The Open Demography Journal




(Discontinued)

ISSN: ― Volume ,

Housework and Family Formation - Exploring the Relationship Between Gender Division of Housework and Having Children


The Open Demography Journal, 2010, 3: 1-10

Karina Nilsson

Department of Sociology, Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, SE-901 87 UMEÅ;.

Electronic publication date 22/1/2010
[DOI: 10.2174/1874918601003010001]




Abstract:

Declining birth rates in Europe over the last 30 years have often been associated with changes in family structure and with increased female labour market participation. In order to understand the changes in family formation, it is important to also take family relations and gender equality within the family into consideration. This article focuses on the division of housework (as a measurement of gender equality) and its impact on childbirth in Sweden. Sweden has a relatively long history of high female labour market participation, something combined with generous parental leave and subsidised child care, should allow us to explore more fully the effects of gender relations within the household on childbearing patterns. Swedish couples were classified as traditional, intermediate and modern on the basis of the reported division of housework. While the initial analyses showed that modern i.e. more gender-equal couples, were more likely to have children, the effect of the fairer distribution of housework on having children disappeared when controlling for demographic variables such as age and the number of children already in the family. The results of this and related studies indicate that more research is needed in order to establish the impact of gender relations on childbirth.


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