Factors influencing fertility preferences of currently married men in Kenya

Janet Naisoi Mashara


Fertility preferences are central in determining the future fertility of the society particularly where and when those desires are implemented. The socio-cultural structures in most African communities have given men the mandate to decide in all aspects of life including family sizes and fertility behaviors. Information on fertility preference in Kenya especially regarding men is very scanty. This study therefore specifically sought to establish the effects of socio-demographic; socio-economic; and socio-cultural factors on fertility preference of currently married men in Kenya. Data was drawn from sample size of 1,757 married men aged 15-54 years who were asked questions on various topics including fertility preference during the 2008/9 KDHS. The study findings revealed that age, number of living children, education, region, occupation, type of marriage and number of living sons were significant factors associated with the desire for additional children at 0.001, 0.01 and 0.05 significance level. In conclusion, fertility preference of currently married men in Kenya is influenced mainly by demographic (age & Number of living children); socio-economic (education & region) and socio-cultural factors (type of marriage & Number of living sons). Recommendations: i) Education for men should be emphasized because education was discovered to have a significant negative effect on the fertility preference; ii) Policies that aim at integrating population into development should be encouraged so as to foster socio-economic development in all the regions and hence minimize the regional disparities as it relates to fertility preferences; iii) Further studies, both qualitative and quantitative, to be carried out in order to explore the socio-cultural religious beliefs, norms and attitudes of men in regards to the value of children; v) Qualitative studies needs to be conducted in the North Eastern region to find out the driving forces for glaringly high fertility preference other than low literacy level.


Fertility preference, Desire for Additional Children, Sex preference, Education, age.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11564/30-2-857


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