by Victor H H GOH
A survey of the sexual behaviour of the people of Singapore may throw some light on the declining fertility rate.
n the 2002 and 2003 Durex Global Sex Surveys, Singapore
ranked at the bottom of the list of 22 to 34 countries in
terms of average annual frequency of sex. Although the
method for generating the data lacks scientific validity, it
nevertheless stimulated a debate about a possible correlation
between low sexual activity and the low birth rate in Singapore.
The government has been trying various ways, without success, to
raise the birth rate.
In contemporary Singapore, the decision whether to have
children has become a very complex matter influenced by the
couple’s age; their religious beliefs; their cultural and ethnic
backgrounds; their socio-economic and educational status; their
expectations in life, marriage, and parenthood; environmental
factors; and their methods of coping with the demands of daily
life. Singapore’s total fertility rate has declined to well below
replacement rate. Since 1990, the most dramatic decline took place
among the Singaporean Chinese, whose 1.18 rate ranks among
the lowest in the world.
To read the rest of this article, download the full issue for USD 6.50