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Cohabitation and nonmarital fertility in the Philippines

Cohabitation and nonmarital fertility in the Philippines
Cohabitation and nonmarital fertility in the Philippines
Cohabitation and nonmarital fertility have been emerging worldwide. While these family behaviours are well studied in Western countries, less is known about Asian contexts, where cohabitation is usually less common and nonmarital fertility is highly stigmatized. In the Philippines however, cohabitation and nonmarital fertility have increased rapidly. Paradoxically, other family behaviours remain persistently conservative, such as high fertility and early childbearing, and divorce is illegal. This thesis uses mixed methods to examine cohabitation and nonmarital fertility in the Philippines.

The first paper considered a mixed methods approach. Quantitative data from the Demographic and Health Surveys 1993-2013 (DHS) were used to examine age patterns of marital and nonmarital fertility, and the analysis showed a young pattern of nonmarital fertility. Qualitative findings suggest that childbearing remains highly valued, while attitudes toward cohabitation and nonmarital childbearing have liberalized, leading to the postponement of marriage without a concurrent postponement of relationships and childbearing. The second paper applied a competing risks hazard model to the most recent DHS to study the educational gradient of cohabitation, demonstrating that lower levels of education are significantly associated with a higher risk of cohabitation. This suggests that the rising cohabitation in the Philippines is more linked to socioeconomic disadvantage than the devaluing of marriage among educated elites.

The third paper used qualitative data from focus groups to examine how people view cohabitation compared with marriage, and their benefits and disadvantages in order to understand social norms around partnership behaviours and whether they reflect more individualistic or family-centric orientations. Results revealed emphasis placed on love and personal fulfilment in relationships, and a level of ambivalence toward marriage, suggesting an individualistic approach to relationships. Nonetheless, childbearing remains central to self-actualization, and relationships were often viewed from a family and child-centric perspective.

The case of the Philippines demonstrates that while family systems may evolve over time in tandem with global trends, country and context specific interdependencies are important to consider. The emergence of new family behaviours and attitudes in the Philippines are not solely products of modernization or liberalization but instead represent the competing and interrelated influences of religion, policy, social and cultural norms.
University of Southampton
Kuang, Bernice
728d0a4d-71e0-4c21-bc63-990c1df1acf7
Kuang, Bernice
728d0a4d-71e0-4c21-bc63-990c1df1acf7
Padmadas, Sabu
64b6ab89-152b-48a3-838b-e9167964b508
Perelli-Harris, Brienna
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Kuang, Bernice (2018) Cohabitation and nonmarital fertility in the Philippines. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 233pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Cohabitation and nonmarital fertility have been emerging worldwide. While these family behaviours are well studied in Western countries, less is known about Asian contexts, where cohabitation is usually less common and nonmarital fertility is highly stigmatized. In the Philippines however, cohabitation and nonmarital fertility have increased rapidly. Paradoxically, other family behaviours remain persistently conservative, such as high fertility and early childbearing, and divorce is illegal. This thesis uses mixed methods to examine cohabitation and nonmarital fertility in the Philippines.

The first paper considered a mixed methods approach. Quantitative data from the Demographic and Health Surveys 1993-2013 (DHS) were used to examine age patterns of marital and nonmarital fertility, and the analysis showed a young pattern of nonmarital fertility. Qualitative findings suggest that childbearing remains highly valued, while attitudes toward cohabitation and nonmarital childbearing have liberalized, leading to the postponement of marriage without a concurrent postponement of relationships and childbearing. The second paper applied a competing risks hazard model to the most recent DHS to study the educational gradient of cohabitation, demonstrating that lower levels of education are significantly associated with a higher risk of cohabitation. This suggests that the rising cohabitation in the Philippines is more linked to socioeconomic disadvantage than the devaluing of marriage among educated elites.

The third paper used qualitative data from focus groups to examine how people view cohabitation compared with marriage, and their benefits and disadvantages in order to understand social norms around partnership behaviours and whether they reflect more individualistic or family-centric orientations. Results revealed emphasis placed on love and personal fulfilment in relationships, and a level of ambivalence toward marriage, suggesting an individualistic approach to relationships. Nonetheless, childbearing remains central to self-actualization, and relationships were often viewed from a family and child-centric perspective.

The case of the Philippines demonstrates that while family systems may evolve over time in tandem with global trends, country and context specific interdependencies are important to consider. The emergence of new family behaviours and attitudes in the Philippines are not solely products of modernization or liberalization but instead represent the competing and interrelated influences of religion, policy, social and cultural norms.

Text
Cohabitation and Nonmarital Fertility in the Philippines
Restricted to Repository staff only until 28 June 2020.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.

More information

Published date: January 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422167
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422167
PURE UUID: 586ee34e-e7d3-4430-8796-309e49cd8db2
ORCID for Sabu Padmadas: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6538-9374
ORCID for Brienna Perelli-Harris: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8234-4007

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 30 Jan 2020 01:37

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Contributors

Author: Bernice Kuang
Thesis advisor: Sabu Padmadas ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Brienna Perelli-Harris ORCID iD

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