It is increasingly acknowledged that not only gender equality but also gender ideology plays a role in explaining fertility in advanced societies. The potential mismatch between gender equality (i.e., the actual sharing taking place in a couple) and gender ideology (i.e., attitudes and beliefs regarding gender roles) may even drive childbearing decisions.
In a new paper, researchers Arnstein Aassve, Giulia Fuochi, Letizia Mencarini, and Daria Mendola assess the impact of consistency between gender equality in attitudes and equality in the division of household labour on the likelihood of having another child, for different parities.
They used two-wave panel data of the Bulgarian, Czech, French, Hungarian, and Lithuanian Generations and Gender Surveys, and built a couple typology defined by gender attitudes and housework-sharing.
Their findings show that the impact of the typology varies with parity and gender: taking as reference category the case of gender-equal attitudes and gender-equal division of housework, the effect of all the other couple types on a new childbirth is strong and negative for the second child and female respondents.
So the consistency between gender ideology and actual partners’ housework-sharing is only favourable for childbearing as long as there is gender equality in both the dimensions.