1.3.1 The Case of South India*
The South India Fertility study is a baseline of trends and transitions about demographic and fertility transitions in the southern states of India. It is a geographical study about village level changes in child bearing capacities. It has been anticipated that future fertility will be based socioeconomic, socio-psychological, and cultural developments in societies. Hence, this study has a predictive nature about human fertility transitions in the southern states in comparison to the northern states.
Better standards and easier access to education for women, being career oriented- at least do work in small scale industries in the villages, becoming independent- economically and emotionally and also having buying capacities to suit their needs has contributed to such an autonomy, Frejka and Calot 2001; Lesthaeghe 2001; McDonald 2000. This trend has been known as the second demographic transition. van de Kaa 1987, says that with this sense of autonomy, such transitions are accompanied by ability to use contraceptive practices, attitudinal and behavioral changes about sexuality, getting married, openness to divorce and also being able to decide about birthing a child outside of wedlock.
As per the findings of this study, Center For Development Studies, Trivandrum conducted a district level assessment of fertility rates. It showed that 190 districts in India have reached below replacement fertility levels. The states of Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Goa have shown figures of lesser than or equal to 1.5 in the census of 2011. this was seen across twenty nine districts spread across these states.
Demegraphic transitions can be compared with those of Scandinavian countries, these figure are Tamil Nadu : 1.7(comparable country: Denmark) Kerala: 1.8 (comparable country: Netherlands) Karnataka:1.9 (comparable country: United Kingdom) Andhra Pradesh: 1.8 (comparable country: Netherlands). this is one of the indicators of women’s autonomy and their empowerment in decision making. Education and financial independence have been identified as the key indicators. It is important to discuss this concept in a study on infertility since childlessness by choice is slowly evolving among the Indian public.