Yadav, S.S.; Badari, V.S. : Age at effective marriage and fertility: An analysis of data for North Kanara. The Journal of Family Welfare. September 1997. 43(3).p. 61-66. ———————————————————————————————————–Age at effective marriage and fertility: An analysis of data for North Kanara Dr. S.S. Yadav and Prof. V.S. Badari Introduction From time to time, Indian demographers have advocated that the age at marriage of girls be raised so as to reduce the reproductive span of women, and thereby, bring down the birth rate. Some researchers [1-3] have estimated a 10-20 percent reduction in the birth rate if the age at marriage of girls is increased to 18-20 years while others [4-6] estimate it to be less than 10 percent. Despite variations in estimates, and depending on the assumptions made by the researchers, it may be concluded that delaying the marriage of girls would lead to some reduction in the birth rate. A recent review of the literature  shows that scant attention has been paid by researchers to the question of whether an increase in the age at marriage of girls does in fact result in controlling fertility or whether it is merely one aspect of social change which, in addition, involves changes in the roles of women and economic structures and fertility reduction.
Getting married before the age of eighteen would be a massive struggle for young girls. In several countries, young girls between the ages of seven and fifteen are frequently married to older men by force. During this marriage, girls countenance severe destitutions including the lack of education, emotional difficulty, and underprivileged social skills. The emotional and social effects of untimely ...
Further, the review suggests that late marriage may not automatically lead to lower fertility. Srinivas  and others [9-12] belong to the school of thought which considers increased age at marriage as one aspect of social change and plays no more than a supporting and secondary role in controlling fertility. This view is further strengthened by the findings of several other researchers [13-16]. According to Zachariah and Talwar,  only about 30 percent of the overall fertility decline in Kerala between 1965 and 1980 can be attributed to an increase in the age at which women married. Coale  attributes the decline in marital fertility in latemarrying populations to not only the longstanding social conditions that accounted for the tradition of late marriage in Western Europe, but the favourable attitude for early adoption of contraceptives. A study conducted by Yang  in rural China revealed that women who married earlier had longer intervals between marriage and first birth, but after five years of marriage, most women achieved about the same mean number of children regardless of age at marriage. Thus, there may be some ‘catching-up’ effect soon after marriage for those marrying late. However, when completed
fertility was examined, there was a difference of about one child between those who married at 16-18 years of age (5.61) and those who married at 20-24 years of age (4.51).
This paper seeks to examine the effect of age at effective marriage (cohabitation) on fertility in a project area under the India Population Project III in Karnataka. Controlling for contraception, it analyses the influence of age at effective marriage on the number of children ever born and number of living children of women who had never used family planning and of those who had accepted sterilisation. In the case of the latter, assuming that all the women wanted the same family size, it was hypothesised that the number of living children would be the same for early and late-marrying cohorts. The Data The data for the study were taken from the Endline Survey conducted in 1992 by the Population Centre, Bangalore, under the India Population Project III. The survey covered rural areas of all the six project districts, namely, Belgaum, Bijapur, Dharwad, Bidar, Gulbarga and Raichur located in the northern part of Karnataka state. A sample of 2,000 households from each district was taken irrespective of the size of the population of the district. Data relating to current age, age at effective marriage, children ever born (live births), number of living children, mortality, family planning practice and so on from the selected households were collected from currently married women, 15 to 49 years of age, in these households by the personal interview method. A distribution of the women by district and the use of spacing or a terminal method is presented in Table 1. Table 1 : Distribution of women by district and contraceptive use FP
Take a look at the picture of a gay and a lesbian couple (see Figure 1). Long ago people would have raised their eyebrows and glared at such obvious display of affection between two men and two women. They would have scurried away and cursed them who engaged in activities that compromise morality. They would have felt anger to know that a man would even think of marrying another man or a woman to ...
District Never users of contraception 933 1,169 797 1,107 1,081 1,277 6,364 (61.1) Ever users of spacing methods 38 31 6 37 25 38 175 (1.7) Users of terminal methods 814 777 614 649 358 666 3,878 (37.2) Total
Belgaum Bijapur Dharwad Bidar Gulbarga Raichur Project area
1,785 1,977 1,417 1,793 1,464 1,981 10,417 (100.0)
The figures in brackets denote percentages.
Table 1 indicates that as many as 61 percent of the 10,417 women interviewed had never used contraception while 37 percent had accepted a terminal method (sterilisation) and less than two percent had ever used a spacing method. In view of their small numbers, ever users of spacing methods were excluded from the study. The categories of age (years) at effective marriage considered for the analysis were