Higher education level, higher gender equality in the division of care tasks?
Egmond, Evelien van
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Background. The factors influencing the division of care responsibilities between parents have previously been studied. With the improvement in women’s economic position and the change in traditional gender norms, the question is whether these factors remain present in today’s society. This study examines the relationship between Dutch parents' educational level and their division in care tasks, by examining the impact of gender norms and income inequality of Dutch parents. Method. This research is based on quantitative data from the LISS data archive (N=196). Multiple regressions were performed to test the relation between level of education and the division in care tasks. A positive effect of level of education on the division in care tasks was expected. Gender norms were expected to function as a mediator and inequality in income were expected as a moderator. Results. Parents with a higher levels of education have more liberal gender norms that cause them to share work and care more equally compared to parents with lower levels of education. A direct relation between education level and the division of caregiving tasks was not found, nor was the influence of income inequality on the distribution of caregiving tasks. Conclusion. Current gender norms affect how Dutch parents divide work and care. This is in line with earlier research showing that the strong care culture in the Netherlands is very decisive. This research indicates the need to develop interventions that question and criticize traditional gender norms in order to strive for more equal opportunities and less financial dependence for women.