Daughter Preference in Japan: A Reflection of Shift in Gender Role Attitudes (or Not)?

Kana Fuse, Ohio State University

Unlike other East Asian nations where preference for sons over daughters still prevails, gender preference for children in Japan has progressively shifted from son preference to visible daughter preference over the past few decades. In this paper, I focus on the extent to which individuals’ child gender preference is shaped by their gender role attitudes and evaluate whether daughter preference is a reflection of convergence or persistent divergence in gender roles in Japan. I use data from the Single Persons subset of the 11th Japanese National Fertility Survey conducted by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in 1997. Findings suggest that the effect of gender role attitudes on one’s child gender preference differs for men and women. Overall, while daughter preference is associated with nontraditional gender role attitudes for men, daughter preference is associated with traditional attitudes for women.

  See paper

Presented in Session 57: Implications of Gender Interactions and Ideologies for Reproductive Behavior