A comparative study on the marriage and fertility norms in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore

Project: Research project

Project Details


Various Asian societies in the recent past have witnessed declining rates and intentions of marriage and fertility. However, studies that examine determinants of marriage and fertility intentions, both in Asia and elsewhere, often treat them as separate outcomes, without accounting for the coupling and decoupling of the two intentions. In comparison to marriage, fertility may have taken on more divergent meanings. It is often reflective of a traditional emphasis on the importance of carrying on family lineage; meantime, childbearing may increasingly indicate a post-modern family ideology that perceives creating a life, regardless of marital status, as a meaningful pathway toward individual actualization. Thus, to what extent fertility intention predicts marriage intention may be subject to contextual influences of such counteracting social forces. This study, using data from a comparative quasi-experimental study in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, systematically examines how the associations between fertility intention and marriage intention and the moderating effects of gender, gender ideology, familism, and democracy attitudes converge and differ across the three societies. Preliminary findings show that in the three societies, intention to have children positively predicts marriage intention. While such associations are strengthened by endorsement of familism, they are attenuated among women and by endorsement of gender equality. Among the three societies, the association between fertility and marriage intentions is the weakest in Taiwan; gender and gender ideology are more significant moderators of such associations in Hong Kong, while familism, as a moderator, is more significant in Singapore and Taiwan.
Effective start/end date1/01/2231/12/24


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