Elizabeth Thomson,University of Wisconsin
Christine Bachrach,National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Kelleen Kaye, Department of Health and Human Services
Stephanie Ventura, National Center for Health Statistics
Prepared for NICHD Workshop "Improving Data on Male Fertility and Family Formation" at the Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., January 16-17, 1997
Male fertility is usually defined and measured in the context of a man's relationship to the woman bearing the child. Though biological fatherhood may require no more than sexual intercourse with a fecund woman, chances of a man being legally recorded on the birth certificate, recognized informally as the child's father, or given access to the child depends on his relationship with the child's mother. The nature of the couple's relationship also plays a large role in the likelihood that the man will become a biological father through its influence on sexual behavior, contraception, and abortion.
In this essay, we address links between men's sexual unions with women and male fertility. "Demographic" dimensions of unions include duration, coresidence, formal marriage, separation and divorce, and the sequencing of multiple unions over the man's life course. "Interactive" dimensions include commitment, communication, emotional intimacy, power, and social embeddedness. We pay particular attention to the characteristics of unions in which male fertility is often unobserved or at best understudied -- nonmarital unions, and second- or higher-order marriages.
Our review of research findings and questions about men's unions and births is organized roughly along the life course. We begin with men's involvement in nonmarital pregnancies and births. How does the nature of the couple's relationship influence sexual intercourse, contraceptive use, and therefore the probability that an unmarried woman will become pregnant? What influence does the relationship have on the resolution of that pregnancy, and how does the pregnancy resolution affect the likelihood that the couple will cohabit or marry? How does nonmarital parenthood influence the quality of the parents' relationship or union stability, whether or not they marry?
We then shift to the marital relationship and pregnancies/births. How does the couple's relationship influence sexual intercourse, birth intentions, contraceptive use, and subsequent childbearing? To what extent do men's desires or plans for children influence the couple's contraceptive use and pregnancy outcomes? What effects do children -- particularly unintended births -- have on the couple's marriage, and to what extent does marital stability play a role in childbearing?
Finally, we consider continuities and discontinuities in men's sequential unions and births. How do early sexual or family experiences influence men's views of sexual relationships and their careers as partners and fathers? How do prior unions and/or parenthood influence the likelihood that men or women will form new unions, and do the effects differ for different types of unions? What are the effects of prior unions or parenthood on fertility in later unions? And how do children born prior to a current union combine with those born in the union to influence the quality or stability of unions?
Most of our information about men's unions and births is derived from information from and about women. For some of the research questions we address, such information may be quite adequate. For example, differences in birth rates between cohabiters and married couples apply to the male as well as to the female partner, and are probably adequately reported by either. For other questions, information from women may be sufficient for analysis, so long as they are asked to provide parallel information about their male partners. Married women, for example, may be able to accurately report their husbands' prior unions and births, particularly marital unions and births, as well as their own marital and birth histories. In many situations, however, we need information from men as well as from women. Whenever we address questions about the subjective dimensions of sexual unions, or wish to know how men's values, attitudes or plans influence their fertility, men's views -- or combined views of partners -- are required. Men may also be the only accurate source of information about their prior sexual unions, pregnancies and births of children with whom they are no longer in contact. We identify situations of "missing male data" throughout the review section of this essay, and discuss the issue further in subsequent sections on available data and recommendations for future data collection and analysis.
Sexual relationships have both demographic and interactive dimensions. The key demographic parameters of such unions are coresidence (cohabiting versus visiting unions) and union duration. Coresidence and union duration, in turn, may be associated with interactive relationship characteristics such as commitment, communication, emotional intimacy, power, and social embeddedness. Each of the relationship dimensions we identified may have distinct influences on sexual behavior, contraception, abortion, marriage, and/or union disruption.
Commitment implies some degree of obligation to participate in a reciprocal and enduring relationship, the kind of relationship in which children are most easily raised. In a context in which arranged marriages are outside the boundaries of accepted practice, commitment to a relationship is generally viewed as voluntarily given. It may or may not be sanctioned by legal marriage, but legal marriage limits to some degree the ease with which the commitment may be broken. The degree of commitment is likely to be associated with the level of investment in relationship-specific capital such as shared living quarters, friends, and love. To the extent that such "investment capital" accumulates over time, it is likely to relate to the duration of the relationship, although the pace and trajectory undoubtedly varies from one relationship to another and commitment may never develop in many sexual relationships. To the extent that commitment implies a shared understanding of the future and reflects intimacy and caring, it is likely to facilitate communication. In studies of union formation and fertility-related behavior, indicators of commitment often include items describing the nature of the relationship: going steady, living together, intentions to marry, or perceived probabilities that the relationship will endure.
Communication may vary in relationships according to what is communicated, styles of communication, and communication frequency. Most studies linking communication in relationships to reproductive behavior have relied on relatively simple and specific indicators, e.g., self-reports of whether individuals discussed topics such as birth control or what to do if a pregnancy occurs with partners before having sex. But the general ease with which a couple communicates about thoughts, feelings and goals is likely to underlie good communication about sex, contraception or pregnancy.
Emotional intimacy refers to the level of affect and perceived closeness shared by partners. Few studies have measured this directly, and it is particularly surprising that the multitude of marital quality measures are rarely included in fertility studies. Intimacy is likely to foster good communication, and lead to commitment, but may not be so strongly associated with other interactive dimensions such as power or social embeddedness.
Power in relationships is a complex phenomenon, ranging from relatively benign forms of persuasion to coercion and violence. Most of the research on relationship power and fertility is linked to gender-traditional roles and attitudes. Research shows clearly that cohabiting relationships are more egalitarian than marital relationships, in large part because those who marry are selected from those with more traditional views of men, women, and relationships (Clarkberg, Stolzenberg and Waite 1995). Indicators of power relationships in fertility studies are often indirect, based on the relative social and economic resources of partners (education, employment) or on membership in cultural groups that hold more or less traditional gender views. In some cases, direct measures of the couple's gender attitudes are included.
Within the power dimension, we also include the most extreme forms of coercion and abuse. A large body of evidence indicates that coercion and abuse between intimate partners is not as rare as we might hope. According to national surveys, of the nearly 4 million assaults on women each year, nearly one third are committed by intimate partners (National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1995; National Research Council, 1996). Partner abuse is more likely in cohabiting relationships compared to dating and married relationships, slightly lower in marriage than in dating relationships. Cohabiting couples also reported the highest percentage of severe assaults (Straus and Gelles, 1990). While abuse and coercion was once seen more as impulsive or "out of control" behavior, it is now seen more as a deliberate course of action throughout the relationship, with the goal of achieving control over the other partner. This course of action may include sexual, physical and emotional abuse, as well as economic and other forms of coercion. (Schechter and Ganley, 1995 as cited in National Resource Center on Child abuse and Neglect, 1995). Abuse and coercion between intimate partners likely has significant impacts on all aspects of fertility--sexual intercourse, contraception, and pregnancy resolution.
Laumann and his colleagues (1994) describe sexual relationships as embedded within social relationships with the degree of embeddedness varying across types of sexual relationships. For example, a sexual relationship between spouses is typically crisscrossed with a myriad of social relationships - with friends and kin, with members of the same and different generations. This web of interconnections increases the social capital inherent in the marital relationship and increases the likelihood that all involved will support the continuation of the relationship and react protectively if the relationship is threatened. In the case of nonmarital relationships, the existence of such a protective and supportive social web is less common, at least initially. Sexual relationships between unmarried partners will differ at the start in the degree to which partners know and are known by each others' families, friends, neighbors, and coworkers; as relationships progress the nature and density of these ties will change. The nature of these social webs is likely to have an important effect on how families and peers balance support for the relationship with other conflicting goals, such as maintaining a norm of uncommitted sexual relations (the "hit and run" ethic described by Anderson (1994) in his study of inner city disadvantaged youth) or protecting a son from the burdens of early paternity. To measure the "embeddedness" of relationships requires data on social ties and reference groups; other indicators of embeddedness may include the context in which the partners met, how they currently interact with social networks, and the duration of the relationship.
The demographic and interactive dimensions we have identified may not be the only dimensions of relationships that influence fertility behaviors, but they are those most commonly cited in theoretical explanations or operationalized in empirical analyses. Our review of relationship quality and fertility behavior is not completely balanced with respect to each dimension, since not all dimensions have been given equal attention in fertility research. We address the need for additional data collection and research with respect to dimensions of relationships in our discussion of available data and our final recommendations.
Nonmarital unions vary from casual sexual encounters to long-term cohabitation. Although we will argue below that cohabitation is a fundamentally different type of union and should be treated separately from nonresident unions, much of the data and analysis on nonmarital fertility does not distinguish cohabiters from other couples. Where such distinctions have been made, we discuss differences between the two types of unions.
Relationships and Sexual Intercourse
Sexual frequency is generally higher in more committed unions, particularly cohabiting unions. Sonenstein, Pleck and Ku (1992) found that frequency of intercourse was higher among young men who had lived with or been engaged to a partner in the past year. Thornton (1990) found that men and women in relationships with partners they planned to marry had much higher frequencies of sexual intercourse than those not planning to marry their partners. Also, sexual frequency was higher among those in exclusive dating relationships compared to those who dated different boys or girls during a recent period. In a national study of men 20-39 years of age, Billy and his colleagues found a strong relationship between type of relationship and single men's sexual frequency in the past four weeks, with median frequencies highest (7.6) among those who were cohabiting, lower (4.7) among those involved in a steady relationship, and lowest (0.2) among those reporting no steady relationship (Billy et al., 1993). Thus, from a simple exposure point of view, more committed sexual relationships have the potential for higher rates of nonmarital pregnancy. One difficulty with this research is that reports of commitment or closeness or other characteristics of a union are typically obtained from only one partner and then more commonly the woman than the man.
The meaning of sexuality and its links to relationship commitment appear quite different for young unmarried men and women. Ethnographic research (Anderson 1994, Stern 1994) suggests that the issue of commitment is a central point of tension and conflict in sexual relationships among low income youth. The conflict rests on stereotypical gendered differences in meaning of relationships to young men and women. The stereotypically female meaning sees relationships as providing commitment, love, and stability; sex is exchanged in hopes of attaining these. The stereotypically male meaning sees sexual success and control of women as a route to social status and power among other men, and relationships with women are managed to achieve this end. Anderson describes how male peer groups enforce a norm of exploitative sexual relationships with women by ridiculing boys who are perceived to be controlled by female partners. Stern describes peer-assisted strategies to monitor sexual exclusivity of female partners.
Marsiglio (1988) uses scripting theory and subjective expected utilities to study adolescent males' attempts to bring sex into relationships with females. The dominant model for adolescent male sexuality over the past decade has been that of recreational or casual sex. "At the heart of this recreational sexual script has been the image that sex is a valuable commodity in its own right, regardless of the relationship context in which it might occur, that sexual activity is desirable as early in a relationship as possible, that more sex is better, and that opportunities to have sexual relations (heterosexual) should generally not be squandered" [p.289]. This dominant script downplays the idea that the level of commitment to partner might modify the script. However, there is evidence that greater commitment does lead young men to put a more "marital-type" script into effect. In early adolescence young men are searching for independence and are less likely (than women) to report that first sex was in the context of a meaningful relationship. The goal of sex is act-centered not relationship-centered. Actual and perceived congruity of partners' scripts will influence the course of interaction.
