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Title: Cohabitation and nonmarital fertility in the Philippines
Author: Kuang, Bernice
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 2675
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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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.
Supervisor: Padmadas, Sabu ; Perelli-Harris, Brienna Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available