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Gender Role Attitudes around the Globe: Egalitarian vs. Traditional Views

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image of Asian Journal of Social Science

Over the last 50 years a shift towards more egalitarian gender role attitudes has been observed in most modern societies, including those in East Asia. This article addresses variations in gender role attitudes among 20- to 55-year-old women and men across highly developed countries. Using comparative survey data from 24 regions the study investigates factors that explain gender role attitudes on the basis of educational attainment, family background, personal experience as working women, and cost-benefit considerations, as well as the influence of cultural climate and structural context. Results show that individuals with a higher level of educational attainment, as well as those who were themselves offspring of a working mother, had a higher propensity to support more egalitarian gender roles. Furthermore, being employed made women more prone to hold rather gender equal role attitudes. Having a child had a ‘traditionalising’ effect among women, but not among men. On the societal level, structural rather than cultural gender equality emerged as the more influential force toward gender role attitudes.

Affiliations: 1: University of Bremen


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