The book begins with a readable, authoritative review of human fertility in its natural state. Leridon summarizes and evaluates current knowledge, drawing together rare statistical data on physiological variables as well as demographic treatments of these data. After discussing the classical framework used by demographers, Leridon undertakes a "microdemographic" analysis in which he focuses on the individual and explicates the biological processes through which social, psychological, and economic factors affect fertility. He isolates its components—fecundability, intrauterine mortality, the physiological nonsusceptible period, and sterility—then reviews the composite effect of variation in any one component.
Leridon considers situations of controlled fertility: contraception, abortion, and sterilization. The author also presents valuable new data from his own investigations of varying risks of intrauterine mortality. Finally, he shows how the previous approaches can be complemented by the use of mathematical models.
1. The Physiological Basis
2. Components of Fertility in Standard Demographic Analysis
4. Intrauterine Mortality
5. The Nonsusceptible Period
6. Permanent Sterility
7. Levels of Natural Fertility
8. Contraception, Abortion, and Sterilization
9. Models for the Study of Fertility
Appendix A - Use of a Model for Studying Birth Intervals by Final Family Size
Appendix B - Tables