The GGP contain rich data on contraceptive use and reveal stark differences between Eastern and Western European countries. Among partnered individuals age 18-45, the use of traditional contraceptives is higher in Eastern Europe while being close to zero in Western Europe. In contrast, the use of modern contraceptives is much more prevalent in Western Europe. Differences are also observed in the percentage of non-users (here restricted to those not intending to have a child). These differences in contraceptive behavior can be linked to Western Europeans being more ready (i.e. no fertility intentions, high perceived costs of childbearing), willing (i.e. modern family values, not religious), and able (i.e. higher educated, employed, urban residence) to use modern contraceptives as compared to Eastern Europeans. In addition to these individual differentials, prevailing social and cultural expectations concerning fertility, religiosity, and gender equality all help explain differences across countries.
Figure 1: Use of contraception method, by country
Note: Data: Generations and Gender Survey, Wave 1. The subsample includes 17,492 men and 20,712 women in a heterosexual relationship in which the respondent and his/her partner were between 18 and 45 years. In this analysis, the use of traditional contraception includes withdrawal, the rhythm method, etc. while modern contraception include male condom, the pill, implant, etc. The figures for the non-use refer to the subsample not intending to have a child.Source: Rozemarijn Dereuddre, R., Van de Putte, B. and Bracke, P. (2016). Ready, Willing, and Able: Contraceptive Use Patterns Across Europe. European Journal of Population 32:543–573, DOI 10.1007/ s10680-016-9378-0.
The experience of poverty during childhood is associated with poorer outcomes in terms of a child’s health, education, psycho-social wellbeing and socio-economic attainment in later life. Levels of children living in families struggling to make ends meet financially vary significantly across Europe. Additionally, the percentage of children living in poverty is higher among children living in reconstituted families than children living in biological families. In Central and Eastern Europe, the percentage of children living in reconstituted families that experience financial hardship is between 75% in Lithuania and 95% in Bulgaria. Notably, despite lower percentages of children living in poverty in Western and Northern Europe, there is still a significantly larger percentage of children living in reconstituted families experiencing financial hardship as compared with children living in biological families.
Percentage of Children whose household struggles to make ends meet financially
Generations and Gender Survey, Wave 1. Subjective poverty was meausred using variable a1002 and includes families who said they made ends meet with either “Great Difficulty” or “Some Difficulty”. Children in single parent households were excluded from the analysis.
Migration can have profound consequences for family solidarity: when adult children leave the country of origin, ageing parents are deprived of potential care and support. This is especially disruptive in societies where families play an indispensable role in care and welfare provisions, as is the case in Eastern Europe. A comparison of the migrant population to the origin and destination populations gives a hint as to whether migrants adapt to the host country or they preserve their heritage. Figure 1 shows that Poles living in Poland strongly abide by family obligation norms—more than 80% of respondents, regardless of gender, agree that children should take responsibility for caring for their parents when parents are in need. In the Netherlands, the support for this statement was lower—43%, with females showing less support than males. In comparison, Polish migrants’ support for filial obligation is more in line with what is observed in Poland, although it is slightly lower (72%, no gender difference). This result could point towards a selection effect, with less traditional individuals being more likely to leave the country. Nevertheless, Polish migrants seem to maintain the traditional model of family ties existing in Poland.
Support for filial norms in the Netherlands, Poland and amongst Poles in the Netherlands
Generations and Gender Survey, Wave 1 for the Netherlands and Poland, FPN study for Polish migrants, Wave 1 for Polish migrants in the Netherlands. Note: Population aged 18-59 years old who either agree or strongly agree with the statement that “Children should take responsibility for caring for their parents when parents are in need”
Gender equality varies considerably across Europe. In many countries, there is still a strong belief intraditional gender roles as can be seen from the figure below. In Central and Eastern Europe, thereis still a large proportion of the population that believes men shoud be prioritised for jobs when thereis a scarcity of work. This is in stark contrast to Scandinavia and Western Europe where such viewsare much less common. The big difference between countries such as France and Bulgaria howeveris in the views of men and not women. In France, 18% of women believe men should get priority forjobs when work is scarce and in Bulgaria it is only a little higher at 20%. However when we look at thesame figures for men they are 19% and 41% respectively. This would suggest that the biggest differencebetween Western Europe and Eastern Europe is men’s attitudes towards gender equality. The largedifference in attitudes between men and women in Eastern Europe could also be causing very differentexpectations about family life, careers and relationships as men seek traditional arrangements whilstwomen seek gender equality.
The percentage who agree with the statement that “When Jobs are scarce, men should have more right to a job than women”
Generations and Gender Survey, Wave 1. Population aged 18-79 years old who either agree or strongly agree with the statement that “when jobs are scarce, men should hve more right to a job than women”
Relationship satisfaction is a key indicator in the GGS. It has been shown to be highly predictive of future break ups and highly correlated with other indicators of well-being. Understanding what makes for a satisfying relationship, and what policy makers could possibly do to help, is possible using data from the GGS. In their paper to be presented at the European Population Conference in Mainz, Van Damme and Dykstra examine how gender equality within a couple shapes their relationship satisfaction, and the degree to which gender equality within wider society might affect this. Their results suggest that women are less satisfied when they have more resources, in terms of education, relative to their partner. Conversely, when their resources are measured in absolute terms, women with more education and occupational status are more satisfied with their relationships. When looking at the social context, the results suggest that women in more egalitarian societies are more satisfied with their relationships. The full results of the analysis will be presented by the authors in Session 73 in Room P 101 at 11am on Friday 2nd September.
Figure 1: The average relationship satisfaction of individuals in couples (Scale of 0 to 10)
Van Damme & Dykstra (2016) “Relative resources and marital instability: a comparison of eightEuropean countries”, Session 73. Families and gender