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Article Dans Une Revue Evolutionary Human Sciences Année : 2021

Cultural change beyond adoption dynamics: Evolutionary approaches to the discontinuation of contraception

Résumé

Numerous evolutionary mechanisms have been proposed for the origins, spread and maintenance of low fertility. Such scholarship has focused on explaining the adoption of fertility-reducing behaviour, especially the use of contraceptive methods. However, this work has yet to engage fully with the dynamics of contraceptive behaviour at the individual level. Here we highlight the importance of considering not just adoption but also discontinuation for understanding contraceptive dynamics and their impact on fertility. We start by introducing contemporary evolutionary approaches to understanding fertility regulation behaviours, discussing the potential for integrating behavioural ecology and cultural evolution frameworks. Second, we draw on family planning studies to highlight the importance of contraceptive discontinuation owing to side-effects for understanding fertility rates and suggest evolutionary hypotheses for explaining patterns of variation in discontinuation rates. Third, we sketch a framework for considering how individual flexibility in contraceptive behaviour might impact the evolution of contraceptive strategies and the demographic transition. We argue that integrating public health and evolutionary approaches to reproductive behaviour might advance both fields by providing (a) a predictive framework for comparing the effectiveness of various public health strategies and (b) a more realistic picture of behaviour by considering contraceptive dynamics at the individual level more explicitly when modelling the cultural evolution of low fertility.
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Dates et versions

hal-03446860 , version 1 (24-11-2021)

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Alexandra Alvergne, Rose Stevens. Cultural change beyond adoption dynamics: Evolutionary approaches to the discontinuation of contraception. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 2021, 3, pp.e13. ⟨10.1017/ehs.2021.8⟩. ⟨hal-03446860⟩
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