Generational differences in parity progression in Australia: the role of sex composition of children

Edith E. Gray, Australian National University
Ann Evans, Australian National University
Rebecca Kippen, Australian National University

This paper investigates generational differences in Australian parents’ desire for both a son and a daughter. It is argued that in low fertility societies the sex composition of existing children is an important factor in parental decisions about whether to have another child. The main aim of this paper is to examine whether younger generations (having children under a low fertility regime) are more likely than older generations to have larger families due to sex of existing children. We further explore whether parents with two children of the same sex are more likely to have a third birth, and whether there are differences in the propensity to progress if there are two sons as compared to two daughters. This paper uses a representative survey and is part of a larger project investigating the role of sex composition of children on parity progression, using census data and qualitative interviews.

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Presented in Session 22: Family formation