The research reported herein, using samples of women interviewed in the 1965 and 1970 National Fertility Studies and the 1976 National Survey of Family Growth, shows that the sex of women’s previous children has an effect on their subsequent fertility intentions which differs at each parity. The persistence of that effect among women with two children in particular argues strongly for including sex of previous children as an independent variable in models of fertility intentions, since the decline in family size norms makes factors which affect the decision to have (or not have) a third child increasingly important.

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