Volume 24 - Article 20 | Pages 469–496

Gender equality and fertility intentions revisited: Evidence from Finland

By Anneli Miettinen, Stuart Gietel-Basten, Anna Rotkirch

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Date received:17 Mar 2010
Date published:18 Mar 2011
Word count:7409
Keywords:Europe, fertility, Finland, gender attitudes, gender roles, men


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.

Author's Affiliation

Anneli Miettinen - Väestöliitto (Population Research Institute), Finland [Email]
Stuart Gietel-Basten - Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong [Email]
Anna Rotkirch - Väestöliitto (Population Research Institute), Finland [Email]

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