The gender gap in attitudes about childlessness in the United States

  • Koropeckyj-Cox T
  • Pendell G
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Abstract

Acceptance of childlessness has increased since the 1970s, with women reporting greater acceptance than men. Using the National Survey of Families and Households (1987 - 1988; N = 10,648) and the General Social Survey (1994; N = 1, 395), we examined this gender gap as it relates to both structural and sociocultural factors, including religion, gender attitudes, and other attitudes about gender and family. Women were more likely than men to hold positive attitudes about childlessness, and women's less traditional attitudes about marriage, gender equality, and women's employment only partially explained this difference. In the child-bearing ages, positive attitudes were strongly related to intentions to remain childless and showed a greater gender gap at higher education levels. The findings highlight important differences in men's and women's experiences of family, work, and gender issues. Adapted from the source document.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Childlessness
  • Fertility
  • Gender
  • Transition to parenthood

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Authors

  • Tanya Koropeckyj-Cox

  • Gretchen Pendell

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