Gendered Expressions of Parental Religiosity, Associated Attitudes toward Marriage, and the Timing of Children’s Marriages

the Monday 16 October 2017 at l’Ined, salle Sauvy, de 11h30 à 12h30

Presented by : Sarah Brauner-Otto (Mc Gill Université, en accueil Drip à l’Ined) ; Discussant : Marion Leturcq (Ined)

Family and religion are tightly intertwined—parents provide religious socialization and religions reinforce the importance of families. We examine how parental religiosity relates to attitudes about and the timing of children’s marriage, recognizing that religiosity provides certain schema for living, draws boundaries which may increase social status, and is constructed and negotiated in gendered ways. Using data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study in Nepal, a primarily Hindu and Buddhist setting, we find that fathers’ religiosity is positively related to support for arranged and intra-caste marriage as well as their children marrying earlier, whereas higher mothers’ religiosity is largely unassociated with restrictive marriage attitudes and positively related to later marriage for sons. These diverging associations between parental religiosity and children’s marriage for fathers and mothers suggest it is not only levels of religious belief or practice that can vary by gender, but associations between religiosity and family attitudes and behaviors are gendered as well.

Sarah Brauner-Otto

Dr. Brauner-Otto, PhD, is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She is a social demographer studying global family change with a focus on the relationship between social context (e.g. schools, community organizations) and demographic behaviors over the life course. She is particularly interested in which dimensions of social context (e.g. characteristics of schools or health services) matter the most and how context influences the individual. Brauner-Otto’s research program has three axes: social influences on global family change, macro-level perspectives on social organizations and fertility, and methodological tools for studying global family change. Previously published papers examine the relationship between specific services offered by a community organization, type of religious practices, and the specific kinds of natural resources available and fertility and marriage behavior in Nepal and institutional influences on fertility in low fertility settings. Brauner-Otto’s research in the coming years will focus on labor markets as a key dimension of social context influencing global family change.