Journal of Biosocial Science

Research Article

The Fourth Korean Child: The Effect of Son Preference on Subsequent Fertility

Chai Bin Parka1

a1 University of Hawaii School of Public Health, and East-West Population Institute, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA


This article, based on retrospective survey data, examines the fertility performance of third-order parity women in Korea, following births of specified sexes of children already born. Although the study indicates that additional births and spacing of children after the third birth are strongly influenced by the sex composition of the first three children, this influence becomes apparent only after the introduction of a vigorous national family planning programme. It seems that both the number of sons and the sequence of sons and daughters play an important role in determining subsequent fertility. More than twice as great a proportion of third-parity women proceeded to the fourth parity if the women had three daughters rather than three sons.

(Received May 18 1977)