Transitions in Adulthood and Women’s Attitudes toward The Gender Division of Labor in South Korea
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Despite extensive literature describing the associations between key life transitions from adolescence to adulthood and attitudes toward the gender division of labor, little research has been conducted to examine these associations among East Asian women who transition to adulthood in their unique context. Guided by interest-based and exposure-based explanations, we examined how transitions in adulthood are associated with young women’s attitudes toward the gender division of labor in South Korea. We also investigated whether the influence of employment transition strengthens or weakens when combined with marital and parenthood transitions.
Our sample drawn from the 2007–2014 Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women and Families consisted of 870 women aged 19–28 years in 2007 (3,498 person-waves observations). The data were modeled using fixed effects logistic regression models.
Entering the labor market (OR = 1.40) and being continuously employed (OR = 1.61) were associated with increased support for egalitarian attitudes toward the gender division of labor. These liberalizing effects were further augmented when women remained married (OR = 1.98), were about to marry (OR = 4.29), or were mothers of one or more children (OR = 2.08).
Young Korean women develop egalitarian attitudes toward the gender division of labor when they encounter situations that strongly resonate with egalitarian ideals or benefit from gains through employment. This study advances how women’s attitudes toward the gender division of labor are understood by revealing both the singular influences of distinct transitions and the interactive influences of combined transitions in the South Korean context.
KeywordsFixed effects Gender division of labor South Korea Transitions Women Young adults
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The author declares that the author has no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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