Son preference in a village in rural North Vietnam

Authors: Bélanger, Danièle
Abstract: This article explores the continuing preference for sons in the context of low fertility in Vietnam. Although the total fertility rate for Vietnam declined from 6.0 children per woman of reproductive age in 1979 to 2.2 children in 1998, demographic evidence shows that son preference remains strong and influences contraceptive and fertility behavior. This study examines the underlying factors for son preference in a rural village in North Vietnam. The methodology includes focus-group discussions, an in-depth study of 25 families, and ethnographic observation. Results indicate that sons are highly desired for their social, symbolic, and economic value. In spite of four decades of socialist policies aimed at reducing gender-based inequalities and at weakening the patriarchal kinship system, the desire for sons continues to drive the family-building process. The article also indicates a gap between discourse and social practice with respect to roles assigned to children on the basis of their sex.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 1 December 2002
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/11408
This document was published in: Studies in Family Planning, Vol. 33 (4), 321–334 (2002)
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1728-4465.2002.00321.x
Population Council
Alternative version: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2002.00321.x
12553188
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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