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Social and Economic Aspects of Human Fertility

East Baltimore
1st term
Population, Family and Reproductive Health
4 credits
Academic Year:
2015 - 2016
Class Times:
  • Tu Th,  1:30 - 3:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor :
  • William Mosher
William Mosher
Frequency Schedule:
Every Other Year
Next Offered:
2020 - 2021

Examines social and economic theories about birth rates in past and contemporary societies. Reviews the critiques of those theories. Examines fertility trends in Africa, China, India, Europe, and the US. Surveys literature on differences in fertility by education and religion. Looks briefly at unintended pregnancy and fertility policy.

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. Describe the classic theories of fertility decline, and identify the major ways in which these classic theories have been criticized and updated
  3. Identify the main theories related to low fertility and the evidence suggesting that fertility will or will not remain low in the more developed countries
  4. Describe how, within particular social and cultural contexts, factors such as gender roles, inequality, religion, family and social class affect fertility through the proximate determinants
  5. Evaluate literature on fertility, and present it in a professional manner
Methods of Assessment:

Primary Presentation 40%; Secondary Presentation 20%; Class Participation 20%; Essay 20%

Instructor Consent:

No consent required