Family Structure, Marital Fertility and Premarital Sex among Married and Never-Married Women in Contemporary China
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According to Chinese traditions, patrilocal residence is believed to be linked with early and high marital fertility. However, despite the rapid fertility decline and the enormous social and economic changes that have occurred in recent years in China, research still shows that family structure in China is relatively stable compared to western countries. This dissertation investigates the effects of family structure on fertility in contemporary China. This dissertation had two main objectives: first, to examine the effects of family structure on the marital fertility of married women; and second, to better understand the effects of family structure on the premarital fertility by examining the effects of family structure on premarital sex of never-married women. This dissertation utilizes data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey and the Chinese Health and Family Life Survey. Logistic regression model and Cox proportional hazards model are used to to estimate the the effects of family structure on marital fertility and premarital sex. The major finding in this dissertation shows that patrilocal residence has been well preserved in contemporary china. After controlling for relevant factors, co-residence or quasi-coresidence with parents-in-law significantly accelerates the transition from marriage to first birth, and promotes a desire for more children. However, second births are significantly impacted by factors associated with socioeconomic status and family planning policy other than family structure. This dissertation also confirmed the effects of family structure on premarital sex in terms of behavior, but not in terms of attitudes. After controlling for relevant factors, co-residence with parents significantly decreased the odds of engaging in premarital sex.
He, Lei 1984- (2012). Family Structure, Marital Fertility and Premarital Sex among Married and Never-Married Women in Contemporary China. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from