Non-Fiction Books:

Fertility Change on the American Frontier

Adaptation and Innovation

Customer rating

Click to share your rating 0 ratings (0.0/5.0 average) Thanks for your vote!

Share this product

Fertility Change on the American Frontier by Lee L. Bean

Pre-order to reserve stock from our first shipment. Your credit card will not be charged until your order is ready to ship.

Available for pre-order now
Pre-order Price Guarantee

If you pre-order an item and the price drops before the release date, you’ll pay the lowest price. This happens automatically when you pre-order and pay by credit card or pickup.

If paying by PayPal or internet banking, and the price drops after you have paid, you can ask for the difference to be refunded. Find out more

If Mighty Ape's price changes before release, you'll pay the lowest price.


This product will be released on

Delivering to:

It should arrive:

  • 16 July using standard courier delivery


With findings that challenge conventional wisdom, Fertility Change on the American Frontier will interest demographers, sociologists, and historians. Examining the marriage and childbearing behavior of one predominantly L.D.S. (Mormon) population, the book calls into question traditional concepts and methods used to study high fertility populations. Mormons were responsible for the settlement, colonization, and development of one of America's last western frontiers. Availability of detailed information on marriage and childbearing, in a large file of approximately 185,000 family records, makes it possible to study the processes of the decline in fertility more extensively than has ever been done before in a major historical demographic study. The authors examine family formation among cohorts of women born between 1800 and 1899 and contrast two competing explanations of fertility change among Western societies: an adaptation argument versus an innovation argument. They demonstrate that the process of increasing fertility limitation beginning in the later part of the nineteenth century involves more than simply stopping childbearing after a given family size has been achieved. It reflects the adoption of a pattern of child spacing indicating a commitment to family limitation early in the marriage cycle. Clearly we must reexamine earlier studies which assumed that high-fertility populations were not interested in or aware of the possibilities of fertility control. Fertility control can no longer be treated as an innovation of Western industrial societies or as an innovation introduced through national family planning programs. We see that among the Utah frontier population marriage and childbearing represented a rational adaptation to a set of rapidly changing social and economic conditions. Without adequate technologies for family limitation, this population was nevertheless successful in reducing family size quickly and dramatically, once the presumed opportunities of the frontier disappeared. This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press's mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1990.

Author Biography

Lee L. Bean is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Middle East Center at the University of Utah. Geraldine P. Mineau is Research Professor Emerita, Sociology, in the department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah. Douglas L. Anderton is the CAS Distinguished Professor and Chair in the department of Sociology at the University of South Carolina.
Release date NZ
July 13th, 2018
Country of Publication
United States
University of California Press
Product ID

Customer previews

Nobody has previewed this product yet. You could be the first!

Write a Preview

Help & options

  • If you think we've made a mistake or omitted details, please send us your feedback. Send Feedback
  • If you have a question or problem with this product, visit our Help section. Get Help
  • Seen a lower price for this product elsewhere? We'll do our best to beat it. Request a better price
Filed under...

Buy this and earn 301 Banana Points