Estimates of fecundability (monthly probability of conception) in the absence of contraception are derived from the frequency distribution of conceptive delays immediately following marriage, reported by 2,443 married women aged 20 to 39 included in the Taichung (Taiwan) Intensive Fertility Survey of 1962. Average fecundability of women is positively associated with their socio-economic status. These differentials are not accounted for by differences among socio-economic groups with respect to memory and truncation biases (associated with the marriage duration), wife’s age at marriage, or unreported premarital conceptions. A Multiple Classification Analysis suggests that among the socio-economic characteristics, husband’s education, rural background, and modern family type are the more important predictors of fecundability. The importance of genetic factors as opposed to cultural factors in producing these socio-economic differences in fecundability can not be evaluated systematically. Moreover, the relation of a couple’s privacy, their attitude toward family building, and patterns of mate selection to their socioeconomic status would have to be taken into account before the differences in fecundability could be attributed to factors such as nutrition, health, or infections which might directly influence their physiological ability to conceive.

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