Population growth is an important public health problem with economic, social, cultural and political consequences. The aim of the study was to determine the reproductive behaviour and perspectives on fertility of women in Sanliurfa, the city with the highest fertility rate in Turkey.


The quantitative dimension of the study was carried out using a mixed methods approach in which 300 women were interviewed and a questionnaire was completed; the qualitative dimension was carried out through in-depth individual interviews with 14 women, using a semi-structured interview form. Analysis of the qualitative data was done using a content analysis technique.


The median number of children was three (range 0–10). Women with no or a low level of education tended to have a greater number of children. Preference for a particular sex of child was one reason behind the higher number of children. These two factors were main causes of an increased number of children. Women with no or a low level of education (odds ratio [OR] 9.1) and women who expressed a preference for a male child (OR 5.9) had more children compared with other women. Participants regarded a male child as more valuable than a female child and that having many children strengthened the family. Parents regarded their sons as insurance for their old age. Having an induced abortion was perceived as a sin.


The results showed that cultural norms and values significantly affected fertility rates.


目标:人口增长是一个重要的公共卫生问题, 具有经济、社会、文化和政治后果。这项研究的目的是确定桑利乌尔法女性对生育行为和对生育的看法, 该市是土耳其生育率最高的城市。

方法:采用混合方法对300名女性进行问卷调查, 通过对14名女性的深入个人访谈进行定性。采用半结构化访谈形式。采用内容分析技术对定性数据进行分析。

结果:儿童中位数为3个(范围0-10)。没有接受或低教育水平的女性往往有更多的孩子。对特定性别的儿童的偏爱是儿童数量增多的原因之一。这两个因素是儿童数量增加的主要原因。没有或低教育水平的女性(优势比[OR] 5.9)和倾向于生男孩的女性(OR 5.9)生育的孩子比其他女性多。参与者认为男孩比女孩更有价值, 有很多的孩子会让家庭更强大。父母们把儿子当作养老保险。人工流产被认为是一种罪恶的行为。



We thank the girls and women who participated in this study.

Disclosure statement

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.


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