Literature Review



Thefuture of human production has been affected by several factorsranging from natural, economic to social factors. Over the years, theneed to provide a better life for one’s children together withgovernment policies, the introduction of contraceptive, naturalfactors and the shift of the role of women in the society has greatlycontributed to the rate at which people give birth today(Oxford Institute of Ageing, 2007).These acts, which were widely adopted by developed countries havealready been embraced by developing nations, hence there asignificant shift in the rate of birth rate. Thus, it is evident thathuman reproduction continues to decrease today compared to the earlycenturies as a result of economic, social, government policies, andbiomedical factors.

Tobegin with, some studies suggest that the world’s populationfertility has declined below the replacement level(Wilson, 2004).This has been contributed by the increase in factors that reduce thechance of having children such as the ability of women to combinetheir career with their roles of being a parent. Most people in theworld today have greatly dedicated their time to professional life.The role that education and career play in men and women has greatlyincreased(Livingston &amp Cohn, 2010).As a result, these two genders have always postponed childbearing asthere is much competition in the job market due to globalization andthey are actively involved. Thus, it becomes difficult under suchcircumstance to establish a family. As a consequence, the new balancebetween professional life and parenting result in plummetingchildbearing rate (OxfordInstitute of Ageing, 2007).

Moreover,economic and social factors have also contributed to the decline infertility rate. The desire to improve the standards of living has ledto the development of government policies that favor low birth rates(OxfordInstitute of Ageing, 2007).It has become evident that if a country should provide enoughresource to its citizens, then the per capita income should be high.This can only be made possible if a country does not have a highpopulation of dependents. The same thinking has also beingtransfigured into individual families. Today, many childbearingdecisions are being influenced by the cost of living, which iscalculated by comparing income level and the expenses incurred inraising a child(Blossfeld, Klijzing, Mills &amp Kurz, 2005).Moreover, social factors like marriage, divorce, and single parentinghave also contributed to the rate of fertility rate (OxfordInstitute of Ageing, 2007).Currently, the levels of divorce and separation has greatlyincreased. Hence, there are low birth rates as childbearing isintimately linked to marriage. If women are not sure that they willbe supported by their partners to raise children, they will opt notto get pregnant.

Furthermore,the issue has also been contributed by bio-medical factors such as adecrease in fertility level of women and men. For instance, inDenmark, there is the likelihood that 20 % of men will not be able tofather children naturally. In recent years, some studies on spermquantity and quality indicate that there is a great deterioration asa result of exposure to endocrine disrupters in utero(Skakkebæk, Rajpert, Meyts &amp Main, 2001).This indicates that there will be low birth rates if people will notgo through vitro fertilization to have children. On the other hand,women can use contraceptives to control the rate at which they givebirth. This was prompted by the need to control unwanted pregnancies.The effect would be low birth rates. Another biomedical factor wouldbe the postponing of childbearing to higher ages where theprobability to give birth reduces. In some women, the egg cells atthese ages become finite, and conception becomes impossible (OxfordInstitute of Ageing, 2007).


Thus,today there is a low birthrate compared to the 18thand 19thcenturies as many decisions to bear a child are being determined byeconomic, social, government policies, and biomedical factors. Peoplehave dedicated much of their time in professional life, and they haveadopted methods such as the use of contraceptives, which reduceunwanted pregnancies. Moreover, there is a decrease in sperm qualityand quantity among men, a fact that reduces the rate of conceptioncoupled with fecundability among women. Subsequently, unstablemarriages have also led to low birth rates.


Blossfeld,H.-P., Klijzing, E., Mills, M., and Kurz, K. (eds.) (2005).Globalization,Uncertainty and Youth in Society.New York, NE: Routledge.

Livingston,&nbspG.,&amp Cohn,&nbspD. (2010, June 25). Childlessness up among allwomen down among women with advanced degrees | Pew Research Center.Retrieved from

OxfordInstitute of Ageing. (2007). The future of human reproduction: willbirth rates recover or continue to fall? AGEINGHORIZONS,7,15–21.

Skakkebæk,N.E., Rajpert-De Meyts, E., and Main, K.M. (2001). Testiculardysgenesis syndrome: An increasingly common developmental disorderwith environmental aspects. HumanReproduction, 5, pp.972–978. ,5,972-978.

Wilson.(2004). Wilson, C. (2004) Fertility below replacement level. Science,5668,207-209.