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A Comparative Study of Factors Influencing Decisions on Desired Family Size among Married Men and Women in Bokkos, a Rural Local Government Area in Plateau State

Makshwar L. Kahansim, Idris S. Hadejia, Mohammed N. Sambo


The total fertility rate of Nigerian women has remained high at 5.7. This is even higher for women in rural areas. Men and women in rural areas desire more children than those in urban areas. This study was aimed at describing and comparing the factors that influence family size decisions among men and women in Bokkos, a rural Local Government Area in Plateau state, Nigeria. A cross sectional descriptive comparative study was used. Data was collected using structured interviewer administered questionnaires.  Seventy two percent of women and 83.6% of men who desire to have 1-4 children had at least a secondary school education. Close to seventy percent of both men and women would have fewer children if they are certain of their survival to adulthood. Over 50% of the respondents believe that the husbands should have the final say on family size decisions. Preference for male children influences decisions on family size among men and women in the study population.  (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[1]: 149-157).


Le taux de fécondité des femmes nigérianes est resté élevé à 5,7. Ceci est encore plus élevé pour les femmes dans les milieux ruraux. Les hommes et les femmes dans les milieux ruraux désirent plus d'enfants que ceux des mieux urbains. Cette étude avait pour but de décrire et de comparer les facteurs qui influencent les décisions sur le nombre d’enfants désirés chez les hommes et les femmes à Bokkos, une Administration Locale en milieu rural dans l'Etat de Plateau, au Nigéria à travers une étude  transversale  descriptive comparative.  Les données ont été recueillies au moyen des questionnaires structurés administrés par l’intervieweur. Soixante-douze pour cent des femmes et 83,6% des hommes qui désirent avoir entre 1 et 4 enfants avaient au moins un diplôme d'études secondaires. Près de soixante dix pour cent des hommes et des femmes auraient moins d'enfants s’ils sont certains de leur survie jusqu'à l'âge adulte. Plus de 50% des personnes interrogées pensent que les maris devraient avoir le dernier mot sur les décisions concernant le nombre d’enfants à avoir dans la famille. La préférence pour les enfants mâles influe sur les décisions relatives au nombre d’enfants  à avoir  chez les hommes et les femmes dans la population étudiée (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[1]: 149-157).

Keywords: Factors influencing, desired family size decisions, rural area

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