Abstract

Using data from Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, we explore how gender context influences (1) husband-wife concordance in the demand for children and (2) the impact of each spouse’s fertility preferences on contraceptive use. We also explore whether the husband’s pronatalism can explain the wife’s unmet need for contraception. The results suggest that gender context has little net effect on couples’ concordance, but influences the relative weight of husbands’ and wives’ preferences in determining contraceptive use. Analysis of women’s unmet need for contraception suggests that the husbands’ pronatalism contributes to wives’ unmet need, but only to a relatively small degree, especially in settings where unmet need is high. This is the case because the proportion of couples with differing fertility goals is small in most communities.

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