Does Son Preference Persist in the Context of Very Low Fertility? Trends in Fertility Intentions in South Korea

Sam Hyun Yoo, Arizona State University

South Korea was the first country to report an abnormally high sex ratio at birth (SRB). Although the SRB has recently declined, gender inequity is still pervasive in the country. This study attempts to reconcile the apparent contradiction between a decline in SRB and persistent gender inequity by looking into changing nature of fertility intentions. We employ data from the Korean National Fertility and Family Health Survey that span 1991-2012 to examine son preference embedded in fertility intentions and its change over time. Results suggest that parents with two daughters are significantly more likely to want another child than those with two sons or those with a mixed-sex composition of children, although these differences gradually diminished over time. This study contributes to our understanding of son preference, especially in the context of very low fertility.

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Presented in Session 87: Son Preference and Sex Selection