Scenarios for the Equal Division of Paid and Unpaid Work in the Transition to Parenthood in Germany

Anna Dechant, Florian Schulz


On the basis of a qualitative longitudinal study of 14 German couples, the conditions that are necessary and sufficient for an equal division of labour in the transition to parenthood are examined in an explorative way. Based on the assumption that couples with educational homogamy on a high level are probably more prone and sufficiently assertive to establish egalitarian relationships, we show that such arrangements cannot be sustained or achieved without the existence of specific contiguous conditions. A comparison of attitudes, family values and norms with actual everyday routines also suggests in many cases the well-known “verbal open-mindedness and rigid behaviour”.


Division of labour in the household; Transition to parenthood; Longitudinal study; Qualitative data; Germany

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