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Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Anthropology



Major Advisor

Kristin Snopkowski, Ph.D.


John P. Ziker, Ph.D.


Kathryn Demps, Ph.D.


This thesis used an evolutionary framework to examine human sexual conflict over ideal family size (IFS) in Indonesian couples. Disparate reproductive goals between males and females may lead to sexual conflict. This may increase the likelihood of coercion or compromise by individuals to optimize their reproductive strategies. Using the Indonesian Family Life Survey this thesis analyzed sexual conflict between men and women in Indonesia. Three hypotheses were proposed to explore preferences in IFS and a person’s influence in achieving that preference. Specifically, what influences an individual’s choice in IFS? Within a couple, what factors influence preferences for future children and does this vary by sex? If there is a discrepancy between a husband and wife over the number of future children, who achieves his/her desired number of children? It was predicted men may have higher IFS or prefer more future children within a couple due to their reduced cost of producing offspring, but the results suggest that this is not the case. Sex is not a significant predictor of IFS. But within couples when the couples disagreed on number of children, men wanted more children. It was predicted men would be able to achieve their preference of desired future fertility (in couples where desired future children differed). This was not supported. Instead, women achieved their desired number of future children more frequently than men – approximately 55% of the time. Other socioecological factors were explored to determine if they interacted with sex to influence IFS, desired number of future children, and who prevailed in their preference.