This study examines differences in distribution of childcare tasks among different types of unions (i.e. homogamous, hypogamous and hypergamous unions) and is motivated by the following question: To what extent can differences in the distribution of childcare tasks among heterogamous and homogamous couples be explained by gender role values? Literature on relative task division has up until now mostly focused on economical and macro-level explanations. Using data from the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social sciences (LISS), we contribute to previous research by taking into account the gender role values of couples. Moreover, this research’s focus is on the educational level of couples in relation to each other. The findings reveal that hypergamous couples (in which the male is higher educated than the female) have more equal task divisions than hypogamous unions (in which the female is higher educated), despite the fact that the latter group’s gender role values are more equal. As such, the childcare task division of hypergamous and hypogamous couples are not in line with their gender values. The childcare task division of homogamous unions (in which partners have a similar education) is more conforming to their gender role values. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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Renske Verweij, Renske Keizer
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Heistek, M. (2020, June 19). Differences in the distribution of childcare tasks among heterogamous and homogamous couples: Is it due to gender role values?. Sociology. Retrieved from