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380.655.01 Social and Economic Aspects of Human Fertility

Population, Family and Reproductive Health
1st term
4 credits
Academic Year:
2012 - 2013
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Tu Th,  8:30 - 9:50am
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Nan Astone
Course Instructor:
  • Nan Astone

Analyzes the correlates of fertility levels in societies and childbearing among individuals and couples. Examines classical theories of fertility change at the societal level and contemporary critiques of these theories. Also examines the determinants of fertility at the individual level, with an emphasis on differences in the timing first birth and total family size by social class and ethnicity in developed and developing countries.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain how the ideas advanced by Davis/Blake and Bongaarts can serve as a unifying conceptual framework for the study of human fertility
  2. Distinguish among the “classic” theories of fertility decline
  3. Delineate the major avenues by which these “classic” theories have been criticized
  4. Identify key concepts from the literature on reproductive decision making
  5. Describe how, within particular social and cultural contexts, distal factors such as gender inequality, ethnicity, religion, the family and social class affect fertility through the proximal determinants
Methods of Assessment:

Student evaluation based on quizzes and exercises.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required