Maaike van der Vleuten: The division of labour of same-sex an different-sex parents in four Nordic countries

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Engelska parken Segerstedtrummet 2-1026
  • Lecturer: Maaike van der Vleuten, postdoctoral fellow at the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) at Stockholm University.
  • Organiser: Sociologiska institutionen
  • Contact person: Minoo Alinia
  • Seminarium

Welcome to higher seminar with Maaike van der Vleuten. Title: The division of labour of same-sex an different-sex parents in four Nordic countries.

The transition to parenthood is critical in producing and amplifying gender inequalities in work and family life for different-sex couples (DSC). To try to reveal why these inequalities exist, our research focusses on same-sex couples (SSC). By comparing parental leave and income trajectories of partners in DSC to SSC, we test theories such as specialization, identity formation, and the social construction of gender. By pooling longitudinal population register data for Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, 1990-2019, we generate the largest data-set on same-sex parents to date. Using an event-study approach and a matching strategies, results shows that differences in income pre-birth do not explain an unequal division of work or care after couples have transitioned to parenthood, thereby providing little evidence for specialization theory. The social construction of gender and identity theory receives support as birth mothers in both female SSC and DSC experience the largest income penalty (in line with identity theory), whereas the income gap, five years after childbirth, remains the largest in DSC compared to female SSC, with marked differences in the penalty between fathers in DSC and social mothers in female SSC (as expected by the social construction of gender). The income of fathers in male couples is not affected by parenthood and they take very little parental leave, which partly is due to institutional factors.

Last modified: 2022-04-04