Domestic gender equality and childbearing: first and second births in Sweden

Eva Bernhardt, Stockholm University
Fran Goldscheider, Brown University

Several previous studies have shown that more egalitarian men transition more rapidly to a second (or a third) birth, while studies of the effect of egalitarian attitudes on first births seem to be virtually non-existing. However, in a previous study using survey data for young adults in Sweden we found that traditional Swedish men made the transition to fatherhood faster than egalitarian men. These respondents were, however, still relatively young (between 26 and 34 at the end of the observation period in 2003) and many had not made the transition to parenthood. It is likely that factors that lead to relatively early parenthood differ from those that lead persons who are closer to the modal ages of parenthood, or even older, to make this transition. We are now able to extend the analysis an additional four years, as we have obtained register data on births for the respondents for the period 2003-2006. We will also look at the effect both of gender role attitudes (prior to becoming parents) and of measures of behaviour regarding domestic gender equality (the sharing of household chores and/or practical childcare tasks) on the likelihood of having a second child, expecting stronger positive effects of behaviour than of attitudes.

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Presented in Session 21: Gender Role Division, Gender Role Attitudes and Fertility