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Fertility and the family: highlights of the issues in the context of the World Population Plan of Action.

United Nations. Secretariat
In: United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division. Fertility and family. New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. 45-73. (International Conference on Popualtion, 1984; Statements)

This paper uses as its organizing principle 5 major themes which run through the sections of the 1974 World Population Plan of Action (WPPA) devoted to fertility and the family. The purpose of this paper it to assure that their discussion is comprehensive and that it reviews all the major research and policy concerns with respect to fertility and the family that have played an important role in the general debate about these issues since 1974. Summerized here are the contributions included in this volumen, as each deals with at least 1 of these issues. The 1st major theme focuses on fertility response to modernization as a facet of the interrelationship between population and development. Discussed are aspects of modernization leading to fertility increases, in particular the reduced incidence and shorter duration of breastfeeding, and those leading to fertility decline, namely the decline in the value of children as a source of labor and old-age support. Freedom of choice, information and education are the principal approaches within which childbearing decision making is discussed. Women's reproductive and economic activity during their life cycle, and the relationship of family types and functions to fertility levels and change are equally addressed. Finally, demographic goals and policy alternatives with respect to fertility change are discussed in terms of a number of policy options: family planning programs, economic incentives and disincentives and more global socioeconomic measures. Although primary attention is given to the problems and policies of developing countries, the special problems of certrain developed countries which view their fertility as too low are also considered. The issues raised in this paper are put forward as an aid to assist in the identification of emderging areas of policy concern and of fruitful new research directions.

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