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Gendering family composition: Sex preferences for children and childbearing behavior in the Nordic countries
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Demografi (SUDA).
2006 (English)In: Demography, Vol. 43, no 2, 255-267 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has been argued that a society’s gender system might influence parents’ sex preferences for children. If this was true, one should expect to find no evidence of such preferences in countries with a high level of gender equality. In this paper, we exploit population register data from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden to examine continuities and changes in parental sex preferences in the Nordic countries during the last three to four decades. First, we cannot observe a visible effect of the sex of the first-born child on second birth risks. Secondly, we detect a distinct preference for at least one child of each sex among parents of two children. Next to this combination preference our analysis reveals, thirdly, that Danish, Norwegian and Swedish parents developed a preference for having a daughter, while Finns exhibit a significant son preference. These findings show that modernization and more equal opportunities for women and men do not necessarily lead to parental gender indifference. On the contrary, they might even result in new sex preferences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 43, no 2, 255-267 p.
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22186OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-22186DiVA: diva2:188713
Available from: 2007-12-19 Created: 2007-12-19 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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