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Understanding parental gender preferences in advanced societies: Lessons from Sweden and Finland
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Demografi (SUDA).
2007 (English)In: Demographic Research, Vol. 17, no 6, 135-156 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Extending recent research on parental gender preferences in the Nordic countries, this study uses unique register data from Finland and Sweden (1971-1999) that provide us with the opportunity to compare childbearing dynamics and possible underlying sex preferences among native majorities and national minorities, namely Finnish-born immigrants in Sweden and members of the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. For Finland, we observe a continuous boy preference among the national majority and the Swedish-speaking minority as reflected in higher third-birth rates of mothers of two girls than of mothers of two boys. Evidence of similar preferences is found for Finnish-born migrants in Sweden, where the native-born population instead appears to have developed a girl preference. In all cases, we also observe clear indications of a preference for having at least one child of each sex. Generally speaking, our findings support an interpretation of parental gender preferences as a longstanding cultural phenomenon, related to country of childhood socialization rather than language group. Moreover, an analysis of regional and educational differentials in child-sex specific fertility behavior in Sweden reveals no evidence which supports various diffusion theories of persistence and change in parents’ sex preferences for children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 17, no 6, 135-156 p.
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22169ISI: 000250092800001OAI: diva2:188696
Available from: 2007-12-19 Created: 2007-12-19 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Gunnar
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