KAP studies on fertility.
Information gained from knowledge-aptitude-practice (KAP) surveys done in 20 countries between 1960 and 1966 was reviewed, analyzed, and plotted graphically. KAP studies cover vital statistics, background data, attitudes toward family size and means of limiting it, knowledge of reproduction and contraception, and practical experience in past, present, and future. The surveys took 30-80 minutes to administer 107-309 questions. Technicalities can be debated, but the chief question is, how valid are peoples' answers? The author believes that the answers are reliable as intragroup trends. Some generalizations were universal, such as the desire for fewer children and an ideal family size of about 25-30% of their completed families in most Asian and African countries. Japan was the only exception, wanting larger completed families. The average family size in a country was in proportion to the desired size. From 1/2 to 3/4 of the people interviewed wanted no more children. Worldwide, most countries found 66-68% of people were interested in learning about contraception; people knew very little about reproduction, and many in less developed countries did not know about contraception. The more common the practice of contraception, the earlier in life a population begins using it. The number of children desired depended on the number already born. The number of parents wanting more children decreased with literacy, income, education and urbanization. Even in developed countries, such as the U.S. where 80% use contraception, 10-12% of the population were uninformed and unprovided with with contraception. The results of costly KAP surveys have been useful to correct the impression of the elite that the poor are uninterested in contraception, but the results have not generally been put to political or programatic use.