Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1819-1



The state and quality of being fertile and fruitful or an ability of an individual or couple to reproduce healthy offspring in abundance and of the earth to bear fruit through normal sexual activity.


The term “fertility” is taken to indicate biological fertility, the capacity to conceive given unprotected intercourse, in contrast to demographic fertility, the actual number of children. It can be looked at from a functional perspective, by the use of biomarkers, or from a mechanistic viewpoint. Functional fertility refers to how easy or difficult a couple find it to conceive, given that they are having unprotected intercourse, and tends to be assessed by looking at how long this takes, since more fertile couples tend to conceive more quickly (Jofee 2010).

Basic Fertility Concepts

Biological conditions that affect fecundity are obviously important in understanding fertility, and since vast majority...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.JHPIEGOLucknowIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Brian B Boutwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Louis UniversitySaint LouisUSA