The extent to which stereotypical attitudes pervade sexual relationships in different population groups is not well known. Pleck and colleagues' (1993) analyses of masculine ideology among U.S. adolescent males clearly show diversity in the extent to which young men adhere to stereotypical views. Stern (1994) notes conflicting values held by women in a young lower class white population, desire to be open about sex warring with traditional norms about promiscuity and the threat of pregnancy without recourse to paternity. These attitudes do appear to be associated with behavior. Among young teenage women, those holding stereotypical gender attitudes (e.g., most women can't take care of themselves without help from men) begin having sex earlier than those with less traditional attitudes (Foshee and Bauman 1992, cited in Moore et al, 1995). Pleck and his colleagues (1993) found that young men (15-19) with traditional male gender attitudes had more sex partners, were less close to their current partner, and disagreed that males have a responsibility to prevent pregnancy.
Some researchers report that by adolescence, both boys and girls endorse scripts for sexuality that go so far as the legal definition of rape. For example, fully 25 percent of middle school, high school and college students say it acceptable for a man to force sex on a woman if he spent money on her (National Academy Press, 1996). It is well documented that in many instances, sexual intercourse occurs within a coercive setting. According to Kris Moore, about 25% of women teens reported experiences of sexual abuse at some time, and between 25 and 30 percent reported being pressured to have sex (Moore, 1989; 1995). This is roughly consistent with findings reported by Small and Kerns (1993) indicating that 21% of adolescent females reported unwanted sexual contact during the previous year. Yet another study indicates that 17 percent of high school students and 11 percent of middle school students reported having unwanted sex. (Erickson and Rapkin, 1991).. Koss and Gidycz (as cited in Yllo, 1993) find that 27% of college women recalled an incident that met legal definition of rape since age 14, and over half of these involved a date. In another study relating to young adults, 75% of college men admitted to getting a date drunk or high in order to try to have sex with her (Mosher and Anderson, 1986 as cited in National Research Council, 1996). Intimacy does not appear to be a barrier to coercive sex; Small and Kerns (1993) reported that the percent of unwanted sexual contacts that were initiated by boyfriends was much higher than the percent initiated by first dates (31 percent compared to 18 percent). Koss and colleagues (1993) estimated that over half of date rapes occurred between couples who were in a steady dating relationship.(Koss et al, 1993). June Henton reports that one quarter of victims and almost one third of offenders thought dating violence was sign of love (Gelles and Straus, 1988)
Relationships and Attitudes Towards Pregnancy
Few unmarried women want to become pregnant, but those that do may perceive themselves to be in more committed relationships. Zabin (no date) studied pregnancies to 263 low-income women enrolled in clinics at an urban medical center, finding no difference in pregnancy wantedness between women with a "serious partner" and those without a serious partner, net of marital and cohabitation status. Those in a less serious relationship, however, are more likely to say they didn't want a child with that partner. Cohabiting women are more likely than single noncohabiting women to intend to have a child (Bachrach 1987; Rindfuss and VanDenHeuvel 1990) and to have a planned birth (Manning 1992; Zabin no date). What is missing from all of this research are the birth intentions or pregnancy wantedness of the women's partners.
Some evidence suggests a strongly gendered difference in the meaning of pregnancy to unmarried partners. Young men -- particularly those who are disadvantaged in terms of social and economic achievement -- are said to see babies as tangible evidence of sexual prowess and adult status (Anderson 1994). Traditional gender attitudes are also associated with the belief that making a partner pregnant validates masculinity (Pleck et al. 1993). For young women, on the other hand, pregnancy may be viewed positively -- even if unintended -- because it could lead to greater commitment from the child's father as well as signaling adult status.
Relationships and Contraceptive Use
The association between relationship commitment and pregnancy wantedness or intendedness makes the association between relationship characteristics and contraception somewhat difficult to interpret. On the one hand, we would expect more committed, enduring, and/or coresidential unions to be characterized by better communication, greater intimacy, and more egalitarian decision processes, all of which should facilitate effective contraception. To the extent that the couples who are best able to contracept are also those most likely to want or intend children, the association between relationship qualities and contraceptive use may not be straightforward.
Net of intentions, it is clear that communication and effective contraception are greater in longer-term, more committed relationships (Brown and Eisenberg 1995, pp 174-176; Marsiglio 1993). In a recent study, Forrest and Frost (1996) found that union duration was directly associated with contraceptive use. Bachrach (1987) found greater contraceptive use among cohabiting than noncohabiting single women.
Support of the male partner may be critical to contraceptive use within unions, particularly the use of traditionally "male" methods of contraception such as condoms and withdrawal (Kantner and Zelnick 1979; cited in Pleck, Sonenstein and Swain 1988). Santelli and his colleagues (1996), studying women participating in an inner-city street survey, found that partner support strongly predicted the development of intentions to use condoms with a main partner. Resnick (cited in Edwards 1994) studied 550 adolescent females who used school- and community-based clinics, finding that those who discussed the risk of sexually-transmitted diseases or pregnancy with their partners were more likely to use condoms consistently and less likely to experience either STD or pregnancy. Wilson (1994, cited in Moore et al., 1995) found in a sample of black males age 11-19 who attended an urban medical clinic that communication with partners prior to sexual intercourse was not associated with greater contraceptive use, but was specifically associated with greater condom use.
The gendered character of sexuality and fertility is also reflected in contraceptive behavior. Pleck and his colleagues (1993) reported that young men with more traditional gender attitudes less likely to use condoms than those with more egalitarian views.
In recent years, condoms have become even more important as prophylactics than as contraceptives, and as a result the association between dimensions of couple relationships and condom use has become more complex. Condoms are less likely to be used in longer-term relationships than in shorter-term relationships (Forrest and Frost 1996; Ku, Sonenstein and Pleck 1994); are less likely to be used with "primary" than with "secondary" sexual partners (Laumann et al., 1994; Sabogal, Faigeles and Cataria, 1993; Grinstead, Faigeles, Binson and Eversley, 1993; Peterson, Cataria, Dolcini and Faigeles, 1993); and are less likely to be used as relationship commitment increases (Tanfer, et al., 1993; this study shows that use in the past 4 weeks was reported by 18% of married men, 24% of cohabiting men, 44% of single men with a regular partner, and 46% of single men without a regular partner). The condom's efficacy in preventing disease transmission and the primacy of that reason for use among unmarried couples carries with it a subliminal message linking use to actual or suspected lack of exclusivity between partners, perceived risk in the partner's sexual history or perceived lack of "cleanliness". Stern's (1994) ethnographic work reveals ideas among some young women that unprotected sex is an expression of love and commitment. Santelli and his colleagues (1996) find that intentions to use condoms are much less likely in emotionally close relationships. In the case of condom use, then, many of the relationship characteristics we associate with more effective contraceptive use actually work against the use of this method.
It has been suggested that contraception is less likely when sex occurs within a coercive context, but evidence for the connection is limited (Bohigan, 1979). Danielson et al (1990) describes male sexual impatience (dissatisfaction with being sexually inactive) as an attitude that may often be linked to coercive sexual behavior. They find that a male's level of sexual impatience was the strongest indicator of the intention to engage in unprotected sex.
Relationships, Pregnancy and Pregnancy Outcomes
The combined influence of sexual frequency, pregnancy intentions, and contraception appear to produce a higher nonmarital pregnancy rate in more committed unions. For example, Sonenstein, Pleck and Ku (1992) reported that nonblack men were more likely to report a pregnancy in the past year if they had been engaged than if they were not engaged. This result appeared to be due to the higher rates of intercourse reported by engaged men, as the percentage of sexual acts protected by contraceptive use did not differ between engaged and non-engaged nonblack men. Among black men, engaged men reported higher sexual frequencies, less consistent contraceptive use, higher rates of unprotected intercourse, and yet, no more frequent pregnancies than men who were not engaged. Manning (1992) reports that cohabiting women were more likely to become premaritally pregnant than single women of similar ages, an effect that appears stronger for Puerto Rican than for white non-Hispanic or African-American women (Manning and Landale 1996). These variations in the effects of cohabitation or engagement could reflect differences in desires or intentions to have a child. Here is another instance in which both partners' desires or intentions to have a child need to be considered in order to explain how relationship quality and stability influences nonmarital births.
We know very little about unions and abortion decisions. In visiting unions, the greater the intimacy, the less likely the woman will have an abortion and the more likely she is to parent her child (Moore et al 1995 p. 106). Zabin (no date) reported that abortion was more likely when a woman did not want a child with her current partner, even if she claimed the relationship was serious. And in another study of women presenting for pregnancy tests, Toledo-Dreves, Zabin and Emerson (1995; table 3) found that those who conceived by their first partner and ended the pregnancy with abortion had known their partners for a shorter period of time than those who carried the pregnancy to term. Decisions about placing a child for adoption versus parenting have not been linked clearly to closeness to partner (Moore et al., 1995:113). Again, what is missing from this research are the views of the woman's partner about abortion and/or having a child.
Nonmarital Pregnancy and Relationship Outcomes
Pregnancy may also affect the course of the relationship, leading some unmarried couples to cohabit, some to marry, and others to part. The degree to which a nonmarital pregnancy leads a couple to marry prior to the birth of the child appears to be declining. Most of the increase in births to unmarried women is due to changes in marriage patterns rather than to changes in sexual or reproductive behavior of unmarried women (Bachrach, 1996; DHHS 1995; O'Connell and Rogers 1984; Smith, Morgan and Koropeckyj-Cox 1996). It is misleading, however, to treat these two components of family formation as if they were unrelated. Morgan, Offutt and Rindfuss (1995) have shown that the decline in "shotgun" marriage almost completely accounts for the increase in nonmarital births since the early 1960s. That is, a good deal of the influence of changed marriage patterns on nonmarital fertility is changing patterns of marriage in response to pregnancy. The probability of marriage during a first premarital pregnancy ending in birth declined from 52% of women conceiving during the period 1960-64 to 27% of those conceiving during 1985-89 (Bachu, 1991).
Attitudes toward nonmarital childbearing have either followed or accompanied behavioral change; between 1974 and 1985, the percent agreeing that "there is no reason why single women shouldn't have children" increased from 31% to 47% among white women and from 34% to 48% among black women. When nonmarital childbearing comes closer to home -- acceptability of one's own daughter having a child out of wedlock -- approval is much lower, but increased from 8% to 14% over a similar period (Pagnini and Rindfuss 1993). Akerlof and colleagues argue that declines in pregnancy-induced marriage are due to changes in the negotiating power of unmarried women; the technological innovation of the contraceptive pill and increased availability of abortion made women less able to demand a promise of marriage in exchange for sex, since the chances of sex leading to pregnancy and pregnancy to birth were supposedly much more under the woman's control (Akerlof, Yellen and Katz 1996). Without direct evidence on women's and men's views of female or male responsibility for reproductive decisions and behaviors, it is difficult to assess the validity of their claims.
