ESRC Fertility Pathways Network

His & her biological clock: Reproductive decision-making and reproductive success in the 21st century

The purpose of this network is to bring together 27 scholars, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to discuss reproductive decision-making and reproductive success in the 21st century, with the aim of improving understanding of how individuals take decisions regarding their reproductive lives and future plans for child-bearing and the factors that impact on reproductive success.

The network goals include:

(1) an examination of contemporary reproductive trends from different perspectives (social, psychological and biological) to generate an Integrated Model of Reproductive Motivation and Success (IMRMS);

(2) identification of innovative quantitative and qualitative longitudinal methods to test the IMRMS model in couples currently deciding/trying to conceive to identify true causes of contemporary reproductive trends;

(3) discussion and debate about the ethical and policy implications of the IMRMS model and what (if anything) can or should be done to influence individual efforts to conceive and/or to increase the success of reproductive efforts.

The 27 member network will work continuously for 12 months and will meet three times to achieve consensus about each of these goals and to develop grant applications to support further interdisciplinary reproductive research. The network outputs will be a dedicated interactive website, articles, policy reports, and grant applications.

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