Is There Fertility Knowledge Gap between Childless Women and Mothers in Hungary?

Ivett Szalma , Centre for Social Sciences- Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence
Tamás Bitó, University of Szeged

Hungary belongs to the countries where fertility rate is low while most of the women plan to have a child. Sobotka and Beaujouan (Sobotka & Beaujouan, 2014) demonstrated that the average number of children perceived to be “ideal” for a family is around 2 almost everywhere in Europe, including Hungary. However, the realized fertility was 1.45 in Hungary in 2016. Several studies examined the reasons that can lead to childlessness or low fertility rate. Most of them highlighted that postponement is a main reason behind them. Young people postpone their childbearing because of several reasons such as lack of partnership, expansion of education or uncertain labour market position. From this perspective it is crucial to know whether they have enough knowledge about late childbearing and its consequences. The aim of this research is to examine the level of fertility knowledge of women and men age 18 and 45 in order to reveal whether there is any relationship between childlessness rate and fertility knowledge. To answer the above questions, we rely on data from an online survey which was conducted in February 2019 in Hungary, 789 women aged 18-45 filled this questionnaire and 4 focus group interviews were conducted with childless women and mothers aged 18-45. Our preliminary results show that that the knowledge related to fertility treatments is not a coherent one and those who already have children or who have some experience with fertility treatments are more knowledgeable than their childless counterparts.

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 Presented in Session 128. Childlessness