The link between pregnancy outcomes and union formation is complex. Not only do elements of the relationship affect decisions on how the pregnancy is resolved, but decisions of pregnancy resolution affect decisions about the future of the union. It is difficult to disentangle these issues. For example, marital and nonmarital births are the result of the intersection between both fertility decisions (whether to carry the pregnancy to term), and relationship decisions (whether to marry in response to the pregnancy).
There are many aspects of the couple's relationship which likely influence how the pregnancy is resolved and how it affects their union. Recall that sex -- particularly unprotected sex -- in visiting unions may have resulted from opposing male and female goals (freedom and control versus commitment). For the woman, then, pregnancy must be followed by childbirth in order to fully lay a claim on the man. For men, whether the child is born or not may be viewed as irrelevant under the "hit and run" norms for sexual behavior. Furstenberg (1995, p.130) quotes a young man describing his reaction to his girlfriend's pregnancy to illustrate how lack of commitment to the relationship plays a role: "Well, if you want to keep the child, that's fine with me... Whatever you want to do. I don't want you to be held back just cause you doing it for me." He is explicitly telling her that he doesn't want to be obligated to HER. Women are also assumed to be sexually promiscuous and there is strong peer support for denying paternity.
Furstenberg (1995, p.130) describes the "conflicting motives to sort out - responsibility, pride of paternity, and interest in maintaining or not maintaining the relationship, among others" -- if a man is told about a pregnancy. He notes that uncertainty about paternity can be a major factor in the man's response because relationships are often casual and impermanent. Furstenberg describes a period of negotiation involving agreement on paternity and decisions about whether to have the baby, in which not just the partners but their families and friends participate. The latter two can be supportive or nonsupportive of the relationship. Anderson (1994) agrees that some young men have deep relationships with their partners and take pregnancy and paternity seriously (note the connection between the relationship and response to pregnancy). And, like Furstenberg, he says that the man's mother can play an important role in how he responds. Her previous knowledge of the pregnant woman is an important factor in whether she supports his denial of paternity or encourages responsibility.
In the disadvantaged population where such norms operate, male peer groups may urge financial responsibility for babies but steer clear of recommending marriage to mother.
Marriage is deeply distrusted -- in part as a loss of personal freedom, in part as loss of control over the woman. Money, not coresidence or marriage, is seen as basic to being in control, and lack of stable jobs makes it difficult for young men to provide reliably for their children. Marriage on any other terms is not wanted. In no case in Furstenberg's interviews did the family encourage marriage or cohabitation as a way of increasing the father's commitment. Even in the mid-1960s parents in Furstenberg's Baltimore sample expressed doubt whether fathers could or would provide steady support for their children regardless of whether they married. In addition, if a marriage does end, the consequences could be worse than if the couple never married. Furstenberg (1995) reports from his study of Baltimore women in the 1960s that those who entered unstable marriages fared worse than those who did not marry because they left school and had more children early. Twenty years later, marriage was seen as a foolish thing for a young person.
One of the reasons the dimension of commitment is important is that it may determine, to a large extent, the degree to which men can enjoy access to the benefits of fatherhood. When children remain in the custody of their mother, fathers' access to their children and to father roles tends to depend on a continued relationship to the mother. Willis (Willis and Haaga, 1996) suggests that disadvantaged unmarried men, who enjoy a wide choice of female partners but lack economic opportunities that would enable them to support a family over the long run, develop strategies that substitute multiple uncommitted relationships (many of which may be fertile) for a single committed relationship with a substantial investment in fatherhood. Willis's model implies an inextricable connection between men's decisions about relationships and their approach to childbearing and fathering, operating via the "cost" of commitment and the benefits it brings in terms of access to children.
Nonetheless premarital pregnancies carried to term do precipitate marriage to the child's father, even if less frequently today than in the past (Bennett, Bloom and Miller 1995; Goldscheider and Waite 1986; Landale and Forste 1991). In some cases the marriage takes place shortly after the child's birth rather than before, but is still likely to be a marriage between the child's two parents (Kobrin and Waite 1984; Teachman, Polonko and Leigh 1987; Waite and Spitze 1981). Suchindran, Koo and Griffith (1985) reported that intermarital births also increased the likelihood of remarriage for previously divorced women. In both studies, nonmarital births to black women did not have such precipitating effects on marriage.
At least some of the nonresident partners who do not marry choose to cohabit in response to a pregnancy. Manning (1993) reported that, among single noncohabiting women who became pregnant and had a first live birth, 35% married and 6% cohabited before the child was born. This is consistent with analyses of the same data by Bumpass and Raley (1995) showing that a significant proportion of women having children out of wedlock in fact live with the child's father at the time of the birth. Bennett and his colleagues (1995) also suggest a positive effect of pregnancy on the formation of cohabiting unions. Among Puerto Rican women, the effect of pregnancy on cohabitation was particularly strong for the youngest (age 14-15) women, but continued to have positive effects on cohabitation as well as on marriage for women through age 23 (Landale and Forste 1991). These few studies show that it is essential to identify the resident status of male partners in order to understand responses to nonmarital pregnancies.
Comparisons of cohabiting and noncohabiting single women suggest that prior commitment influences a marital response to pregnancy. Cohabiting women are more likely to marry following a premarital pregnancy than noncohabiting women (Manning 1993), though this effect was not found for women under 20 or for African-American or Puerto-Rican women (Manning 1993; Manning and Landale 1996). The authors suggest that cohabitation is a stage in the marriage process for the white adult women, so that a premarital pregnancy simply speeds up the marriage date. For other women, however, cohabitation is an alternative to being single and raising a child alone, and does not imply a commitment to marry in the event of pregnancy. This interpretation is supported by the finding that cohabiting women who already have a child are somewhat less likely to marry in response to a second pregnancy than are childless cohabiting women. Again, what is missing from this analysis is any information from the male cohabiters or visiting partners about their views of the relationship or the pregnancy.
We know very little about the continuation of visiting unions after the birth of a child. In a study of adolescent women presenting for pregnancy tests (Toledo-Dreves et al, 1995), 65% of those who had carried their pregnancies to term were still in a relationship with the same partner two years later, compared with 34% of those who aborted the pregnancy. Only about 5% of those still in union had married, although many of those who had not married still expected to do so.
Schoen et al. (1996) recently argued that children provide a source of social capital by creating a web of new ties with kin, other parents and institutions. The nature, reach and strength of ties in these child-centered webs are probably strongly dependent on pre-existing circumstances including the commitment between mother and father and the social relations between their families. Linda Burton's (1995) work suggests that even in cases where the baby's father is not involved with the child other members of the father's family may become involved. Yet in other cases whatever social capital is generated by a birth may completely bypass the father and his kin.
Pregnancy can also lead to conflicts and stress within the relationship, with increased risk of abusive behavior (O'Keefe, 1995; Schechter and Ganley, 1995). Victims of partner violence are three times more likely to be injured during pregnancy than nonbattered women (Stark et al., 1981). In a representative national sample, 15 percent of pregnant women were assaulted by partners at least once during the first half of pregnancy, and 17 percent during the latter half (Gelles 1988). Another study of women at prenatal clinics found 17 percent had suffered physical or emotional abuse during pregnancy (McFarlane et al. 1992). An additional study of public clinics in Baltimore and Houston found that 22% of pregnant adolescents reported being abused during their pregnancy (National Network for Youth 1995).
However, the nature of this link between pregnancy and coercive or abusive situations is unclear. Many researchers agree that instances of coercion or abuse increase with stressful situations, with changes in family situations, with socioeconomic problems, and with social isolation. To the degree that pregnancy can increase any of those risk factors, it may increase the likelihood of abuse. The research does not seem to indicate, however, that pregnancy increases the likelihood of abuse independent of these other risk factors.(1)
When couples cohabit or marry in response to a pregnancy, the premarital or pre-union pregnancy does not appear to have a strong effect on subsequent dissolution of the union (Billy, Landale and McLaughlin 1986; Bumpass, Castro martin and Sweet 1991; Waite and Lillard 1991).(2) Manning and Smock (1995) provide one of the first analyses of cohabiting couples; they found no significant effect of pregnancy or the birth of children on cohabiters' separation. Wu and Balakrishnan (1995) found, for Canadian couples, that having a first child in the cohabiting union decreases the likelihood of separation, with even larger effects for birth of second or subsequent child (see also Wu 1995). Bumpass and his colleagues (1991) suggest that norms for premarital sex and pregnancy are sufficiently accepting that only the most committed couples marry in response to a pregnancy, couples who might have married in any case at a later date. These couples may also have been those who were most desirous of having children together. Although Brown and Eisenberg (1995) cite several studies showing a negative effect of unintended pregnancy, most of which occurred premaritally, on the stability of subsequent marriages, these associations may result from unmeasured factors that increase probabilities of both unintended birth and marital disruption.
Men's Marital Unions and Births
Marital relationships may vary along the same dimensions as nonmarital relationships, but may also be distinguished from nonmarital relationships in demographic and interactional terms. While cohabiters make a stronger commitment -- through coresidence -- to their relationship than nonresident partners, married couples make an even stronger commitment by subjecting themselves to the legal requirements of marriage. Persons who marry rather than cohabit are more strongly committed to the institution of marriage (Axinn and Thornton 1992; Thomson and Collela 1992; Thornton, Axinn and Hill 1992), and exhibit stronger personal commitment to their particular relationship (Nock 1995). These commitments produce a much lower dissolution rate for marriages than for cohabiting relationships (Bumpass and Sweet 1989). Married persons are happier in their relationship than are cohabiters, and also get along better with their extended kin (Nock 1995). Finally, married partners are selected from those with more traditional gender attitudes, compared to cohabiters (Clarkberg et al. 1995).
Differences between marriage and cohabitation -- and particularly between marriage and visiting unions -- have varying implications for the behaviors leading to childbearing and parenthood. Sexual frequency is sufficiently high not to be a major factor in marital fertility, although it is lower than among cohabiting couples and declines over time (Call, Sprecher and Schwartz 1995; Laumann, Gagnon, Michael and Michaels 1994). Given the commitment of marriage, it is not surprising that married women are more likely than unmarried women to be seeking pregnancy. They are also, however, more likely to use contraception or to be sterilized, if pregnancy is not sought, compared to unmarried women (Mosher and Pratt 1990, cited in Brown and Eisenberg 1995). As a result, marriage produces a much lower rate of unintended pregnancy (Forrest 1994, cited in Brown and Eisenberg 1995) than in nonmarital unions. On the other hand, the marital relationship provides more support for carrying the child to term, so that married women are much less likely to have an abortion than unmarried women, even if they did not intend to have a child (Forrest 1988, cited in Brown and Eisenberg 1995). Taken together, these patterns combine to produce a much higher percentage of intended births among married women than for women in other types of unions: 60% compared to 12% for never-married women and 31 % for formerly married women (Forrest 1988, cited in Brown and Eisenberg 1995). Loomis and Landale (1994) found a higher rate of childbearing in first unions when the couple was married rather than cohabiting.
