Relationships in a constant trial: cohabitation as the best choice for achieving gender egalitarian roles within the partnership

Pau Miret-Gamundi, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
María José González, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
Rocio Treviño-Maruri, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Recent demographic trends show a steady increase in cohabitation unions in most Western European countries. The widespread of consensual unions seems to indicate that these unions are becoming a real alternative to marriage and, eventually, a commonly accepted way of living. However, this is not exactly the case in many countries, because some legislative frameworks favour married over cohabiting unions. There are also distinct features which make cohabitating couples essentially different from married couples in many Western societies. The aim of this research is to test whether cohabiting also foster more egalitarian gender relationships than marital unions. The research is based on the 7th wave of the ECHP. We use questions refereed to the “number of hours spent looking after children” as a proxy for measuring gender egalitarian involvement in caring.

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Presented in Session 47: Gendering family dynamics network 2