Culture, the Revolution, and the Beginnings of the American Fertility Transition

Economic, demographic, and sociological studies of historical fertility transitions have tended to seek direct, quantifiable correlations between economic change and the fiscal well-being of heads of household--that is, of men. The prevailing assumption has been that men make fertility decisions and that they make these decisions based entirely on simple cost-benefit analyses. Women's perceptions and goals have been largely ignored as have cultural and political transformations. This study looks at women during the American Revolution who began to construct new understandings of femininity and fertility.

Presented by Susan Klepp, Temple University, at the Center for Historical Research, Dept. of History, The Ohio State University on October 14, 2011. Comment: John B. Casterline, Department of Sociology, Ohio State

The Ohio State University Center for Historical Research in the Department of History provides a stimulating intellectual environment for studying important historical issues around the world. Each year the Center brings together scholars from various disciplines to examine issues of broad contemporary relevance in historical perspective.