Housework, Gender Ideology and Partners' Fertility Intentions: Reconsidering Men's Role in Gender Revolution Theory

Barbara S. Okun, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Liat Raz-Yurovich, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Men’s fertility intensions and ideals have not received enough theoretical and empirical attention in the demographic literature. We argue that the flipside of gender equity theory suggests that as men (are expected to) do more housework and childcare, they may enjoy less independent leisure time and experience greater work-family conflict. They may thus have lower ideal family sizes, lower fertility intentions, and lower actual fertility. We therefore ask whether there is a gender asymmetry in the effects of (additional) childbirth and division of household labor on fertility intentions of women and their partners. We utilize the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) to trace fertility intentions of women and their male partners over time, in response to changes in housework done, and subsequent to an (additional) birth. Moreover, we examine whether relationships between changing amounts of time devoted to housework and fertility intentions are mediated by partners' gender ideologies.

Presented in Session 88: Fertility Desires and Intentions