A Quarter Century of Change in Family and Gender-Role Attitudes in Hungary


  • Zsolt Spéder Hungarian Demographic Research Institute




Gender role, Attitude change, Regime change, Second Demographic Transition theory


Our study examines how attitudes towards family and gender roles have changed since the ultimate collapse of communism in Hungary. With respect to evaluating the effects of the regime change, it is important to note that Hungary is unique in having pre-transition measures on attitudes from the International Social Survey Program. In analyzing the nature of value shifts, an arithmetic method that decomposes the changes into population turnover and individual (period) components is used. According to the results, period effects fluctuated over the quarter of century, while the population turnover effects point continuously and clearly towards liberalization of family and gender-role attitudes. Since the period effects were usually stronger, they shaped the fluctuating nature of overall change. Namely, there is a clear trend towards re-traditionalization immediately following the regime change and liberalization thereafter, although there are also signs of continued support for traditional values. The series of repeated modules of the ISSP allowed us to examine a key premise of the Second Demographic Transition (SDT) theory in the case of Hungary. We concluded that the detected direction of the attitude change does not support the examined premise of the SDT.

* This article belongs to a special issue on “Demographic Developments in Eastern and Western Europe Before and After the Transformation of Socialist Countries”.




How to Cite

Spéder, Z. 2023. A Quarter Century of Change in Family and Gender-Role Attitudes in Hungary. Comparative Population Studies. 48, (Dec. 2023). DOI:https://doi.org/10.12765/CPoS-2023-29.



Research Articles