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Time use, family role-set and childbearing among Italian working women

LETIZIA MENCARINI and MARIA LETIZIA TANTURRI
Genus
Vol. 60, No. 1, Italian Low Fertility Between Economic Constraints and Changing Values (January - March 2004), pp. 111-137
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29788795
Page Count: 27
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Time use, family role-set and childbearing among Italian working women
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Abstract

La persistenza di ruoli di genere tradizionali è uno dei possibili fattori esplicativi della bassissima fecondità italiana. In questo lavoro si esamina l'organizzazione familiare prima e dopo la nascita di un figlio, con dati retrospettivi di 3300 madri, residenti in cinque città. I risultati confermano che una nascita ha ancora implicazioni negative in termine di uguaglianza di genere: i padri aumentano il tempo dedicato al lavoro retribuito, mentre le madri quello impiegato in attività domestiche e di cura. Un progressivo adattamento verso ruoli più paritari, tuttavia, caratterizza un gruppo selezionato di coppie a doppio reddito e ciò influenza positivamente la probabilità di avere un altro figlio. Infine si prendono in considerazione i possibili effetti sulla fecondità delle politiche di genere. The endurance of the traditional role-set within couples is suggested to be a factor explaining Italian lowest-low fertility. Family time use before and after childbearing has been investigated, using retrospective data on 3,300 mothers living in five cities. The hypothesis that low gender equity reduces the probability of having one more child has been tested. Results confirm that implications of a birth are still negative in term of gender equality; fatherhood increases time devoted to work, motherhood time spent on childcare or housekeeping. However, a progressive adaptation towards gender equity is evident among a selected proportion of dual-earning couples, influencing positively the probability of having another child. Possible effects of gender policies on fertility are finally discussed. La persistance des rôles traditionnels au sein des couples est un des facteurs susceptibles d'expliquer la très basse fécondité italienne. La présente étude examine l'organisation familiale avant et après la naissance d'un enfant grâce à des données rétrospectives de 3300 mères dans cinq villes. Elle confirme qu'une naissance conserve des effets négatifs sur l'égalité entre père et mère. Celui-ci augmente le temps consacré au travail rémunéré tandis qu'elle passe plus de temps à s'occuper du ménage et de l'enfant. L'acceptation progressive de rôles plus paritaires caractérise cependant un groupe sélectionné de couples à double revenu et accroît la probabilité d'une naissance ultérieure. L'article s'achève par une discussion des effets possibles d'une politique des genres sur la fécondité.

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