The major social factors that determine family size are the status and desires of women in the culture. In many male dominated cultures, the traditional role of women is to marry and raise children. Often this role is coupled with strong religious input as well. In these cultures, women are totally dependent on their husbands and children in old age. Because early marriage is encouraged, fertility rates are high, Lack of education reduce options for women in these cultures. They don’t have the option to not marry or to delay marriage or reduce the number of children they will bear. By contrast, in much of the developed world, women are educated, delay marriage, and have fewer children. It has been said that the single most important activity needed to reduce the world population growth rate is to educate women. So whenever the educational level of women increases, fertility rates fall. Mostly women in the less developed world typically have more children than they think, and the number of children they have is higher than the replacement fertility rate children. Access to birth control will allow them to limit the number of children they have to their desired number and to space their children at more convenient intervals. So why do they desire large families? There are several reasons. In areas where infant mortality is high, it is traditional to have large families since several of a woman’s children may die before they reach adulthood. This particularly important in the less developed world, where this no government program of social security. Parents are more secure in old age if they have several children to contribute to their needs when they can no longer to work. In Less developed countries, the economic benefits of children are extremely important. Even young children can be given jobs that contribute to the family economy. In the developed world, large numbers of children are an economic drain they are...
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