Gender and the Structure of Social Networks in Ghana: Implications for Fertility Processes

Winfred A. Avogo, Illinois State University

Enthusiasm for the analysis of social networks in demography has increased over the last decades. However, most of the studies focus on the content of what is being exchanged in social networks. This is contrary to social network literature that provides for the study of both the content and the structure of social networks. This paper makes a contribution to filling this gap by using personal network data on men and women from six communities in Southern Ghana to build the gendered context within which the structure of social networks influences fertility attitudes. Preliminary results show that gender differences in personal networks are strong even if accounting for structural factors. Similarly, support is found for the association between the content of what is exchanged within networks and fertility attitudes of men and women. Direct effects of the structure of social networks are not found. Implications of findings are explored.

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Presented in Session 3: Fertility Preferences, Outcomes and Trends in Africa