Gender Gap in Parental Leave Intentions: Evidence from 37 Countries

Maria I.T. Olsson, Sanne van Grootel, Katharina Block, Carolin Schuster, Loes Meeussen, Colette Van Laar, Toni Schmader, Alyssa Croft, Molly Shuyi Sun, Mare Ainsaar, Lianne Aarntzen, Magdalena Adamus, Joel Anderson, Ciara Atkinson, Mohamad Avicenna, Przemysław Bąbel, Markus Barth, Tessa M. Benson-Greenwald, Edona Maloku, Jacques BerentHilary B. Bergsieker, Monica Biernat, Andreea G. Bîrneanu, Blerta Bodinaku, Janine Bosak, Jennifer Bosson, Marija Branković, Julius Burkauskas, Vladimíra Čavojová, Sapna Cheryan, Eunsoo Choi, Incheol Choi, Carlos C. Contreras-Ibáñez, Andrew Coogan, Ivan Danyliuk, Ilan Dar-Nimrod, Nilanjana Dasgupta, Soledad de Lemus, Thierry Devos, Marwan Diab, Amanda B. Diekman, Maria Efremova, Léïla Eisner, Anja Eller, Rasa Erentaite, Denisa Fedáková, Renata Franc, Leire Gartzia, Alin Gavreliuc, Dana Gavreliuc, Julija Gecaite-Stonciene, Adriana L. Germano, Ilaria Giovannelli, Renzo Gismondi Diaz, Lyudmila Gitikhmayeva, Abiy Menkir Gizaw, Biljana Gjoneska, Omar Martínez González, Roberto González, Isaac David Grijalva, Derya Güngör, Marie Gustafsson Sendén, William Hall, Charles Harb, Bushra Hassan, Tabea Hässler, Diala R. Hawi, Levke Henningsen, Annedore Hoppe, Keiko Ishii, Ivana Jakšić, Alba Jasini, Jurgita Jurkevičienė, Kaltrina Kelmendi, Teri A. Kirby, Yoko Kitakaji, Natasza Kosakowska-Berezecka, Inna Kozytska, Clara Kulich, Eva Kundtová-Klocová, Filiz Kunuroglu, Christina Lapytskaia Aidy, Albert Lee, Anna Lindqvist, Wilson López-López, Liany Luzvinda, Fridanna Maricchiolo, Delphine Martinot, Rita Anne McNamara, Alyson Meister, Tizita Lemma Melka, Narseta Mickuviene, María Isabel Miranda-Orrego, Thadeus Mkamwa, James Morandini, Thomas Morton, David Mrisho, Jana Nikitin, Sabine Otten, Maria Giuseppina Pacilli, Elizabeth Page-Gould, Ana Perandrés, Jon Pizarro, Nada Pop-Jordanova, Joanna Pyrkosz-Pacyna, Sameir Quta, Tamil Selvan Ramis, Nitya Rani, Sandrine Redersdorff, Isabelle Régner, Emma A. Renström, Adrian Rivera-Rodriguez, Sánchez Tania Esmeralda Rocha, Tatiana Ryabichenko, Rim Saab, Kiriko Sakata, Adil Samekin, Tracy Sánchez-Pachecho, Carolin Scheifele, Marion K. Schulmeyer, Sabine Sczesny, David Sirlopú, Vanessa Smith-Castro, Kadri Soo, Federica Spaccatini, Jennifer R. Steele, Melanie C. Steffens, Ines Sucic, Joseph Vandello, Laura Maria Velásquez-Díaz, Melissa Vink, Eva Vives, Turuwark Zalalam Warkineh, Iris Žeželj, Xiaoxiao Zhang, Xian Zhao, Sarah E. Martiny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite global commitments and efforts, a gender-based division of paid and unpaid work persists. To identify how psychological factors, national policies, and the broader sociocultural context contribute to this inequality, we assessed parental-leave intentions in young adults (18–30 years old) planning to have children (N = 13,942; 8,880 identified as women; 5,062 identified as men) across 37 countries that varied in parental-leave policies and societal gender equality. In all countries, women intended to take longer leave than men. National parental-leave policies and women's political representation partially explained cross-national variations in the gender gap. Gender gaps in leave intentions were paradoxically larger in countries with more gender-egalitarian parental-leave policies (i.e., longer leave available to both fathers and mothers). Interestingly, this cross-national variation in the gender gap was driven by cross-national variations in women's (rather than men's) leave intentions. Financially generous leave and gender-egalitarian policies (linked to men's higher uptake in prior research) were not associated with leave intentions in men. Rather, men's leave intentions were related to their individual gender attitudes. Leave intentions were inversely related to career ambitions. The potential for existing policies to foster gender equality in paid and unpaid work is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1163-1192
Number of pages30
JournalPolitical Psychology
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • childcare
  • cross-national
  • gender
  • inequality
  • parental leave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science and International Relations

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