The Division of Paid Labor in Same-Sex Couples in the Netherlands

Abstract

This study examines the division of paid labor among gay male and lesbian couples in the Netherlands. We hypothesize that same-sex couples have a more equal division of paid labor than different-sex couples, partly because of lower marriage and fertility rates, and partly because equity norms are more strongly embraced regardless of family stage. Furthermore, we expect that traditional gender roles result in more hours of paid work by gay male couples than lesbian couples. Descriptive and OLS regression analyses are carried out on 13 waves of the Dutch Labor Force Surveys (1994–2007), which include 998 gay male couples and 1,033 lesbian couples. Results support all hypotheses: same-sex couples divide paid labor more equally than different-sex couples; lesbian couples specialize less after marriage or childbirth; and gay male couples work more hours than lesbian couples. We discuss how our findings can be translated across countries.

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Correspondence to Eva Jaspers.

Appendix A

Appendix A

The definition of type of couple has been based on the following categorization present in the data (in the original Dutch and translated into English):

POSITIE IN HUISHOUDEN POSITION IN HOUSEHOLD
1 eenpersoonshuishouden 1 single person household
2 alleenstaande ouder 2 single parent
3 lid van een paar (geen ouder) 3 member of a couple (no parent)
4 lid van een ouderpaar 4 member of a couple being parents
5 meerderjarig kind 5 child of age
6 minderjarig kind 6 child under age
7 overig lid van huishouden 7 other household member

This variable has been constructed by Statistics Netherlands. It is based on the trained interviewers’ assessment of the household composition and the position of the respondent in the household. This assessment takes place at the beginning of the interview with the principal respondent and is checked with the partner.

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Jaspers, E., Verbakel, E. The Division of Paid Labor in Same-Sex Couples in the Netherlands. Sex Roles 68, 335–348 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-012-0235-2

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Keywords

  • Same-sex couples
  • Gender roles
  • Working hours
  • The Netherlands
  • Survey research