Surprisingly little research has been conducted on the nature of a marital relationship and fertility-related behaviors. As we might expect, marital happiness is directly associated with sexual frequency (Call, Sprecher and Schwartz 1995). As for unmarried couples, it appears that marital communication increases contraceptive use when couples do not want to have a child (Beckman, Aizenberg, Forsythe and Day 1983). Rainwater (1965) showed in an early study that marital quality was positively associated with effective contraception, and Miller (1986) found that such effects were particularly strong for coitus-dependent methods which require partner cooperation. Severy and Silver (1993) found higher rates of female sterilization when husbands were unhappy in the marriage, and higher rates of male sterilization when wives were unhappy. It is not clear whether this pattern represents an effect of sterilization choice on marital quality or the reverse.
Most of the research on marital relationships and births has focused on the question of husbands' influence on contraceptive use and pregnancy. Several studies have documented considerable agreement but also significant disagreement between partners (e.g., Muhsam and Kiser 1956; Czajka 1979; Beckman 1984; Westoff, Mishler and Kelly 1957; Westoff, Potter, Sagi and Mishler 1961; Williams 1991). Early analyses suggested that wives' influence on couple contraception and births was greater than that of husbands (Beach, Campbell and Townes 1979; Beach, Hope, Townes and Campbell 1982; Beckman, Aizenberg, Forsythe and Day 1983, Bumpass and Westoff 1970; Clark and Swicegood 1982; Freedman, Freedman and Thornton 1980; Fried and Udry 1979; Townes, Beach, Campbell and Wood 1980; Westoff et al. 1961). More recent analyses have tested differences between partners' influence, most often finding it to be relatively equal (Miller and Pasta 1995; 1996b; Sobel and Arminger 1992; Thomson forthcoming; Thomson and Williams 1982; 1984; Williams 1986). Miller and Pasta (1996a) suggest that the relative influence of spouses may vary across parity-specific decisions.
Some of this research also shows that spousal disagreement has unique effects on contraception or births. For example, among U.S. couples surveyed in the 1950s and 1970s, those who disagreed about having a child were as likely to use contraception as couples who both wanted to postpone or to avoid pregnancy (Thomson 1989). On the other hand, disagreeing couples in the 1950s (Princeton Fertility Survey) had third birth rates exactly in the middle of rates for couples who both wanted a third child and those who did not (Thomson, McDonald and Bumpass 1990). Williams' (1986) analysis of the Indianapolis Fertility Survey suggests that childbearing disagreements during the Depression led to delayed births rather than to a middle outcome, and this pattern has been replicated among recent childbearing cohorts (Miller and Pasta 1994; 1995; 1996a; Townes et al. 1990; Thomson forthcoming). These results support the theory of inertia proposed by Beach and his colleagues (Davidson and Beach 1981; Beach et al. 1982), in which couple disagreement favors the status quo. When contraception is routine, disagreement inhibits decisions to cease contraception and attempt pregnancy, favoring the partner who does not want a child.
A few studies have investigated the power/dominance dimension of marital relationships in terms of couple contraceptive and childbearing decisions. Fried and Udry (1979) found that effects of husbands' desires were stronger among African-American and/or dual-earner married couples, whose marriages are most likely to be egalitarian. Thomson (forthcoming) reported no such differences, however, using a more recent, nationally representative sample and direct measures of gender attitudes. Miller and his colleagues (1991) reported that men in relatively more egalitarian marriages were more likely than gender-traditional men to obtain a vasectomy, instead of the wife obtaining a tubal ligation.
Research on children and marital disruption has implications for the relationship context of marital fertility. Some research suggested that children increased marital stability (e.g., Heaton 1990; Waite and Lillard 1991; Wineberg 1992). Lillard and his colleagues used simultaneous hazard models to estimate the extent to which the apparent positive "effect" of children derives instead from a negative effect of marital instability on childbearing. If couples believe their relationship is weak or likely to dissolve, they may be less likely to attempt pregnancy. Their research demonstrates that, indeed, marital instability inhibits childbearing (Lillard and Waite 1993; Lillard, Panis and Upchurch 1994). What this research also shows is that the positive effect of children on marital stability remains and has been underestimated in models that do not incorporate the negative effect of marital instability on childbearing (Lillard and Waite 1993; Lillard, Panis and Upchurch 1994). They also report that larger family sizes (three or more children) may stress the marriage to the point of disruption, and that children have a stronger stabilizing effect on marriages among whites than among blacks (Lillard et al. 1994).
Sequential Unions and Births
Decreasing age at menarche/puberty, increasing rates of cohabitation and divorce, and greater acceptance of nonmarital childbearing and childrearing mean that many if not most individuals will experience more than one union, and a substantial proportion of parents will have children with more than one partner. Current estimates are that more than half of all first marriages will dissolve, and that approximately three-fourths of divorced persons will remarry. Since most young people cohabit before marriage, and the dissolution rate is higher for cohabitation than marriage (Bumpass and Sweet 1989), the chances of having more than one cohabiting or marital partner are even higher than the chances of marrying twice. And most of these disruptions and new unions occur during the childbearing years, increasing the chances of having children with more than one partner. These demographic conditions require us to consider continuities and discontinuities in unions and parenthood across the individual's life course.
There appear to be strong continuities over time in an individual's approach to and experience of relationships. Thornton (1990) finds that those who start dating early, start going steady earlier, have sex earlier, and have sex more and with more partners. Similar results are reported by Laumann et al (1994) for sexual experience prior to age 18 and experience in the late teen years. These individual differences may be related to the timing of physical maturation as well as other biological and family and social experiences. There is a large literature that links growing up in single parent families (and the instability of family relationships implied) to patterns of union formation and sexual behavior in adolescence and early adulthood. Furstenberg (1995) points out that the images of fathering brought into adolescence can have a strong influence on what happens when a man's partner becomes pregnant. Young disadvantaged men grow up with strong idealized values about what a father does but little consistent experience of being fathered; the result is unrealistic expectations for fatherhood that make commitment to the father role difficult.
An unknown factor in sexual continuities is abuse that men may have suffered as children, particularly sexual abuse. Researchers estimate that at least one in six boys suffer sexual abuse, and many hypothesize that such experiences can profoundly influence a boy's later sexual behaviors (see for example Allen, 1980, Becker et al 1986, Burgess et al 1987, as cited in National Research Council, 1993). Male children exposed to child abuse are more likely to become delinquents, and delinquents are more likely to be sexually active (see for example Widom 1989 as cited in National Research Council, 1993; Elliot and Morse, 1989; Synder and Sickmunc, 1995) One study found that adolescent males who had suffered sexual abuse were three times more likely to have caused a pregnancy compared to sexually active adolescent males who had not suffered sexual abuse (Nagy et al, 1994). Widom (1989) indicates that roughly one third of men exposed to abuse as a child will also initiate abuse with an intimate partner as an adolescent or adult. More extensive research has shown a link between child sexual abuse and pregnancy among adolescent females (Child Trends, Inc., 1995; Boyer D. and D. Fine, 1992.; Bulter and Burton, 1990; Rainey et al 1995; Roosa et al, 1995).
Ambert (1989) provides a compelling story of continuities in adult life, following couples who separated or divorced through subsequent marriages and divorces. When an initial respondent remarried, she obtained retrospective information on the new spouse's prior marriages (if any) and continued to interview the new spouse even if the second marriage dissolved. She concludes that the multiply-divorced were less stable persons than the once-divorced, but that their former spouses were not significantly different from the former spouses of the once-divorced. That is, multiple divorces do not seem to stem from choosing the wrong spouse or a problem spouse, but from one's own inability or unwillingness to make a commitment and work on a close relationships.
When individuals experience more than one marriage or union, and/or have children out of wedlock, early demographic events may influence subsequent events, or both events may be the result of life-course continuities. The first such sequence involves premarital births and the formation of subsequent unions, i.e., unions with someone other than the child's other parent. Most of the available data do not tell us whether cohabitations or marriages after a child's birth involve the two parents or not, but Bennett and his colleagues (1995) report that most unions occurring more than six months after the child's birth involve a new partner. Their data are, however, limited to residential unions (cohabitation and marriage). The ethnographic research tells much about the forces that undermine the continuation of nonresidential relationships between disadvantaged mothers and fathers, but doesn't provide any way to measure relationship stability and the formation of new unions.
Bennett and his colleagues (1995) demonstrate quite unequivocally -- using multiple data sets -- that nonmarital childbearing reduces the likelihood that a woman will marry during her childbearing years. (See also Cherlin 1980; Landale and Forste 1991; Lillard, Panis and Upchurch 1994.) Some of this effect appears to be due, however, to the increased likelihood that she will cohabit -- with the child's father or someone else. Landale and Forste (1991) did not find a similar positive effect, but a negative effect of nonmarital births on subsequent cohabitation, among U.S. women of Puerto Rican descent. Whether nonmarital fatherhood has similar effects for men's formation of subsequent unions remains to be seen; one might hypothesize that men's subsequent unions would not be influenced by nonmarital fatherhood, since they often have little contact with these children and -- as we have seen from analyses reported above -- may not even report them to interviewers.(3)
The effect of children from prior unions on women's remarriage appears to be relatively small, and limited to large numbers of children (Koo, Suchindran and Griffith 1984; Smock 1990; Suchindran, Koo and Griffith 1985). Koo and her colleagues (1984) reported that neither number nor age of youngest child influenced remarriage for black women, but this was because black women with more and younger children were less likely to divorce after separating from their husbands. Lillard, Panis and Upchurch (1994) used simultaneous hazard models to demonstrate a negative effect of children on remarriage of white women; the effect for black women was limited to children born out of wedlock. They claim that the endogeneity between childbearing and marriage could explain why studies based on independent models of childbearing and marriage have not found an effect of the first or second child on remarriage.
We know virtually nothing about the effects of men's children from prior unions on their likelihood of remarriage. As for nonmarital births, we might expect that the effect of children would at the very least be smaller for men than for women, since they rarely live with children from a previous marriage, and often fail to provide for or spend time with them.
How do children from a prior union (including nonmarital or nonresident unions) influence fertility in a new union? Virtually all of the research speaking to this question deals with second marriages. In addition, most of the research on births in remarriage includes just half the picture -- we know about the woman's prior births but not those of her new husband.
Early research on remarriage fertility focused on the potential loss of exposure time to the risk of pregnancy. Investigators hypothesized that women who divorced would have fewer children because they had shorter marital durations. Remarriage allowed white women to "catch up" in completed fertility to women who remained in their first marriages (Thornton 1978; Kalwat 1983). Black women's fertility, on the other hand was substantially reduced by marital disruption, whether or not they remarried (Thornton 1978). Glick and Lin (1987) estimated that, among women who married twice, approximately one-third of their children were born in the second marriage.
