CHANGING ATTITUDE TOWARDS SEX PREFERENCE AS OLD AGE SECURITY AMONG NIGERIAN OLDER PERSONS
AJIBOYE, OLANREWAJU EMMANUEL(Ph.D)
Department of Sociology, Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos.
This paper focuses on the intensity of preference for sons over daughters in anticipation of old age security both physically and financially, and its impact on the care and support/ well-being of the elderly in Nigeria in general, and in particular among the Yoruba of Southwest. The paper examines the impact of social change on child sex preference as old age security. Before delving into the theme of the paper, the concept of social change was briefly discussed. The reasons for having children generally are discussed, child sex preference among the elderly were equally analyzed; the pattern it took before now, the changes that have occurred and the attitude of parents toward child sex preference as old age security in the contemporary Nigerian society were equally examined. The effects of sex preference and other socio-economic factors on the status of the elderly and its implications for the family were mentioned. Various literature and theoretical models on the subject matter were reviewed and finally, a general conclusion was drawn.
Startling transformations have occurred all over the world, particularly on the mode of caring and supporting of older persons and there are a number of important issues, which arise as a result of these transformations and the major structural shift in the population. One of these issues is the concern of social gerontologists for the needs of older people for support in the society. Although, it should be mentioned at this juncture that this transformation (that is, social change) affects different people in different ways, depending on sex, location, size of cohort, economic resources (individual, familial and national), norms inherited from the past and individual’s live experiences and personality. For example, marital status and earlier patterns of childbearing are significant factors influencing the nature of the support available in old age. While co-residence of older persons and adult children is common in many developing countries, the tendency worldwide is for this arrangement to become less common. This has direct consequences for economic security, especially in the numerous societies (and particularly, their rural sectors), where pensions are paid only to a small proportion of older persons who are eligible because of earlier employment in the former sectors or few older persons who were able to save or invest for their old age. Even in countries where pensions are more generally available, the burden of an ageing population is increasingly being regarded as unsustainable, particularly since there is an increasing tendency for those able to do so to take early retirement. For many, especially women, there is a real threat of poverty in old-age, and this problem may be exacerbated by social exclusions and the deteriorating health conditions experienced by many older persons particularly, women at more advanced ages. Care of the frail and disabled becomes increasingly problematic, both in terms of stress placed on care providers and care-givers and also the mobilization of the appropriate resources of families, agencies and programmes to meet even the basic needs of older persons. According to Peil (1991), as life expectancy rises, young couples are more likely to be called upon to provide for their older parents than these parents were at the same stage of the life cycle, at a time when increasing emphasis on educating one’s children, rampant inflation and widespread unemployment of young adults make adequate provisions for older parents difficult. The situation among older people without children of their own were even more pathetic. For instance, old people who have no living children tend to risk the chances of...
References: Adedeji, T. O. (1998) “The changing pattern of fertility behaviour of Nigerians women: A case study of Ogudu and Ojota Areas of Kosofe Local Government of Lagos State, Nigeria, (Unpublished).
Ahmad, W. and Walker, R. (1997) ‘Asian Older People: Housing, health and access to services’, Ageing and Society, 17, Pp. 141 – 165.
Arber, S. and Ginn, J. (1990), ‘The Meaning of Informal Care: Gender and the Contribution of Elderly People’, Ageing and Society, 10, Pp. 429 – 454.
Arber, S. and Ginn, J. (1991), Gender and Later Life: a sociological analysis of resources and constraints. London: Sage.
Arber, S. and Ginn, J. (1995), ‘Gender Differences in the Relationship between Paid Employment and Informal Care’, Work Employment and Society, 9, 3:445 –471.
Arnold, F. (1985), Measuring the effect of sex preference on fertility: The case of Korea, Demography 22, No. 2: 280 – 288.
Bennett, N. G. (1983), Sex selection of children: An overview, In Sex Selection of Children. (ed.) Neil G. Bennett, New York: Academic Press, Pp. 1 – 12.
Hartmann, B. (1995), ‘Security and Survival in Betsy Hartmann (ed), reproductive Rights and wrongs: The Global Politics of Population Control’, Cambridge: South End Press. Pp. 3 – 12.
Cain, M. (1981), ‘Risk and Insurance: Perspectives on Fertility and Agrarian Change in India and Bangladesh’, Population and Development Review 7, No.3, September; Pp. 435 – 474
Caldwell, J. C and Caldwell, P. (1987), ‘The cultural context of high fertility in Sub Saharan African; Population and Development Review, Vol. 3, No. 3.
Caldwell, J. C. (1976), Toward a Restatement of Demographic Transition Theory, Population and Development Review, Vol. 12, No. 2, Pp. 171 – 214.
Caldwell, J. C. (1993), “Direct Economic Costs and Benefits of Children” in Rodolfo, A. Bulatao and Ronald D. Lee, (ed), Determinants of Fertility in Developing Countries: A Summary of Knowledge, Washington, D. C. , National Academy Press, Pp. 370 – 397.
Cho, Lee-Jay; Fred Arnold; and Tai Hwan Kwon (1982), The Determinants of Fertility in the Republic of Korea, Committee on Population and Demography. Report No. 14, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Cleland, John, Jane Verrall, and Martin Vaessen (1983), Preferences for the sex of children and their influence on reproductive behaviour, World Fertility Survey Comparative Studies, No. 27. Voorburg, Netherlands: International Statistical Institute.
Easterlin, R. A. (1975), An Economic Framework for Fertility Analysis, Studies in Family Planning, Vol. 6, No. 36, Pp. 3.
