Cultural codes and population change in Kenya.
Sociocultural changes in Kenyan society are exerting positive effects on fertility rates. Marriage is still a universal cultural institution used to regulate and sanction the cohabitation of couples and their consequent fertility performance. However, recent years have seen a significant deviation from this old universal traditional practice. A trend of change in disrespect of seniority is clear and there is no sign that this will change again to its traditional practice before the year 2000. Now that money is acceptable in marriage, any working man can save for bridewealth without necessarily mobilizing help from his kinsmen. With more girls going to school further from the home base, this does not favour fertility limitation. The desire to name children after dead relatives of the parents can be a significant motivation for more children. In his study, J. Bongaart (1982) demonstrates a number of intermediate fertility variables responsible for most of the variation in fertility levels of the population. However, many sociocultural, socioeconomic and behavioural factors will influence fertility. For example, contraceptive use and its effectiveness is dependent upon social approval or disapproval. Contraceptive availability is an economic factor. A fertility change resulting from natural social change will depend on many forces and may take its own time. The law and regulations can be changed at will within a shorter period of time, whereas tradition and ethical questions may not.