These aggregate data suggest that a woman's parity at remarriage should negatively affect childbearing in the new marriage, but the findings are mixed. Bumpass (1984) and Loomis and Landale (1996) reported an inverse association between number of children and the probability of any birth in remarriage; Wineberg (1990)found an effect only at two or more children; and Griffith et al. (1985) reported no differences in birth probability by the woman's number of children at remarriage, except for the fact that childless black women were less likely to have a child than were black mothers who remarried. Loomis and Landale (1996) also failed to find a parity effect for black women. Discrepancies between studies may be due to differential information on the husband's prior marital status, age of the woman's youngest child at remarriage, or to differential selectivity into divorce and remarriage.
Using simultaneous hazard models to control for the mutual effects of marital disruption and fertility, Lillard and Waite (1993) found that the negative effects of a woman's children from prior marriages on childbearing in her second marriage could be accounted for by the effect of those children on the second marriage's stability. Lillard, Panis and Upchurch (1994), using a different sample, reported a net negative effect of children from prior marriages on conception in a second marriage. Models estimating the simultaneous effect for men's children and marital disruption would not converge (Waite 1997), which may be due to problems in men's reports of their union and birth histories.
Most remarried women are married to men who have also been married before, and many if not most of those men are likely to have had children. Levin and O'Hara (1978) demonstrated that the husband's prior marriage, but not wife's, reduced the wife's completed fertility. Only because remarried women were more likely to marry remarried men than are first-married women (56% versus 7%), did remarried women in their sample have smaller numbers of children than women who remained in first marriages. Bumpass (1984) and Griffith et al. (1985) also reported a negative effect of the husband's prior marriage on the likelihood of births in the woman's second marriage.
Two recent but unpublished studies (Haurin 1992; O'Keeffe 1988) were able to estimate directly the influence of a second husband's children on remarriage fertility. Part of the "catching up" of women in remarriages was explained by the finding that, among both men and women, the first birth to a remarriage occurred much sooner than to a first marriage (Haurin 1992). Effects of the partners' prior parities suggested a shared desire for two children, taking account prior children. Large numbers of children living outside the household were a negative influence on births. Haurin found that the man's children had a stronger negative effect on remarriage fertility than did the woman's children. O'Keeffe (1988) also reported a negative effect of the husband's children from a prior marriage and of his child support payments on his current wife's birth expectations, but found that the effect is explained by the husband's age. In addition, no effect of husband's children from a prior marriage was found for women who were in their first marriage and who already had a child (premaritally), were Catholic, had married before 1965, or who were older at marriage.
There are clearly forces encouraging fertility in second marriages, net of prior births, since children may be viewed as the important product of a loving marital relationship. Clarke and Gregson (1986) reported that 70 % of men requesting vasectomy reversals wanted to have child with new partner. But the degree of force also surely depends on whether each partner in the remarriage has already become a parent, the extent of their responsibilities to prior-born children, and perhaps their earlier experiences of parenting (Clark 1982). We are only beginning to identify the basic demographic parameters of fertility in second marriages; have virtually no information on fertility in sequential cohabiting or visiting unions; and know extremely little about how relationships with and responsibilities toward prior-born children influence fertility in subsequent unions. What is needed here is not only the perspective of men, but also information about the marital and parenting experience of previous as well as current partners.
We noted earlier that children appear to have a stabilizing influence on marriages, at least during the early years of a child's life. But what about children from a prior union? Such children do not represent a shared investment in the marital relationship, and may detract from time and attention available for a new partner. We alluded to this effect in citing the work of Lillard and Waite (1993) who found that the negative effect of children from a prior marriage on fertility in a remarriage was accounted for by their negative effect on remarriage stability.
Most of the research on the stability of stepfamily marriages does not distinguish between children born to unmarried mothers who subsequently married and children born in previous marriages. Several studies have suggested that premarital births increased the likelihood of subsequent marital dissolution, though it is not clear if those marriages were to someone other than the child's father (Billy, Landale and McLauglin 1986; Lillard and Waite 1993). In any case, effects of premarital births appear to be absent or weaker for black women than for white women (Billy et al. 1986; Waite and Lillard 1991). In more recent data, Bumpass et al. (1991) report no significant effect of premarital births on marital disruption. They suggest that having a child out of wedlock no longer creates the stress of social stigma for a new marriage, and/or that a general decline in marriage rates has made those marriages that do include such children more selective of committed, high-quality relationships than in the past.
Nonmarital births may occur to divorced women as well as to those who have never married, but the evidence for negative effects on second marriages is mixed. Suchindran, Koo and Griffith (1985) found no effect for white women, but an increase in disruptions for black women who had children between marriages. Wineberg (1992) reported higher disruption rates for white women who had an intermarital birth, at all durations of second marriages; for black women, effects were negative at short marital durations, positive at longer durations. In a second study, however, he found no net effect of intermarital births on disruption controlling for the woman's total number of children at remarriage (Wineberg 1992).
Children from previous unions have also been shown to increase the likelihood of divorce in women's second marriages (Lillard and Waite 1993; Wineberg 1992). Such children are more likely to have ongoing relationships with their nonresident father, possibly creating conflict between the stepfather and biological mother. These studies do not tell us, however, about the stepfather's children from prior marriages who may also be a source of stress and conflict in the remarriage.
We identified in the above review needs for data on: (1) relationships -- including demographic and interactive dimensions, and reported from both partners' points of views; (2) gender scripts, including gendered meanings of sexual behavior, contraception, and pregnancy; and (3) linked union and birth histories of partners, both past and present.
Relationships. We identified several dimensions of nonmarital and marital relationships that influence one or another of the behaviors leading to parenthood. We need data to provide a comprehensive view of those relationships: duration, coresidence, commitment, communication, emotional intimacy, power/dominance, coercion/violence, and social embeddedness. We especially need to carefully distinguish cohabiters from other nonmarital partners, in all future research on family formation and fertility, male or female. Recent analyses suggest that cohabitation is, for most, a stage in the marriage process; to disentangle "courtship" cohabitation from "alternative lifestyle" cohabitation, we need to have direct data on relationship dimensions, including plans for marriage.
We also need information from both parties to the relationship, in order to understand gendered views of relationships and childbearing and in order to construct relationship indicators that represent the couple rather than the individual. Relationship data should be longitudinal so that we can disentangle self-selection into relationships from relationship effects on childbearing. We need to pay particular attention to gendered power in relationships, including coercion or violence and links to gender-traditional views of men and women.
Gender Scripts and Gendered Meanings. We need information on gender scripts in sex, contraceptive use, pregnancy; men's as well as women's motivations to prevent or achieve pregnancy within and across relationships; and both partners' responses to pregnancies that occur. Both partners' views of sexual and contraceptive responsibility, attributes of contraceptive methods (including sterilization), and abortion are needed; in nonmarital, particularly visiting unions, we need information on both partners' views of adoption, marriage, and childrearing responsibilities. Measures of extended family responses and views of alternative pregnancy resolution decisions may be valuable when the prospective parents are relatively young or economically dependent. In all types of unions, we need to know whether men's views of the tie between the union and children are different than those of women; and whether variation in such views is associated with male fertility or union formation and dissolution. Since stepfamily experience is increasing, we need to know how men and women view the other partner's children in relation to their own childbearing desires and goals.
Individual and Shared History. We need better "fathering histories". Because the vast majority of women reside with their children, fertility histories provide a closer approximation to "mothering history" than is the case for men. Almost no data exist on the existence of or contact with stepchildren (including cohabiting partner's children) from a prior union.
When a union forms, we need to know about both partners' union and birth histories in order to understand the force of individual life-course continuities in comparison to the influence of partners' lives and actions. We usually have this for women but not for men. Some of this information can be provided retrospectively from individuals, but we also need to follow both partners from a dissolved union into new unions and births. Ideally, we would like union histories to include visiting as well as cohabiting and marital unions, but the latter two are most important.
Existing Data on Men's Unions and Births
Past studies have included very little information about nonmarital partners and relationships; the individual was the unit of analysis and we attempted to explain fertility-related behavior in terms of her/his individual characteristics and experiences. Previous cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) collected some demographic information about current male marital partners and in some cases proxy reports of partner's attitudes towards pregnancy. NSFG collected current cohabitation in Cycle 3 (1982), partial cohabitation histories in Cycle 4 (1988), and complete cohabitation histories in Cycle 5 (1995), but only for women. Earlier versions of the National Survey of Adolescent Males (NSAM) asked some questions about partners, the numbers of sexual partnerships, and relationships with selected partners. The Kantner and Zelnik studies collected information about relationships to first sexual partner. The National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY-79) has added cohabitation histories to prior data on births and marriages, but has no partner information relating to first or more recent sexual activity. Selected studies -- especially smaller-scale studies focused on psychosocial aspects of sexuality and pregnancy -- have asked questions about communication with partners (e.g., did you discuss birth control?). We have several couple data sets from regional samples, many with panel data to assess influence of partners' childbearing attitudes or plans on contraceptive behavior, pregnancy and birth. But they have limited information on relationship dimensions. Almost no studies have attempted to sample unmarried relationships rather than individuals.
Recent and current data collection efforts have moved toward a much better coverage of nonmarital relationships and relationship issues. To wit:
National Survey of Men, 1991: Although this study did not have a strong focus on fertility issues, it was one of the first to relate pregnancy to specific sexual relationships. Thus, for up to 8 non-marital relationships that lasted 30 days or more since January 1990, the study collected information on pregnancies that occurred within each relationship, and the planning status and outcome of each (up to 3). It also collected information about the partners' demographic characteristics, and about sexual and contraceptive behavior in the relationship. The study cast a wide net in looking at relationships, including nonsexual relationships, nonmarital sexual relationships, and marriages and cohabitations. Some studies are underway using these data, and they may provide a valuable resource for understanding links between relationship characteristics and fertility risk. These data are unique because they focus on an older population of men that has received insufficient study in the past.
National Longitudinal Study of Youth, 1997: collects more information on dating, sexual behavior, contraception. In addition, for each live birth the characteristics of the other biological parent (other than the respondent, who may be male or female) are ascertained. Characteristics include race, age, school enrollment status, work status, schooling level as of the time the pregnancy began. Also, the status of the relationship at the time the pregnancy began is asked: had they had sex only once or twice, were they in an on-going sexual relationship, or "other". Information on sexual or dating partners is collected only if a birth occurs or if the partners marry or cohabit. Thus, the 97 NLSY panel provides an improved information base for describing the partnerships into which children are born, but not for relating these fertile relationships to all relationships. The characteristics and dynamics of visiting relationships cannot be related to fertility outcomes. This is a major drawback. NLSY 97 is likely to provide extremely useful longitudinal data reflecting the social and economic outcomes of more committed types of relationships, but will be unable to say anything about the processes by which these more committed relationships evolve, or fail to evolve, from less committed ones, and about the processes associated with out-of-wedlock births that do not involve co-resident parents.
