Publications Summary

Document Type
Analytical Studies
Publication Topic(s)
Fertility and Fertility Preferences
Recommended Citation
Westoff, Charles F. and Akinrinola Bankole. 1997. Mass Media and Reproductive Behavior in Africa. DHS Analytical Reports No. 2. Calverton, Maryland, USA: Macro International
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Publication Date
April 1997
Publication ID


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This report analyses the impact of mass media on the fertility transition as mass media messages often compete with traditional notions of early child bearing and large families. This report considers DHS surveys in the first half of the 1990s in six sub- Saharan African countries- Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, and Zambia, and in Morocco, where a panel survey was conducted during the same time period. Results indicate that people who are more educated and those living in cities are more likely to be exposed to the mass media and to be oriented toward fertility regulation. Thus, these covariates were controlled for, along with numerous other related variables. The general conclusion of the research is that there is a persistent and frequently strong association between exposure to mass media and reproductive behavior in the expected direction. Mass media is associated with greater use of contraception, intention to use contraception, preferences for fewer children, and later age at marriage.


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