Kristin Snopkowski, an associate professor in the anthropology department and James Joseph Nelson, an adjust professor in anthropology department co-authored an open access article for the journal Evolutionary Human Sciences titled, “Fertility intentions and outcomes in Indonesia: Evolutionary perspectives on sexual conflict“.
In the article, Snopkowski and Nelson examine conflict over family size preferences using a longitudinal sample of Indonesian couples to understand whether men or women want more children within couples, which factors associate with who wants more children, and over time, who is most likely to achieve their preference. They find that while the majority of couples (65%) had the same preference for future offspring, men were statistically more likely to want more offspring than their wives in couples with different preferences. Women who live near their kin or husband’s kin were more likely to desire more future children than their husbands, while women with more education were less likely to want more children than their husbands. Following couples for a minimum of seven years shows that women who marry at older ages or who have older spouses are more likely to achieve their fertility preference than their husbands. Counter to predictions, there is no effect of women’s autonomy or presence of natal family associated with who achieves their preference.
This research adds to the literature that examines how gendered power dynamics and women’s empowerment influences fertility outcomes around the world.