Gender preference for children and its consequences for migration in China
Much research on the relationship between migration and fertility has centred on the impacts of migration on child-bearing behaviour. This paper reverses this traditional orientation by examining one way in which fertility behaviour, embedded within a patrilineal society, may influence the migration opportunities of married women. The paper begins by discussing issues relating to gender and migration before outlining previously defined models of the migration fertility relationship. One of these models, selection, is used as the basis for further discussion. The context of migration, fertility and selection in terms of gender issues and sex preference patterns in China is presented. Using fertility and migration histories from a survey of a migration population in Beijing, China, to examine women's mobility patterns this paper suggests that the sex of a child can act as a selection factor in the migration of married women. Sex preferences exhibited by the survey respondents are outlined. The implications for migration and household studies are discussed.
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