Biodemographie der Fertilität: Ein Überblick und Perspektiven zukünftiger Forschung

  • Melinda C. Mills
  • Felix C. Tropf
Part of the Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie book series (KZSS)

Zusammenfassung

In sozialwissenschaftlichen Untersuchungen von Fertilitätsentscheidungen und –verhalten sind biodemographische Ansätze bislang kaum integriert worden, was zu überwiegend sozial-deterministischen Theorien und Befunden geführt hat. Der vorliegende Beitrag diskutiert zunächst die Gründe für diese weitgehend fehlende Integration, gibt dann einen Überblick über frühere Untersuchungen, fasst die bisher vorliegenden Erkenntnisse zusammen und zeigt schließlich Perspektiven zukünftiger Forschung auf. Ausgehend von grundlegenden Arbeiten zu den proximalen Determinanten der Fertilität werden verhaltensgenetische (Familien- und Zwillings-)Studien besprochen, die das Ausmaß genetischer Einflüsse auf Fertilitätsmerkmale isolieren konnten. Anschließend wird die Forschung zur Gen-Umwelt-Interaktion, zur Bedeutung von kohorten- und länderspezifischen Analysen sowie von Modellen, die Bildung und Fertilitätsentscheidungen vorausgehende Motivlagen berücksichtigen, betrachtet. Darüber hinaus werden Möglichkeiten und Grenzen molekulargenetischer Studien besprochen, bevor schließlich ein kurzer Überblick über Arbeiten aus der evolutionären Anthropologie und Biologie mit einem Fokus auf den Aspekt der natürlichen Auslese gegeben wird. Es zeigt sich, dass biologische und genetische Faktoren für das Verständnis und die Vorhersage von Fertilitätsmerkmalen relevant sind und dass ihre Interaktion mit sozialen Umweltfaktoren zentral für das Verständnis von Fertilitätsoutcomes ist. Für die Vorhersage zukünftiger Fertilitätstrends wird die Untersuchung des Zusammenspiels von Gen-Umwelt-Faktoren sowie die Nutzbarmachung neuer Datenquellen und die Integration neuer Methoden eine wesentliche Rolle spielen.

Schlüsselwörter

Fertilität Alter bei Erstgeburt Endgültige Kinderzahl Genetik Verhaltensgenetik Molekulargenetik Natürliche Auslese 

The Biodemography of Fertility: A Review and Future Research Frontiers

Abstract

The social sciences have been reticent to integrate a biodemographic approach to the study of fertility choice and behaviour, resulting in theories and findings that are largely socially-deterministic. The aim of this paper is to first reflect on reasons for this lack of integration, provide a review of previous examinations, take stock of what we have learned until now and propose future research frontiers. We review the early foundations of proximate determinants followed by behavioural genetic (family and twin) studies that isolated the extent of genetic influence on fertility traits. We then discuss research that considers gene and environment interaction and the importance of cohort and country-specific estimates, followed by multivariate models that explore motivational precursors to fertility and education. The next section on molecular genetics reviews fertility-related candidate gene studies and their shortcomings and on-going work on genome wide association studies. Work in evolutionary anthropology and biology is then briefly examined, focusing on evidence for natural selection. Biological and genetic factors are relevant in explaining and predicting fertility traits, with socio-environmental factors and their interaction still key in understanding outcomes. Studying the interplay between genes and the environment, new data sources and integration of new methods will be central to understanding and predicting future fertility trends.

Keywords

Fertility Age at first birth Number of children ever born Genetics Behavioural genetics Molecular genetics Natural selection 

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melinda C. Mills
    • 1
  • Felix C. Tropf
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS)University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Nuffield CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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