From intentions to births: Gendered paths of realization in a multi-dimensional life course perspective
|From intentions to births: Gendered paths of realization in a multi-dimensional life course perspective
|Year of Publication
|Testa, MR, Bolano, D
|Kapella, O, Schneider, NF, Rost, H
|Familie – Bildung – Migration: Familienforschung im Spannungsfeld zwischen Wissenschaft, Politik und Praxis. Tagungsband zum 5. Europäischen Fachkongress Familienforschung
|Verlag Barbara Budrich
In the literature pregnancy intentions are studied in isolation from intentions pertaining to other spheres of life. In this paper, we overcome this gap and investigate birth intentions and subsequent outcomes in a context of multiple life course domains encompassing partnership, education, work and residence. Using longitudinal data from the Household and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA), we examine the matching processes of birth intentions and outcomes separately for women and men under the assumption that life courses are gendered. Results show that adults do often have multidimensional plans and that intentions other than childbearing facilitate or hinder the realisation of fertility intentions depending on whether they are expressed by men or women. Planning to move in a new dwelling is functional to the realization of birth intentions if expressed by men while other intentions, like changing job, or resuming studies, hinder childbearing only if they are stated by women. Finally, having a cohabiting relationship is a pre-condition for the realization of childbearing intentions for both men and women. The findings provide a new interpretation of the gap between intended and actual fertility and a new explanation of the fact that birth intentions remain often unrealised.