Asia-Pacific Population Journal, Vol. 16, No. 2, June 2001
  • E-ISSN: 15644278


For most couples, procreation is a natural biological urge and an integral part of a stable marital relationship. Motherhood is an important social position actively sought by many women. Although motherhood is seen as an essential stage in women’s lives (Phoenix and others, 1991), it is frequently romanticized and idealized as a woman’s supreme achievement (Ussher, 1990). It is also symbolically important because it shapes the cultural and social identities of women. It demonstrates their physical and psychological adequacy and, as producers of the next generation, gives them identifiable social functions (Busfield, 1987; Rapoport and others, 1977). This is especially true in India, as in the rest of Asia, where childbearing is traditionally essential to a woman’s social and cultural identity.

Related Subject(s): Population and Demography

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