Russian married women and men in ageing: demographic and social characteristics

Irina Gorchkova, Moscow Lomonosov State University

Russia is among the countries where people over 60 make the most quickly growing group. What is "the price" of family for Russian men and women in ageing? What is the gender order in the families of people with soviet etacratic egalitarism socialization? The representative sample survey Domestic Violence in Russia was conducted in 2002-2003 (1,076 females and 1,058 males presently being married). The various DV forms were analyzed in a wide context of matrimonial relationships and attitudes. The research data have allowed carrying out a comparative analysis of demographic and social characteristics, family life perceptions among 60-plus gender groups (68 men and 61 women). Unlike their male coevals, women have lower education, enter a repeated marriage less often, remain married longer, are more often financially dependant on the spouse. Men have greater enjoying their free time opportunities, communication and so forth, are insufficiently predisposed to self-criticism of alcohol abuse, are more often satisfied with their marriage, and feel loneliness less often. Tangible divergences have been noted in the evaluations of “comparisons with one’s spouse”. Most likely, women are insufficiently informed on their husbands’ real incomes, and overestimate the intensity of their job. Men underestimate their wives’ discontent with distribution of housework as well as with their duties of “the poverty manager”, do not notice their physical and sexual violence against wives. Both men and women believe that divorce is fraught with more losses for men. The main losses of women are financial situation and dwelling conditions. These data testify to the fact that traditional distribution of gender roles is appreciably inherent in families of the senior generation. It provides advantages to men and causes low satisfaction with their marriage in women of even a low educational level, who happen to save such families in a greater number of cases.

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Presented in Poster Session 1