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Family and gender values in contemporary Europe: The attitudinal gender gap from a cross-national perspective

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Drawing on data from the International Social Survey Programme 2002 survey Family and changing gender roles, this article looks at the diversity in attitudes towards gender relations and family values in contemporary Europe from a gender perspective. Rather than the idea of a one-dimensional move from tradition to modernity that would gradually erase the attitudinal gender gap, the findings corroborate that gender differentiation plays a key role in attitudinal patterns. Furthermore, the attitudinal gender gap is path-specific and varies according to country-specific societal modernisation. Hence, I examine differences in the statements of men and women to portray attitudinal gender gaps on the national level. I follow the idea that wide gender gaps are associated either with women's financial autonomy or with greater societal equality in education and political participation, since they allow for greater female awareness of masculine domination. I also argue that family deinstitutionalisation also correlates with greater attitudinal gender gaps.
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Keywords: cross-national comparison; family life; gender gap; gender relations; modernisation; values

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Lisbon, Institute of Social Sciences.

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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