Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2014

Department 1

Interdisciplinary Studies


Many states in the Arab world have undertaken wide-ranging family planning polices in the last two decades in an effort to curb high fertility rates. Oman and Morocco are two such countries, and their policies have had significantly different results. Morocco experienced a swift drop in fertility rates, whereas Oman’s fertility has declined much more slowly over several decades. Many point to the more conservative religious and cultural context of Oman for their high fertility rates, however economics and the state of biomedical health care often present a more compelling argument for the distinct differences between Omani and Moroccan family size. While many explanations exist for inconsistencies in fertility trends, integrating these explanations into a cohesive whole allows us to see women as rational actors who make the best choices for their own context. This paper synthesizes existing literature on religion, culture, medicine and economics with field experience to comprehensively examine the multifaceted fertility decision making process of women and couples in Morocco and Oman.


Capstone Project for an Individual Major in Mid East Language, Culture, and Conflict