On the Link Between Gender-Roles Attitudes and Less Common Union Types

the Monday 28 May 2018 at l’Ined, salle Sauvy de 11h30 à 12h30

Presented by : Alessandra Trimarchi (Ined) ; Discussant : Milan Bouchet-Valat (Ined)

Typically, couples tend to be mostly formed by partners where the man is older than the woman, and where the man is at least as educated as the woman. These partnerships are conventionally considered more stable and more fertile. Recent theoretical approaches have emphasized the role of gender-egalitarian attitudes in decreasing union instability and increasing couples’ fertility rates. Such attitudes may already play a role when people choose their mates, but there is hardly research about this so far. Existing studies that address gender attitudes focus mainly on their role in explaining union stability and fertility after unions have been formed. In this paper, we investigate how gender-roles attitudes are linked to mate choice. Next, we ask whether the association between gender-roles attitudes and partner selection is linked to attitudes toward family behavior (e.g. marriage, cohabitation, divorce and parenthood). We apply multinomial logistic regression to Generations and Gender Survey data of Austria, Bulgaria, France, Georgia and Hungary. We select single men and women in wave 1 and we analyze their union formation patterns in wave 2. Preliminary results suggest that egalitarian men are more likely to form less conventional unions rather than remaining single. Findings for women are a bit different. Egalitarian women are less likely than other women to be in a union where the woman is more educated than the man. Additionally, the former are also more likely to enter in unions where partners have a similar age.

Alessandra Trimarchi

Alessandra joined INED as postdoctoral researcher in January 2018. In June 2016, she completed her PhD in Demography, which has been awarded jointly by La Sapienza University of Rome and the University of Leuven. Before starting her postdoc at INED, Alessandra was employed at the Centre for Sociological Research at the University of Leuven. There, she was working in the research team of Professor Jan Van Bavel, who was leading the GENDERBALL project about the consequences of the reversal of gender inequalities in education on reproductive behaviour in Europe. Alessandra’s research is mostly related to fertility and partnership dynamics and how these vary across socio-economic groups and contexts, focusing on both men’s and women’s life courses.