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The relationship between gender role attitudes and fertility intentions is highly debated among social scientists. We emphasize the need for a multidimensional theoretical and empirical approach to extend the two-step behavioral gender revolution approach to a three-step attitudinal gender revolution approach distinguishing between gender roles in the public sphere, mothers’ role in the family, and fathers’ role in the family. Using the Generations and Gender Survey of eight European countries, we demonstrate the usefulness of such an approach. Gender equal attitudes related to the public sphere are more widespread than those concerning mothers’ or fathers’ roles in the family. Our results show that the association between gender role attitudes and fertility intentions varies—in terms of significance and magnitude—according to the dimension considered (gender roles in the public sphere, mothers’ and fathers’ role in the family), gender, parity, and country. We conclude that without a clear concept of and empirical distinction between the various elements of the gender role attitudes/fertility nexus, scientific investigations will continue to send conflicting messages.
Lappegård, T., Neyer, G., & Vignoli, D. (2021). Three dimensions of the relationship between gender role attitudes and fertility intentions. Genus, 77(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41118-021-00126-6