The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1994-96): This will be an extremely powerful data source for studying the development of adolescent romantic relationships. Data are collected from males and females; and information is collected on "romantic" relationships (defined both subjectively and behaviorally) during a recent period. The design of the study will enable researchers to relate many characteristics of these relationships to the sexual behavior, contraception, pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes that may or may not occur within them. The strength of the study is the quantity of information about the social and community contexts within which relationships develop: what happens within relationships can be related to their embeddedness in social networks, partner characteristics, the values of partners' peers and families, community norms, and more. Another strength is the ability to look, in many cases, at relationships from both partner's points of view. The drawback is that at present there are no plans to follow this sample beyond the one-year followup period originally funded, limiting the number of fertility events that will be observed in this young sample. Also, questions about pregnancies caused were not asked of young men because it was believed the responses would be downwardly biased.
National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle 5 (1995): Will collect far more information about the male partners of women aged 15-44 than previous cycles have done. In addition to virtually all marital and cohabitational partners, information on sexual partners since January 1991 is collected. Information includes the nature of the relationship, dates of sexual intercourse, and demographic characteristics. It is not clear how well one can link this to the woman's pregnancy/fertility history: although no direct question appears to link pregnancies to the partner that caused them, the father's age at the time of pregnancy is ascertained, and a match based on the timing of pregnancy, the timing of relationships, and father's age might be feasible. These data are supplemented by proxy reports of how the male partner felt about the pregnancy, pregnancy outcome, and current information about child support and living arrangements. Further, there are extensive history data for the female respondent allowing researchers to relate her exposure to disrupted family patterns during her development along with experience in educational and work domains to her relationship patterns and fertility within various types of relationships. The retrospective data provide a backwards view of patterns of relationships over time; since the survey is a one-time cross-sectional study only those aspects of relationships than can be expected to be reliably recalled and reported by a female informant can reasonably be examined. This study provides a valuable source of data on relationships from the female viewpoint, and on the characteristics of men and relationships that produce pregnancies and births. Expansion of the survey to include men would yield little in terms of describing births, but might yield something in terms of the knowledge we have of how men participate in relationships that lead to pregnancy and birth.
National Survey of Adolescent Males, 1995 new cohort: includes richer partner-specific data than previous rounds. For the most recent and next most recent partner, information on how met, age, how long known before intercourse, sex, contraception and pregnancy, and power and conflict in the relationship. There are subsets of these questions for first partner ever and up to additional 4 partners in the past 12 months. None of the questions appear to address affect, commitment, expectations about relationship duration or marriage, exclusivity. With respect to pregnancies, captures age of partner, abortion preferences of both partners, outcomes. Followup has similar types of data; plus longitudinal record back to 1988. There is much that these data can contribute to looking at relationship-specific behavior from the male viewpoint; also there are some important holes in the data when looking at the factors that probably determine fertility events and outcomes within relationships. With these data it will be possible to document some of the factors, but not all, that contribute to across-relationship variability in behavior.
National Survey of Families and Households, 1988-93: includes complete union and fertility histories for primary respondents, both male and female, though problems have been found with some men's reports of birth and union histories. NSFH has little information on nonresident unions. Couple data from NSFH-1 are not completely parallel in providing information on each partner's children, and are limited to current partners. Questions about the first husband/wife included whether he/she had been married before and/or had children at the time of the union. Union and birth transitions between waves is quite detailed, but again there is limited information on nonresident unions. Both waves include the full range of relationship indicators for resident unions, both time periods. Attitudes toward union formation and dissolution (both normative and personal) can be used to identify selection processes into and out of unions and into parenthood. Dating and sexual experience, early family formation events are available for the older focal children (age 13-18 in 1988, 18-23 in 1993), and the next younger group of focal children provides information on dating and sexual experience at the second wave.
Year 2000 Survey of Income and Program Participation. Past SIPP panels have collected a complete marital history but accept proxy reports from women to do this. They also asked a question on number of children ever fathered, presumably also allowing proxy answers. Information about nonmarital partners and about fertility-related behaviors and intentions is not collected. The longitudinal design and collection of data for all household members (even if they subsequently leave the household) gives some (very limited) leverage for linking fertility to relationships.
Survey of Program Dynamics SPD: 1992-93 SIPP panel follow-up; individuals were 15 and older in 1992-93. No questions on men's contraception or childbearing (or relationships) are planned but could be added to future rounds.
Youth Risk Behavior Survey: may be useful for monitoring sexual behavior of in-school youth in very rough terms; increasing requirements for active parental consent may bias estimates of trends. The survey includes a question on how many times pregnant/caused a pregnancy.
Vital statistics: Identifying who the father is on birth records is probably improving, but important biases may persist. Also, the records contain no history, and relationship information is at best limited to marital status of mother. Efforts here should focus on improving measurement of what the relationship is between child's mother and father (which may not be the same as marital status), and perhaps adding a question on number of births previously fathered by father.
1. Collect data on marital and nonmarital relationships -- and their connection with fertility -- from both the male and female perspectives. Wherever possible, studies should gather information from both parties to the relationship, so that relationship indicators can be constructed based on couple- rather than individual-level data.
2. Conduct longitudinal studies that follow the process of fertility and family formation across the life course. Studies should follow both men and women over time to study the development of nonmarital, cohabiting, and marital relationships, to assess the characteristics and dynamics of relationships, and to link these characteristics to fertility and fertility-related behavior. Such studies would allow us to link adult outcomes (about which we know little) with adolescent attitudes and behaviors (about which we know a great deal). It would also allow us to study self-selection into and out of relationships and help to distinguish such selection effects from relationship effects on fertility. Life experiences such as child or sexual abuse and continuities in personal motivations, abilities, and other characteristics are likely to have persisting effects across the life course; we should study how these interact with relationship formation, characteristics and dynamics to influence fertility.
3. Improve the availability of comprehensive data on the dimensions of marital and nonmarital relationships, including duration, coresidence, commitment, communication, emotional intimacy, power/dominance, coercion/violence, and social embeddedness.
4. Develop data on fertility and fertility-related behavior that distinguish cohabiting and other nonmarital partnerships, and that allow differentiation of cohabiting relationships that are leading to marriage and those that are likely to persist without marriage.
5. Develop improved (unbiased) information about the men who are responsible for pregnancies and who father births in different types of relationships, and particularly about those who are not married to the baby's mother. Efforts should be made to obtain this information through birth and administrative records as well as through parent histories.
6. Collect fertility and union history data for both parties to sexual unions, both past and present. This will produce better "fathering histories," that is, better histories of men's experience living with and interacting with their children and their partners' children, linked to their histories of union formation and dissolution.
7. Collect information that will allow us to determine the nature and timing of marriage and cohabitation with the father in relation to pregnancy and birth.
8. Improve data on the motivations, attitudes and intentions relating to relationships and childbearing among men and women in all types of relationships. Include gender scripts relating to sex, contraception, and pregnancy resolution; motivations to prevent or to achieve pregnancy across and within relationships and responses to pregnancies that occur; views of sexual and contraceptive responsibility and the attributes of contraceptive methods and abortion; views of marriage, adoption and single parenthood among unmarried partners; and views of the link between the union and children or parenting roles. Attitudes toward children from the partner's former unions in relation to each partner's childbearing desires and goals should be included.
9. Thoroughly exploit the potential of newly collected data for analyzing the connections between relationship characteristics and dynamics and male fertility. Accomplish goals for improving data by building on existing data collection efforts (e.g., NLSY, NELS, AdHealth) if possible, and by new data collection efforts where necessary.
Areas of Needed Research
1. Study links between gender-traditional views of men and women and their sexual relationships, gendered power in relationships (including coercion and violence), and the processes leading to union formation/dissolution and fertility.
2. Study the influence of all dimensions of relationships on sexual behavior, contraception, pregnancy, and pregnancy resolution.
3. Study the effect of pregnancy and birth on the continuation and nature of relationships between unmarried partners, and the factors which influence relationship outcomes.
4. Study how the experience of parenthood and the costs and benefits it entails depend on the relationship context in which pregnancy, birth and parenthood occur.
5. In studies of sexual and contraceptive behavior within relationships, particularly nonmarital relationships, develop models that take account of the multiple risks and benefits of sexual behavior, including disease, unintended pregnancy, wanted birth, and relationship commitment.
Allen, D.M. "Young male prostitutes: A Psychosocial Study," Archives of Sexual Behavior. 9:399-426.
Akerlof, George A., Janet L. Yellen, and Michael L. Katz. 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States." The Quarterly Journal of Economics 111(2): 277-317.
Ambert, Anne-Marie. 1989. Ex-Spouses and New Spouses: A Study of Relationships. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
American Health Consultants. 1994. "Past Sexual Abuse Can Lead to Contraceptive Noncompliance." Contraceptive Technology Update vol. 15 no.10, October 1994.
Anderson, Elijah. 1994. "Sex Codes Among Inner-City Youth" pp. 1-36 in Garrison, Jayne, Mark D. Smith and Douglas J. Besharov (eds.), Sexuality, Poverty, and the Inner City. [Sexuality and American Social Policy, Vol 2.] Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation.
Axinn, William G., and Arland Thornton. 1992. "The Relationship Between Cohabitation and Divorce: Selectivity or Causal Influence?" Demography 29:357-374.
Bachrach, C. 1987. "Cohabitation and Reproductive Behavior in the U.S." Demography 24(4): 623-637.
Bachrach, Christine A. 1996. "The Changing Circumstances of Marriage and Fertility in the U.S." Paper presented at "The Effect of Welfare on the Family: What do we Know? What do we Need to Know?" National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, May 2-3.
Bachu, Amara. 1991. "Fertility of American Women: June 1990". Current Population Reports, Series P-20, No. 454. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of the Census.
Beach, Lee Roy, Fred C. Campbell, and Brenda D. Townes. 1979."Subjective Expected Utility and the Prediction of Birth-Planning Decisions." Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 24:18-28.
Beach, Lee Roy, Alexandra Hope, Brenda D. Townes, and Fred L. Campbell. 1982. "The Expectation-Threshold Model of Reproductive Decision Making." Population and Environment 5 (Summer):95-108.
Becker, J.V, et al. 1986. "Characteristics of Adolescent Incest Sexual Perpetrators: Preliminary Findings," Journal of Family Violence. 1(1):85-97.
Beckman, Linda J. 1984. "Husbands' and Wives' Relative Influence on Fertility Decisions and Outcomes." Population and Environment 7:182-197.
Beckman, Linda J., Rhonda Aizenberg, Alan B. Forsythe, and Tom Day.1983. "A Theoretical Analysis of Antecedents of Young Couples' Fertility Decisions." Demography 20:519-533.
Bennett, Neil G., David E. Bloom, and Cynthia K. Miller. 1995. "The Influence of Nonmarital Childbearing on the Formation of First Marriages." Demography 32:47-62.
Billy, John O.G., Nancy S. Landale, and Steven D. McLaughlin. 1986. "The Effect of Marital Status at First Birth on Marital Dissolution Among Adolescent Mothers." Demography 23:329-349.
Billy, John O. G., Koray Tanfer, William R. Grady, and Daniel H. Klepinger. 1993. "The Sexual Behavior of Men in the United States". Family Planning Perspectives 25:52-60.
