Intra-Couple (Dis)Similarity in Gender Role Attitudes and the Transition to Parenthood

Ansgar Hudde, University of Bamberg / Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences (BAGSS)
Henriette Engelhardt, University of Bamberg

This paper tests whether couples, in which the woman and the men hold dissimilar gender role attitudes, are less likely to have a first child together compared to couples, in which both partners share similar attitudes. The argument derives from, and contributes to, the recent macro-level discussion on gender equity and fertility, which has produced good theoretical frameworks, but lacks translation into micro-level hypothesis and empirical testing. We further contribute to micro-level research on gender role attitudes and fertility, which has studied the content of one partner’s attitudes but has ignored the fit of both partners’ views. Using longitudinal dyadic data from young German couples (pairfam) we show that those couples with more dissimilar attitudes at an early stage in their relationship are less likely to have a child later on. This observation is robust and holds independently of both partners’ individual attitudes.

Presented in Session 1166: Fertility