How Entry into Parenthood Shapes Gender Role Attitudes: New Evidence from Longitudinal UK Data

27 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2017

See all articles by Elena Grinza

Elena Grinza

University Of Milan

Francesco Devicienti

University of Turin - Collegio Carlo Alberto; University of Turin - Department of Economics and Financial Sciences G. Prato

Mariacristina Rossi

University of Turin, Esomas

Davide Vannoni

Faculty of Economics- University of Torino

Abstract

Attitudes of women and men about how paid and unpaid work should be divided in the couple largely determine women's earnings and career prospects. Hence, it is important to understand how people's gender role attitudes are formed and evolve over the lifetime. In this paper, we concentrate on one of the most path-breaking events in life: becoming a parent. Using longitudinal panel data for the UK, we first show that, in general, entry into parenthood significantly shifts women's attitudes toward more conservative views, while leaving men unaffected. We also show that the impact on women emerges only after some time from the childbirth, suggesting that attitudes change relatively slowly over time and do not react immediately after becoming a parent.Finally, we show that the impact gets large and strongly significant for women and men whose prenatal attitudes were progressive. In particular, we find that the change in attitudes for such individuals increases as the postnatal arrangements are more likely to be traditional. Overall, these findings suggest that the change in attitudes is mainly driven by the emergence of a cognitive dissonance. Broad policy implications are drawn.

Keywords: gender equality, gender role attitudes, entry into parenthood, cognitive dissonance, changes in the hormonal production, Understanding Society (US) data set

JEL Classification: J16, J13

Suggested Citation

Grinza, Elena and Devicienti, Francesco and Rossi, Mariacristina and Vannoni, Davide, How Entry into Parenthood Shapes Gender Role Attitudes: New Evidence from Longitudinal UK Data. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11088. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3056626

Elena Grinza (Contact Author)

University Of Milan ( email )

Via Conservatorio 7
Milan, 20122
Italy

Francesco Devicienti

University of Turin - Collegio Carlo Alberto ( email )

via Real Collegio 30
Moncalieri, Torino 10024
Italy

University of Turin - Department of Economics and Financial Sciences G. Prato ( email )

C. so Unione Sovietica, 218 Bis
Torino, 13820-4020
Italy

Mariacristina Rossi

University of Turin, Esomas ( email )

Corso Unione Sovietica
Torino, Torino 10100
Italy

Davide Vannoni

Faculty of Economics- University of Torino ( email )

Corso Unione Sovietica 218bis
10134 Torino
Italy
+39+011+7716806 (Phone)
+39+011+6706062 (Fax)

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