Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World Volume 9: 1– 14. DOI: 10.1177/23780231231153619


Open access.


Several theories of fertility behavior assume that planning is important to women. Is this a reasonable assumption? To answer this question, the authors used the National Survey of Fertility Barriers. Among women with unsure or positive fertility intentions at wave 1, most (75 percent) agreed with the statement “It is important to plan my pregnancies.” Logistic regression, adjusted for control variables, indicated that fertility intentions are a distinct construct from pregnancy planning attitudes. Multinomial regression of retrospective pregnancy attitude three years later among a subsample of women who had pregnancies during that period indicated that women who felt that it was more important to plan pregnancies had higher odds of describing their intentions at the time of a subsequent pregnancy as “trying to” become pregnant compared with “okay either way.” Therefore, it is useful to measure and include pregnancy planning attitude, in addition to intentions, in fertility research.