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Is it just me, or does the definition in the introduction of Fertility directly contradict that of fecundity? Is it the actual reproductive rate, or the potential reproductive rate, or something else? 126.96.36.199 (talk) 01:54, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
It's not just you... wish I could tell which is correct and fix it. Autumn Wind (talk) 18:42, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
It appears fertility is potential, and fecundity is actual. But, given that I just learned this word today, I don't feel comfortable making the edit.Autumn Wind (talk) 18:50, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for at least pointing this out here in the talk page. I went here for exactly this reason (after having seen "fertility" used to mean actual (in a demographic context). NisJørgensen (talk) 17:10, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
It seems to be a difference of terminology between biologists and demographers. Quoting from http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-fertility-and-vs-fecundity/: "There are differing views of demographers and biologists on these two terms that compound the misery of common people. Demographers say that fecundity is the ability to have babies and fertility is the rate at which women actually have babies. On the other hand, biologists say that capacity to produce offspring is fertility while fecundity is actual realization." I am not even sure these terminologies are universal within their respective areas, though.
Another aspect is that of language differences. Quoting from http://en-ii.demopaedia.org/wiki/62#623 (which is within a demographic context): "It should be noted that in many Latin languages, the cognates of fertility and fecundity are used in a sense diametrically opposite to that in English. Thus, the French fécondité and the Spanish fecundidad are properly translated by fertility, and fertilité and fertilidad by fecundity.
Wikipedia articles should be about concepts, not words, so we should have one article about "capacity to reproduce" and one about "realized reproduction". We would probably need to decide on one meaning as the primary one - possibly even have both Fecundity and Fertility be disambiguation pages, pointing to Fecundity (biology), Fecundity (demographics) etc. Too much work, and possibly too much controversy, for me right now. NisJørgensen (talk) 18:44, 19 June 2017 (UTC)