Volume 49 - Article 30 | Pages 783–808  

Attitudes toward work and parenthood following family-building transitions in Sweden: Identifying differences by gender and education

By Eva Bernhardt, Frances Goldscheider, Malgorzata Switek


Objective: This paper examines how family-building transitions (union formation and first birth) affect the attitudes of Swedes toward work and parenthood. The literature finds that these life course transitions have a traditionalizing effect on gender roles. Is this also the case in Sweden, one of the most gender-equal countries in the world?

Methods: Our study uses the longitudinal Young Adult Panel Study database. We run first-difference OLS regressions on the relationship between family-building transitions and work and parenthood attitudes, distinguishing men from women, and those with more education from those with less.

Results: We find that family transitions do slightly traditionalize attitudes toward work and parenthood, but differences by gender and education are very small.

Contribution: The overall pattern is one of striking similarity between men and women, suggesting that the gender revolution is well advanced in Sweden; traditional gender differences remain primarily among those with less education.

Author's Affiliation

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Introduction to the Special Collection on Finding Work-Life Balance: History, Determinants, and Consequences of New Bread-Winning Models in the Industrialized World
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Domestic gender equality and childbearing in Sweden
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Division of housework and his and her view of housework fairness: A typology of Swedish couples
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The forest and the trees: Industrialization, demographic change, and the ongoing gender revolution in Sweden and the United States, 1870-2010
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Reconciling studies of men’s gender attitudes and fertility: Response to Westoff and Higgins
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Sweden: Combining childbearing and gender equality
Volume 19 - Article 28

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