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Gender equality and fertility intentions revisited


  • Anneli Miettinen

    (Väestöliitto (Population Research Institute))

  • Stuart Gietel-Basten

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • Anna Rotkirch

    (Väestöliitto (Population Research Institute))


Stimulated by the recent debate on gender roles and men’s fertility behaviour (Puur et al. 2008; Westoff and Higgins 2009; Goldscheider, Oláh and Puur 2010), we present evidence from Finland as a country well into the second phase of the so-called gender revolution. We examine how gender role attitudes relate to childbearing intentions at the onset of family life, intentions to have many (3 or more) children, and high personal fertility ideals among low-parity men and women. Gender equality attitudes are measured for both the public and the domestic sphere and the influence of work and family orientation is controlled for. Finding signs of a U-shaped association among men, we conclude that both traditional and egalitarian attitudes raise men’s expected fertility compared to men with intermediate gender attitudes and independently of family values. Among Finnish women the impact of gender attitudes is smaller and more ambiguous.

Suggested Citation

  • Anneli Miettinen & Stuart Gietel-Basten & Anna Rotkirch, 2011. "Gender equality and fertility intentions revisited," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 24(20), pages 469-496, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:24:y:2011:i:20

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tommy Bengtsson & Martin Dribe, 2006. "Deliberate control in a natural fertility population: Southern Sweden, 1766–1864," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(4), pages 727-746, November.
    2. Jacks, David, 2000. "Market integration in the North and Baltic Seas, 1500-1800," Economic History Working Papers 22383, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    3. John Knodel, 1987. "Starting, stopping, and spacing during the early stages of fertility transition: The experience of German village populations in the 18th and 19th centuries," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 24(2), pages 143-162, May.
    4. Paul David & Warren Sanderson, 1986. "Rudimentary Contraceptive Methods and the American Transition to Marital Fertility Control, 1855-1915," NBER Chapters,in: Long-Term Factors in American Economic Growth, pages 307-390 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Karen Mason, 1997. "Explaining fertility transitions," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(4), pages 443-454, November.
    6. Jacks, David S., 2005. "Intra- and international commodity market integration in the Atlantic economy, 1800-1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 381-413, July.
    7. Michael Haines, 1989. "American fertility in transition: New estimates of birth rates in the United States, 1900–1910," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(1), pages 137-148, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arnstein Aassve & Giulia Fuochi & Letizia Mencarini & Daria Mendola, 2015. "What is your couple type? Gender ideology, housework sharing, and babies," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(30), pages 835-858, April.
    2. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:62 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Europe; fertility; Finland; gender attitudes; gender roles; men;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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