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Birth Planning and Sterilization in China

Susan E. Short, Ma Linmao and Yu Wentao
Population Studies
Vol. 54, No. 3 (Nov., 2000), pp. 279-291
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2584785
Page Count: 13
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Birth Planning and Sterilization in China
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Abstract

Sterilization is the most prevalent method of contraception in China. Approximately half of all women of reproductive age report that they or their husbands are sterilized. Using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey we describe patterns of sterilization in eight Chinese provinces. With a discrete-time event history model we investigate the link between characteristics of local birth planning policy and the risk of sterilization. After controlling for parity, the risk of sterilization is highest in communities where birth planning policy is least strong as measured by exceptions to the one-child policy. These results suggest that couples with more flexibility in family building may have less control over contraceptive method use. Other factors affecting the risk of sterilization are a woman's age, parity, and whether or not she has a son. Our results emphasize the importance of taking into account multiple dimensions of reproductive behaviour when assessing one-child policy changes.

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