, and later deadlines were positively associated with these factors.

Conclusions: It is important to understand the factors that increase and limit late fertility. While biological factors condition fertility, so do social expectations. These findings provide widespread evidence across Europe that social limits exist alongside biological ones, though both sets of factors are more binding for women.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Frequency distribution of social age deadlines for women and men. Source: Authors’ computations, ESS, 2006–2007. The percentages are computed based on those respondents who perceive an age deadline. Values below 26 and above 80 were dropped from the analyses and the percentage of respondents perceiving a deadline below 30 and above 60 is not reported in the figure. In order to obtain accurate estimates, data were weighted by design weights. See text and ESS website (http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/) for additional information.
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DEQ360F1: Frequency distribution of social age deadlines for women and men. Source: Authors’ computations, ESS, 2006–2007. The percentages are computed based on those respondents who perceive an age deadline. Values below 26 and above 80 were dropped from the analyses and the percentage of respondents perceiving a deadline below 30 and above 60 is not reported in the figure. In order to obtain accurate estimates, data were weighted by design weights. See text and ESS website (http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/) for additional information.

Mentions: Figure 1 provides additional information on the pooled (across countries) distribution characteristics of maternal and paternal age deadlines. The modal age deadline, among those respondents who declare to perceive a limit, for women is 40 (mentioned by 40.5% of respondents) and for men 50 (30.6%). It is noteworthy that these modes—and indeed most of specific ages given—are highly concentrated on ‘round’ ages (35, 40, 45 and 50).Figure 1


Social age deadlines for the childbearing of women and men.

Billari FC, Goisis A, Liefbroer AC, Settersten RA, Aassve A, Hagestad G, Spéder Z - Hum. Reprod. (2010)

Frequency distribution of social age deadlines for women and men. Source: Authors’ computations, ESS, 2006–2007. The percentages are computed based on those respondents who perceive an age deadline. Values below 26 and above 80 were dropped from the analyses and the percentage of respondents perceiving a deadline below 30 and above 60 is not reported in the figure. In order to obtain accurate estimates, data were weighted by design weights. See text and ESS website (http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/) for additional information.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3037792&req=5

DEQ360F1: Frequency distribution of social age deadlines for women and men. Source: Authors’ computations, ESS, 2006–2007. The percentages are computed based on those respondents who perceive an age deadline. Values below 26 and above 80 were dropped from the analyses and the percentage of respondents perceiving a deadline below 30 and above 60 is not reported in the figure. In order to obtain accurate estimates, data were weighted by design weights. See text and ESS website (http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/) for additional information.
Mentions: Figure 1 provides additional information on the pooled (across countries) distribution characteristics of maternal and paternal age deadlines. The modal age deadline, among those respondents who declare to perceive a limit, for women is 40 (mentioned by 40.5% of respondents) and for men 50 (30.6%). It is noteworthy that these modes—and indeed most of specific ages given—are highly concentrated on ‘round’ ages (35, 40, 45 and 50).Figure 1

Bottom Line: At the country level, the presence of social age deadlines for the childbearing of women was negatively associated with birth rates at advanced ages and the prevalence of ART, and later deadlines were positively associated with these factors.While biological factors condition fertility, so do social expectations.These findings provide widespread evidence across Europe that social limits exist alongside biological ones, though both sets of factors are more binding for women.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Decision Sciences, Carlo F Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and IGIER, Bocconi University, Roentgen 1, 20136 Milan, Italy. billari@unibocconi.it

ABSTRACT

Background: This study examines whether social age deadlines exist for childbearing in women and men, how they vary across countries, whether they are lower than actual biological deadlines and whether they are associated with childbearing at later ages and the availability of assisted reproduction techniques (ARTs).

Methods: This study is based on the European Social Survey, Round 3 (2006-2007), which covers 25 countries. Data were gathered on social age deadlines for childbearing in women (21 909 cases) and men (21 239 cases) from samples of representative community-dwelling populations aged 15 and older.

Results: Social age deadlines for childbearing were perceived more frequently for women than men. These deadlines are often lower than actual biological limits, and for women and men alike: 57.2% of respondents perceived a maternal social age deadline ≤ 40 years of age; 46.2% of the respondents perceived a paternal social age deadline ≤ 45 years of age. There is also considerable variability in deadlines across countries, as well as within them. At the country level, the presence of social age deadlines for the childbearing of women was negatively associated with birth rates at advanced ages and the prevalence of ART, and later deadlines were positively associated with these factors.

Conclusions: It is important to understand the factors that increase and limit late fertility. While biological factors condition fertility, so do social expectations. These findings provide widespread evidence across Europe that social limits exist alongside biological ones, though both sets of factors are more binding for women.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus