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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). (Demografi)
2009 (English)In: Gender Ratio Imbalance: Creating Societal Instability, Hyderabad: The Icfai University Press , 2009, 154-175 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
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
Hyderabad: The Icfai University Press , 2009. 154-175 p.
Keyword [en]
gender preferences, childbearing, fertility
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30934ISBN: 978-81-314-2468-1OAI: diva2:274774
This is a reprint of: Demographic Research 17(6): 135-156. Available from: 2008-11-24 Created: 2008-11-24 Last updated: 2009-11-01Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Gunnar
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ReferencesLink to record
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