Boyer D. And D. Fine, 1992. "Sexual Abuse as a Factor in Adolescent Pregnancy and Child Maltreatment" Family Planning Perspectives, vol. 24, no. 1:4-11, January/February 1992.
Brown, Sara S., and Leon Eisenberg (eds.). 1995. The Best Intentions: Unintended Pregnancy and the Well-Being of Children and Families. [Committee on Unintended Pregnancy, Institute of Medicine] Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Bumpass, Larry L. 1984. "Some Characteristics of Children's Second Families." American Journal of Sociology 90:608-623.
Bumpass, Larry L., and R. Kelly Raley. 1995. "Redefining Single-Parent Families: Cohabitation and Changing Family Reality." Demography 32: 97-109.
Bumpass, Larry L., and James A. Sweet. 1989. "National Estimates of Cohabitation." Demography 26:615-625.
Bumpass, Larry L., and Charles F. Westoff. 1970. The Later Years of Childbearing. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Bumpass, Larry L., Teresa Castro Martin, and James A. Sweet. 1991. "The Impact of Family Background and Early Marital Factors on Marital Disruption." Journal of Family Issues 12:22-42.
Burgess, A, C. Hartman, and A. McCormack. 1987. "Abused to Abuser: Antecedents of Socially Deviant Behaviors." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 144:1431-1436.
Burton, Linda M. 1995. "Family Structure and Nonmarital Fertility: Perspectives from Ethnographic Research." Pp. 147-165 in Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). 1995. Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing. Hyattsville MD: Public Health Service.
Butler, Janice R., and Linda M. Burton. 1990. "Rethinking Teenage Childbearing: Is Sexual Abuse a Missing Link." Family Relations, vol 39. January 1990.
Call, Vaughn, Susan Sprecher, and Pepper Schwartz. 1995. "The Incidence and Frequency of Marital Sex in a National Sample." Journal of Marriage and the Family 57:639-652.
Cherlin, A. 1980. "Postponing Marriage: The Influence of Young Womens Work Expectations." Journal of Marriage and the Family 42:355-365.
Clark, D. 1982. "Restarting a family: having children in second marriage." International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 2:55-68.
Clark, M. P., and G. Swicegood. 1982. "Husband or wife? A multivariate analysis of decision making for voluntary sterilization." Journal of Family Issues 3:341-360.
Clarkberg, Marin, Ross M. Stolzenberg, and Linda J. Waite. 1995. "Attitudes, Values, and Entrance into Cohabitational versus Marital Unions." Social Forces 74:609-634.
Clarke, Linda, and Sue Gregson. 1986. "Who Has a Vasectomy Reversal?" Journal of Biosocial Science 18:253-259.
Czajka, J.L. 1979. Husband-wife Agreement on Desired Family Size in the United States. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Davidson, A.R., and L.R. Beach. 1981. "Error Patterns in the Prediction of Fertility Behavior." Journal of Applied Social Psychology 11:475-488.
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). 1995. Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing. Hyattsville MD: Public Health Service.
Edwards, Sharon R. 1994. "The Role of Men in Contraceptive Decision-Making: Current Knowledge and Future Implications." Family Planning Perspectives 26(2): 77-82 (March/April).
Elliott, Delbert S. and Barbara J. Morse. 1989. "Delinquency and Drug Use as Risk Factors in Teenage Sexual Activity." Youth and Society 21.
Erickson, Pamela and Andrea J. Rapkin. 1991. "Unwanted Sexual Experience Among Middle and High School Youth." Journal of Adolescent Health 12:319-325.
Forrest, Jacqueline D. and Jennifer J. Frost. 1996. "The Family Planning Attitudes and Experiences of Low-Income Women". Family Planning Perspectives 28(5):246-255 (Nov/Dec).
Freedman, R., D.S. Freedman, and A.D. Thornton. 1980. "Changes in Fertility Expectations and Preferences Between 1962 and Thayer Relation to Final Parity." Demography 17:365-378.
Fried, E.S.P., and JR. Udry. 1979. "Wives' and Husbands' Expected Costs and Benefits of Childbearing as Predictors of Pregnancy." Social Biology 26:265-274.
Furstenberg, Frank F. 1995. "Fathering in the Inner City". Pp. 119-147 in William Marsiglio (ed.), Fatherhood: Contemporary Theory, Research and Social Policy. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Gelles, Richard J. and Murry A. Straus. 1988. Intimate Violence: the Causes and Consequences of Abuse in the American Family. New York: Simon and Schuster Inc.
Glick, Paul, and S. L. Lin. 1987. "Remarriage after Divorce: Recent Changes and Demographic Variations." Sociological Perspectives 30:162-179.
Goldscheider, F.K., and Waite, L.J. 1986. "Sex Differences in the Entry into Marriage." American Journal of Sociology 92:91-109.
Griffith, Janet D., Helen P. Koo, and C. M. Suchindran. 1985. "Childbearing and Family in Remarriage." Demography 22:73-88.
Grinstead, Olga A., Bonnie Faigeles, Diane Binson and Rani Eversley. 1993. "Data from the National AIDS Behavior Surveys: I. Sexual Risk for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Among Women in High-Risk Cities." Family Planning Perspectives 25(6):252-256.
Haurin, R. J. 1992. The Determinants of Fertility in Remarriage: An Analysis of White American Experience. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Ohio State University. Ann Arbor, Michigan, University Microfilms International.
Heaton, Tim B. 1990. "Marital Stability Throughout the Child-Rearing Years." Demography 27:55-63.
Kalwat, J.S. 1983. "Divorce, remarriage, and childbearing: a study of fertility differences between women in first and second marriages." Princeton, N.J, Princeton University. Publication Order Number DA8316800, University Microfilms International.
Kobrin, Frances E. and Waite Linda J. 1984. "Effects of Childhood Family Structure on the Transition to Marriage." Journal of Marriage and the Family 46:807-816.
Koo, Helen P., C.M. Suchindran, and Janet D. Griffith. 1984. "The Effects of Children on Divorce and Re-marriage: A Multivariate Analysis of Life Table Probabilities." Population Studies 38:451-471.
Koss, Mary P. and Sarah L. Cook. 1993. "Facing the Facts: Date and Acquaintance Rape are Significant Problems of Women," in Current Controversies on Family Violence. Gelles, Richard J. and Donileen R. Loseke (eds.) Newbury Park: Sage Publications.
Ku, Leighton, Freya Sonenstein, and Joseph H. Pleck. 1994. "The Dynamics of Young Men's Condom Use During and Across Relationships." Family Planning Perspectives 26(6): 246-251 (Nov/Dec).
Landale, N.S. and Forste, R. 1991. "Patterns of Entry into Cohabitation and Marriage among Mainland Puerto Rican Women." Demography 28:587-607.
Laumann, Edward, John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, and Stuart Michaels. 1994. The Social Organization of Sexuality. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Levin, Martin L., and O'Hara, C. Joseph. 1978. "The Impact of Marital History of Current Husband on the Fertility of Remarried White Women in the United States." Journal of Marriage and the Family 40:95-102.
Lillard, Lee A., and Linda J. Waite. 1993. "A Joint Model of Marital Childbearing and Marital Disruption." Demography 30:653-681.
Lillard, Lee A., Constantijn W.A. Pais, and Dawn M. Upchurch. 1994. "Interdependencies Over the Life Course: Women's Fertility, Marital, and Educational Experiences." Working Paper 94-17, Labor and Population Program, The Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, CA.
Loomis, Laura Spencer, and Nancy S. Landale. 1994. "Nonmarital Cohabitation and Childbearing Among Black and White American Women." Journal of Marriage and the Family 56:949-962.
Manning, Wendy D. 1992. "The Linkage between Premarital Fertility and Cohabitation in the U.S." National Survey of Families and Households Working Paper 52, Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI.
Manning, Wendy D. 1993. "Marriage and Cohabitation Following Premarital Conception." Journal of Marriage and the Family 55:839-850.
Manning, Wendy D., and Nancy S. Landale. 1996. "Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Role of Cohabitation in Premarital Childbearing." Journal of Marriage and the Family 58:63-77.
Manning, Wendy D., and Pamela J. Smock. 1995. "Why Marry? Race and the Transition to Marriage among Cohabitors." Demography 32:509-520.
Marsiglio, William. 1988. "Adolescent Male Sexuality and Heterosexual Masculinity". Journal of Adolescent Research 3 (3-4):285-303.
Marsiglio, William. 1991. "Male Procreative Consciousness and Responsibility: A Conceptual Analysis and Research Agenda". Journal of Family Issues 12(3): 268-290. (Sept)
Marsiglio, William. 1993. "Adolescent Males' Orientation Toward Paternity and Contraception." Family Planning Perspectives 25(1):22-31.
Miller, Warren B. 1986. "Why Some Women Fail to Use Their Contraceptive Method: A Psychological Investigation." Family Planning Alternatives 18:27-32.
Miller, Warren B., and David J. Pasta. 1995. "Behavioral Intentions: Which Ones Precit Fertility Behavior in Married Couples?" Journal of Applied Social Psychology 25:530-555.
Miller, Warren B., and David J. Pasta. 1996a. "Couple Disagreement: Effects on the Formation and Implementation of Fertility Decisions." Personal Relationships 3:307-336.
Miller, Warren B., and David J. Pasta. 1996b. "The Relative Influence of Husband and Wives on the Choice and Use of Oral Contraception, a Diaphragm, and Condoms." Journal of Applied Social Psychology 26:1749-1774.
Miller, Warren B., Rochelle N. Shain, and David J. Pasta. 1991. "Tubal Sterilization or Vasectomy: How Do Married Couples Make the Choice?" Fertility and Sterility 56:278-284.
Moore, Kristin A. et al. 1989. "Nonvoluntary Sexual Activity Among Adolescents." Family Planning Perspectives 21.
Moore, Kristin A., Brent C. Miller, Dana Glei, and Donna Ruane Morrison. 1995. Adolescent Sex, Contraception, and Childbearing: A Review of Recent Research. Washington, DC: Child Trends, Inc.
Morgan, S. Philip. 1985. "Individual and Couple Intentions for More Children: A Research Note." Demography 22:125-132.
Morgan, S. Philip, Kate Offutt and Ronald R. Rindfuss. 1995. "Education, Marital Status, and the Changing Age Pattern of American Fertility". Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, San Francisco.
Anderson, Kristin A., et al. 1989. "Nonvoluntary Sexual Activity Among Adolescents." Family Planning Perspectives 21.
Muhsam, H.V., and C.V. Kiser. 1956. "The Number of Children Desired at the Time of Marriage." Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly 34:287-312.
Nagy, Stephen et al. 1994. "A Comparison of Risky Health Behaviors of Sexually Active, Sexually Abused and Abstaining Adolescents." Pediatrics 93.
National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. 1995. "Domestic Violence and Child Abuse." Draft Monograph (September).
National Research Council. 1993. Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Research Council. 1996. Understanding Violence Against Women. Crowell, Nancy A. and Burgess, Ann W. (eds). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Nock, Steven L. 1995. "A Comparison of Marriages and Cohabiting Relationships." Journal of Family Issues 16:53-76.
