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Cultural niche construction with application to fertility control : a model of education and social transmission of contraceptive use.

Kendal, J.R. and Ihara, Y. (2005) 'Cultural niche construction with application to fertility control : a model of education and social transmission of contraceptive use.', Working Paper. Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies, Stanford, CA.

Abstract

The evolution of a cultural trait may be affected by niche construction, or changes in the selective environment of that trait due to the inheritance of other cultural traits that make up a cultural background. This study investigates the evolution of a cultural trait, such as the use of contraception, that is both vertically and horizontally transmitted within a homogeneous social network. Individuals conform to the norm, and adopters of the trait have fewer progeny than others. The study examines the effects of a vertically transmitted aspect of the cultural background, such as the preference for high or low levels of education, on the evolution of contraceptive use. This provides an example of cultural niche construction that facilitates the spread of traits with low Darwinian fitness while providing an environment that counteracts conformity to norms. Thus niche construction can facilitate the ‘demographic transition’, whereby a reduction in fertility follows a reduction in mortality.

Item Type:Monograph (Working Paper)
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(VoR) Version of Record
File format - PDF
(406Kb)
Status:Not peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://hsblogs.stanford.edu/morrison/morrison-institute-working-papers-pdf/
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:14 May 2015
Date of first online publication:01 January 1970
Date first made open access:No date available

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