Evandrou, M. and Falkingham, J. (1993) ‘Social security and the life course: developing sensitive policy alternatives’, in S. Arber and M. Evandrou (eds), Ageing, Independence and the Life Course, London: Jessica Kingsley.
Fifth National Women’s Congress (1983), “The Fifth National Women’s Congress”, Beijing Review, 26, No. 38 Pp. 6.
Ginn, J. (2001), Poverty and Inequality Among Older People in Post-War Britain: The Gender Dimension; Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender (CRAG), Sociology Department, University of Surrey, GUILDFORD GU2 7XII.
Ginn, J. and Arber, S. (1991), ‘Gender, Class and Income Inequalities in Later Life’, British Journal of Sociology, 42, Pp. 369 – 396.
Ginn, J. and Arber, S. (1999), ‘Changing Patterns of Pension Inequality: The shift from state to private sources’, Ageing and Society, 19, Pp. 319 – 342.
Ginn, J. and Arber, S. (2000), Ethnic Inequality in Later Life: variation in financial circumstances by gender and ethnic group; Education and Ageing, volume 15, Number 1, Pp. 65 – 83.
Green, H. (1988), Informal Carers. OPCS Series GHS, No. 15, Supplement A. OPCS, HMSO, London
Ilori, F. A. (1985), The Fertility Trend in Nigeria: A cohort analysis, Unpublished) Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Demography and Social Statistics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Jain, S. K. (1981), The Effect of Female Education on Fertility: A simple explanation, Demography, Vol. 18, No. 4, Pp. 577 – 595.
Joshi, H. and Davies, H. (1994) ‘The paid and unpaid roles of women: How should social security adapt?’ in Baldwin, S. and Falkingham, J. (Eds), Social Security and Social Change: New Challenges to the Beveridge Miodel, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Knodel, J. and Visid Prachuabmoh (1976), “Preferences for sex of children in Thailand: A comparison of husbands’ and wives’ attitudes”, Studies in Family Planning 7, No. 5, (May) PP. 137 – 143..
Li, S. (1982) “The significance of sex equilibrium of the population at birth”, Shehui (Society), No. 4.
Liu Chunmei and Li Zhu (1884), “Sex structure of the population of China”, in Analysis on China’s National One-Per-Thousand Fertility Sampling Survey, China Population Information Center. Beijing: China Population Information Center, PP. 153 – 158.
Nerlove, M. and L. K. Raut (1995) ‘Growth Models with Endogenous Population: A General Framework’, in (eds) M. R. Rosenzweig and O. Stark, The Handbook of Population and Family Economics, North-Holland.
Nerlove, M., A. Razin and E. Sadka (1987), Household and Economy: Welfare Economics of Endogenous Fertility, Academic Press, New York.
Nissel, M. and Bonnerjea, L. (1982) Family Care of the Handicapped Elderly: Who Pays? Policy Studies Institute, London.
Nugent, J. B. (1985) “The Old-age Security Motive for Fertility,” Population and Development Review 11, No.1, March; Pp. 75 – 97.
Nwabueze, O. Ben (1989) Social Security in Nigeria, 10th Anniversary Lecture of Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Published by Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of Lagos.
Office of Population, Censuses and Survey, Department of Health (1989) Caring for People, Community Care in the Next decade and Beyond, Command 849, HMSO, London, Para. 1.9.
Owoeye M. O. (2000): Women’s education and fertility Behaviour: A case study of women in Ilesa South West Nigeria, (Unpublished).
Oyekanmi, F. A. D. (1988) “Demand and Cost Benefit Analysis of Family Planning Services in the private sector in Nigeria” in African Population Conference, Dakar, Vol. 1, Pp. 2.4.49 – 2.4.71, IUSSP.
Oyekanmi, F. A. D. (1998) “Population and Youth”, 7th Distinguished Lecture Series, National Population Commission, Zone 6, Headquarters, Ibadan, 23rd March Monograph.
Parker, G. (1985) With Due Care and Attention: A Review of Research on Informal Care, Family Policy Studies Centre, London.
Raut, L. K. (1985) ‘Capital Accumulation, Income Inequality and Endogenous Fertility is an Overlapping Generations General Equilibrium Model’, The second essay in Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University, New Haven.
Raut, L. K. (1989) ‘A Duration Analysis of Fertility Behaviour of Malaysian Women: Partial Likelihood Amnonparametric Maximum Likelihood Estimates’, Discussion Paper Number 89 – 100, University of California, San Diego.
Raut, L. K. (1990) ‘Capital Accumulation, Income Distribution and Endogenous Fertility is an Overlapping Generations General Equilibrium Model’, Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 34 No. 1-2: 123 – 150.
Raut, L. K. (1992) ‘Effects of Social Security on Fertility and Saving: An Overlapping Generation Model. Indian Economic Review, Vol. XXVII (1): 25 – 43.
Rodolfo A. Bulatao and Ronald D. Lee (1983) Determinants of Fertility in Developing Countries: A Summary of Knowledge, Washington, D. C. , National Academy Press.
Stacey, J. (1983), Patriarchy and Socialist Revolution in China. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Tien, H. Yuan (1984), Induced Fertility Transition: Impact of Population Planning and Socio-Economic Change in the People’s Republic of China”, Population Studies 38, No. 3 PP. 385 – 400.
Ungerson, C. (1987) Policy is Personal: Sex, Gender and Informal Care, Tavistock, London.
Wenger, G. C. (1984) The Supportive Network: Coping with Old Age. Allen and Unwin, London.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document