This study explores whether the diffusion of gender-equitable attitudes towards female employment is associated with fertility. We argue that any positive effect on fertility requires not only high levels of gender-equitable attitudes overall, but also attitude convergence between men and women. We analyse 27 countries using data from the World Values Surveys and European Values Studies. We find support for a U-shaped relationship between changes in gender role attitudes and fertility: an initial drop in fertility is observed as countries move from a traditional to a more gender-symmetric model. Beyond a certain threshold, additional increases in gender egalitarianism become positively associated with fertility. This curvi-linear relationship is moderated by the difference in attitudes between men and women: when there is more agreement, changes are more rapid and the effect of gender egalitarian attitudes on fertility strengthens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science