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Measuring male fecundity according to age in a natural fertility population

Frédéric F. Payeur, Université de Montréal
Bertrand Desjardins, Université de Montréal

While the limitation of fecundity from aging is obvious for women, the capability of men to reproduce in later ages is still poorly measured. Current medical research on the subject faces many methodological obstacles and a scarcity of appropriate population samples. With the natural fertility population database from the 17th and 18th centuries Quebec maintained by the Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH), we estimated the male reproductive potential in later ages using multivariate methods controlling primarily for age of the wife and union duration. The value of this sample lies notably in the 22,660 exposure-years of couples with husbands over 40 and wives under 30. Results suggest that in this population, men around 50 years old are about 90 % as fecund as men under 30, while men around 60 manifest 80 % the fecundity of men under 30; thereafter, men rapidly lose their fertility capacity.

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Presented in Session 122: Biodemography