Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Late Nineteenth-And Early Twentieth-Century Childlessness

S. Philip Morgan
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 97, No. 3 (Nov., 1991), pp. 779-807
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2781784
Page Count: 29
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($14.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Late Nineteenth-And Early Twentieth-Century Childlessness
Preview not available

Abstract

In some northeastern states, levels of childlessness approached 30% for women born in the mid-19th century. Other states in the South and West had levels of 6%-8%. Nationally, childlessness increased across cohorts born in the latter part of the 19th century. Nonmarriage and delayed marriage account for some of this variability. But the argument here is that fertility control within marriage played a major role in producing these differentials. Both the intercohort and cross-sectional differentials in childlessness match differentials in higher parity births, suggesting that fertility control was practiced most in the times and places where childlessness was gratest. Furthermore, "own-children" methods are used to present evidence of fertility control among childless women early in marriage. The argument is not that young women born in the mid-19th century intended to be childless at young ages; it is instead that they were willing and able to postpone childbearing. With fertility delay came experience and circumstances that made it less likely that women would ever marry and/or have children. These arguments are basically the same as those used to account for contemporary childlessness in the United States.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
779
    779
  • Thumbnail: Page 
780
    780
  • Thumbnail: Page 
781
    781
  • Thumbnail: Page 
782
    782
  • Thumbnail: Page 
783
    783
  • Thumbnail: Page 
784
    784
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[785]
    [785]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
786
    786
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[787]
    [787]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
788
    788
  • Thumbnail: Page 
789
    789
  • Thumbnail: Page 
790
    790
  • Thumbnail: Page 
791
    791
  • Thumbnail: Page 
792
    792
  • Thumbnail: Page 
793
    793
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[794]
    [794]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
795
    795
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[796]
    [796]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
797
    797
  • Thumbnail: Page 
798
    798
  • Thumbnail: Page 
799
    799
  • Thumbnail: Page 
800
    800
  • Thumbnail: Page 
801
    801
  • Thumbnail: Page 
802
    802
  • Thumbnail: Page 
803
    803
  • Thumbnail: Page 
804
    804
  • Thumbnail: Page 
805
    805
  • Thumbnail: Page 
806
    806
  • Thumbnail: Page 
807
    807