O'Connell, Martin and Carolyn C. Rogers. 1984. "Out-of-Wedlock Births, Premarital Pregnancies and Their Effect on Family Formation and Dissolution". Family Planning Perspectives 16(4):157-162 (Jul/Aug).
O'Keeffe, J.E. 1988. Starting a Second Family: The Effect of Children From a Husband's Prior Marriage and the Payment of Child Support on Birth Expectations in Women's First and Second Marriages. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of California-Los Angeles. Ann Arbor, Michigan, University Microfilms International.
Pagnini, Deanna, and Ronald. R. Rindfuss. 1993. "The Divorce of Marriage and Childbearing: Changing Attitudes and Behavior in the United States." Population and Development Review 19(2):331-347.
Peterson, John L., Joseph A. Cataria, Margaret Dolcini and Bonnie Faigeles, 1993. "Data from the National AIDS Behavior Surveys: II. Multiple Sexual Partners Among Hispanics in High-Risk Cities." Family Planning Perspectives 25(6):257-262.
Pleck, Joseph H., Freya L. Sonenstein, and Scott O. Swain. 1988. "Adolescent Males' Sexual Behavior and Contraceptive Use: Implications for Male Responsibility." Journal of Adolescent Research 3(3-4): 275-284.
Pleck, Joseph H., Freya L. Sonenstein, and Leighton Ku. 1993. "Masculinity Ideology: Its Impact on Adolescent Heterosexual Relationships." Journal of Social Issues 49(3): 11-30.
David Y. Rainey et al. 1995. "Are Adolescents Who Report Prior Sexual Abuse at Higher Risk for Pregnancy?" Child Abuse and Neglect, Vol. 19, no.10.
Rindfuss, R., and A. Vanden Heuvel. 1990. "Cohabitation: A Precursor to Marriage or an Alternative to Being Single?" Population and Development Review 16:703-26.
Mark W. Roosa, et al. 1995. Relationship of Childhood Sexual Victimization to Teenage Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Final Report submitted to Arizona Disease Control Research Commission.
Sabogal, Fabio, Bonnie Faigeles and Joseph A. Cataria.1993. "Data from the National AIDS Behavior Surveys: III. Multiple Sexual Partners Among Blacks in High-Risk Cities." Family Planning Perspectives 25(6):263-267.
Santelli, John S., Anthony C. Kouzis, Donald R. Hoover, Michele Polascsek, LaWanda G. Burwell and David D. Celantano. 1996. "Stage of Behavior Change for Condom Use: The Influence of Partner Type, Relationship and Pregnancy Factors." Family Planning Perspectives 28(3):101-107.
Schechter, S. And Ganley, A. 1995. Domestic Violence: a National Curriculum for Family Preservation Practitioners. San Francisco: Family Violence Prevention Fund.
Schoen, Robert, Young J. Kim, Constance A. Nathanson, Jason Fields, and Nan M. Astone. 1996. "Why do Americans want children?" Hopkins Population Center Papers on Population WP 96-09. Hopkins Population Center, August.
Severy, Lawrence J., and Starr E. Silver. 1993. "Two Reasonable People: Joint Decision making in Contraceptive Choice and Use." Pp. 207-227 in Lawrence J. Severy (ed.), Advances in Population: Psychological Perspectives, vol. 1. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Stephen A. Small and Donell Kerns. 1993. "Unwanted Sexual Activity Among Peers During Early and Middle Adolescence: Incidence and Risk Factors." Journal of Marriage and the Family 55:941-952.
Smith, Herbert L., S. Philip Morgan, and Tanya Koropeckyj-Cox. 1996. "A Decomposition of Trends in the Nonmarital Fertility Ratios of Blacks and Whites in the United States, 1960-1992". Demography 33(2): 141-151.
Smock, Pamela J. 1990. "Remarriage Patterns of Black and White Women: Reassessing the Role of Educational Attainment." Demography 27: 467-471.
Sobel, Michael E., and Gerhard Arminger. 1992. "Modeling Household Fertility Decisions: A Nonlinear Simultaneous Probit Model." Journal of the American Statistical Association 87:38-47.
Sonenstein, Freya, Joseph H. Pleck and Leighton Ku. 1992. "Cost and Opportunity Factors Associated with Pregnancy Risk Among Adolescent Males." Presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America.
Stephen, Elizabeth Hervey, Suzanne Ryan, and Reinaldo Granja Gregori. 1995. "Order Amidst Disorder: Marital Transitions of Young Adults." Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 23:1-21.
Stern, Patricia Lynn. 1994. "Teen Sexuality Among Inner-City White Youth: Becoming an Adult in Milton" pp. 37-76 in Garrison, Jayne, Mark D. Smith and Douglas J. Besharov (eds), Sexuality, Poverty, and the Inner City. [Sexuality and American Social Policy, Vol 2.] Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation.
Straus Murray A. And Richard J. Gelles. 1990. Physical Violence in American Families: Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence in 8,145 Families. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.
Snyder, Howard, N. And Melissa Sickmund. 1995. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: A National Report. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Suchindran, C. M., Helen P. Koo, and Janet D. Griffith. 1985. "The Effects of Post-marital Childbearing on Divorce and Remarriage: An Application of Hazards Models with Time-dependent Covariates." Population Studies 39:471-486.
Tanfer, Koray, William R. Grady, Daniel H. Klepinger and John O.G. Billy. 1995. "Condom Use Among U.S. Men, 1991". Family Planning Perspectives 25:61-66.
Teachman, J.D., Polonko, K.A., and Leigh, G.K. 1987. "Marital Timing: Race and Sex Comparisons." Social Forces 66:239-268.
Thomson, Elizabeth. 1983. "Individual and Couple Utility of Children." Demography 20:507-518.
Thomson, Elizabeth. 1989. "Dyadic Models of Contraceptive Choice, 1957 and 1975." Pp. 268-285 in David Brinberg and James Jaccard (eds.), Dyadic Decision Making. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Thomson, E. Forthcoming. "Couple Childbearing Desires, Intentions and Births." Demography.
Thomson, Elizabeth, and Ugo Colella. 1992. "Cohabitation and Marital Stability: Quality or Commitment?" Journal of Marriage and the Family 54:259-267.
Thomson, Elizabeth, and Richard Williams. 1982. "Beyond Wives' Family Sociology: A Method for Analyzing Couple Data." Journal of Marriage and the Family 44:999-1008.
Thomson, Elizabeth, and Richard Williams. 1984. "A Note on Correlated Measurement Error in Wife-husband Data." Journal of Marriage and the Family 46:643-649.
Thomson, Elizabeth, Elaine McDonald, and Larry L. Bumpass. 1990. "Fertility desires and fertility: Hers, his, and theirs." Demography 27(4):579-588.
Thornton, Arland. 1978. "Marital Resolution, Remarriage and Childbearing." Demography 15: 361-80.
Thornton, Arland. 1990. "The Courtship Process and Adolescent Sexuality." Journal of Family Issues 11(3):239-273 (Sept).
Thornton, Arland, William G. Axinn, and Daniel H. Hill. 1992. "Reciprocal Effects of Religiosity, Cohabitation, and Marriage." American Journal of Sociology 98:628-651.
Toledo-Dreves, Virginia, Laurie S. Zabin and Mark R. Emerson. 1995. "Durations of Adolescent Sexual Relationships Before and After Conception." Journal of Adolescent Health 17:163-172.
Townes, B. D., L. R. Beach, F. L. Campbell, and R. L. Wood. 1980. "Family building: A social psychological study of fertility decisions." Population and Environment 3(Fall/Winter):210-220.
Waite, Linda J. 1997. Personal Communication.
Waite, Linda J., and Lee A. Lillard. 1991. "Children and Marital Disruption." American Journal of Sociology 96:930-953.
Waite, Linda J., and Spitze, Glenna D. 1981. "Young Women's Transitions to Marriage." Demography 18:681-694.
Westoff, C.F., E. Mishler, and E. Kelly. 1957. "Preferences in Size of Family and Eventual Fertility Twenty Years After." American Journal of Sociology 62:491-497.
Westoff, C.F., R.G. Potter, Jr., P.C. Sagi, and E.G. Mishler. 1961. Family Growth in Metropolitan America. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Widom, C.S. 1989a. "The Cycle of Violence," Science. 244:10-166.
Widom, C.S. 1989b. "Does Violence Beget Violence?" Psychological Bulletin. 106(1):3-28.
Williams, Linda B. 1991. "The Level of Consensus among Partners in United States Fertility Decisions." Paper presented at the meetings of the Population Association of America, Washington, DC.
Williams, Richard. 1986. Indianapolis Revisited: A New Look at Social and Psychological Factors Affecting Fertility. Unpublished Doctoral Thesis, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Willis, Robert J. and John G. Haaga. 1996. "Economic Approaches to Understanding Nonmarital Fertility." Pp. 67-86 in John B. Casterline, Ronald D. Lee and Karen A. Foote (eds.), Fertility in the United States: New Patterns, New Theories. [Supplement to Population and Development Review, Vol 22.] New York: Population Council.
Wineberg, Howard. 1990. "Childbearing after Remarriage." Journal of Marriage and the Family 52:31-38.
Wineberg, Howard. 1992. "Childbearing and Dissolution of the Second Marriage." Journal of Marriage and the Family 54:879-887.
Wu, Zheng. 1995. "The Stability of Cohabitation Relationships: The Role of Children." Journal of Marriage and the Family 57:231-236.
Wu, Zheng, and T. R. Balakrishnan. 1995. "Dissolution of Premarital Cohabitation in Canada." Demography 32:521-532.
Yllo, Kersti A. 1993. "Through a Feminist Lens, Gender, Power and Violence," in Current Controversies on Family Violence. Gelles Richard J. and Donileen R. Loseke (eds.) Newbury Park: Sage Publications Inc.
Zabin, Laurie S. No date. "Partner Effects on the Desire to Conceive". Department of Population Dynamics, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, unpublished manuscript.
1. See Bohigan (1979, as cited in National Research Council, 1993), and Gelles and Straus (1988). While originally Gelles and Straus had concluded there was an independent link between pregnancy and abuse, they later revised their conclusions. Based on their second National Family Violence Survey of 1985, they concluded that their original finding was based on spuriousness, and that the true effect they had been detected was that of age. They concluded that women age 18 to 24 were much more likely to suffer from abuse than older women, and that age was the strongest predictor of abuse.
2. Using a more socioeconomically select sample (high school graduates), however, Stephen, Ryan and Gregori (1995) did find a positive effect of premarital conception on disruption. They also found a stronger effect for men than for women, which could arise from underreporting of premarital conceptions by men who remained married.
3. Teachman, Polonko and Leigh (1987) did find a positive effect of premarital births on marriage among white men as well as white women, and also reports a positive effect for black men that increased into the mid-twenties. Their analysis was limited to high-school graduates, however, and -- as noted earlier -- was unable to distinguish marriages between the child's parents and to other partners.