Sweden definitely is one of the most gender-equal societies in the world. It combines 'modern' family patterns such as unmarried cohabitation, delayed parenthood, and high maternal labor force participation - all usually linked with low birth rates - with relatively high fertility. After decades of research showing that increasing gender equality in the workplace was linked with lower fertility, what about the home? Might gender equality in the home increase fertility?
Using data from the Swedish Young Adult Panel Study, researchers Frances Goldscheider, Eva Bernhardt, and Maria Brandén use Cox regression to examine the effects on first, second, and third births of 1) holding attitudes about sharing equally in the care of the home and children, and 2) actual sharing in these domestic tasks.
Their analysis shows that, it is inconsistency between sharing attitudes and the actual division of housework that reduces the likelihood of continued childbearing, especially on second births among women.
So, as women are most likely to confront an inconsistent situation, with egalitarian ideals in a household without equal sharing, it is clear that having a partner who does not share housework is depressing Swedish fertility.
Read the full article here.