Publication


Maria Rita Testa and Danilo Bolano
When partners’ disagreement prevents childbearing: A couple-level analysis in Australia
Demographic Research, 2021
URL, JabRef BibTex, Abstract
BACKGROUND Studies investigating the correspondence of birth intentions and birth outcomes focus mainly on women’s and men’s intentions separately and disregard the fact that reproductive decision-making is dyadic. OBJECTIVE We examine the intention–outcome link for fertility taking a genuine couple-level approach. We aim to understand whether a heterosexual couple’s conflict is solved in favour or against childbirth and whether the male or the female partner prevails in the decision-making. METHODS Drawing on data from the survey Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA), we perform logistic regressions in which couples are the unit of analysis and the variables are computed by combining both partners’ characteristics. RESULTS Results show that disagreement about having a first child is located between ‘agreement on yes’ and ‘agreement on not,’ with half of disagreeing couples having a child. Bycontrast, disagreement about having another child is shifted more towards ‘agreement on not’ and most often prevents the birth of a child. Women prevail in the decision of havinga first child, irrespective of gender equity within the couple, while a symmetric double-veto model is at work if the decision concerns a second or additional child. CONCLUSION Couple disagreement is not always sufficient to prevent the birth of a child in a low fertility country such as Australia, and the increasing level of gender equity within the couple does not necessarily imply increasing female decision-making power on childbearing issues.

Reference


@article{Testa2021a,
  author = {Maria Rita Testa and Danilo Bolano},
  title = {When partners’ disagreement prevents childbearing: A couple-level analysis in Australia},
  year = {2021},
  journal = {Demographic Research},
  volume = {44},
  number = {33},
  pages = {811-838},
  url = {https://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol44/33/44-33.pdf},
  timestamp = {22.04.2021},
  abstract = {BACKGROUND Studies  investigating  the  correspondence  of  birth  intentions  and  birth  outcomes  focus mainly  on  women’s  and  men’s  intentions  separately  and  disregard  the  fact  that reproductive decision-making is dyadic. OBJECTIVE We  examine  the  intention–outcome  link  for  fertility  taking  a  genuine  couple-level approach.  We  aim  to  understand  whether  a  heterosexual  couple’s  conflict  is  solved  in favour or against childbirth and whether the male  or  the female partner prevails  in the decision-making. METHODS Drawing on data from the survey Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA), we perform logistic regressions in which couples are the unit of analysis and the variables are computed by combining both partners’ characteristics. RESULTS Results show that disagreement about having a first child is located between ‘agreement on  yes’ and ‘agreement on not,’  with half of disagreeing couples having a child.  Bycontrast, disagreement about having another child is shifted more towards ‘agreement on not’ and most often prevents the birth of a child. Women prevail in the decision of havinga first child, irrespective of gender equity within the couple, while a symmetric double-veto model is at work if the decision concerns a second or additional child. CONCLUSION Couple  disagreement  is  not  always  sufficient  to  prevent  the birth of a child  in  a  low fertility country such as Australia, and the increasing level of gender equity within the couple   does   not   necessarily   imply   increasing   female   decision-making  power on childbearing issues.}
}
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