Loose Ties between Fertility and Marriage and Stronger Ties between Marriage and Fertility

Heather M. Rackin, Duke University
Christina M. Gibson-Davis, Duke University

Research suggests loosening ties between fertility and marriage. Marriage is not considered a prerequisite for having children, especially for low income individuals. We argue that fertility can be disconnected from marriage while marriage can still be connected to fertility. Individuals may believe having a child does not require marriage, but a marriage should have children. We will test this using the Becoming Parents and Partners qualitative study. Our methods include network text analysis and qualitative analysis. Preliminary analysis shows that when individuals discuss marriage they are very likely to also discuss childbearing. However, when individuals discuss childbearing they are less likely to also mention marriage. We believe this analysis gives a more nuanced view of the ties between marriage and fertility.

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Presented in Poster Session 2