Stockholm University
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Agree to disagree? Fertility intentions among mixed couples in Sweden

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posted on 2024-05-21, 07:40 authored by Eleonora MussinoEleonora Mussino, Caroline UgglaCaroline Uggla

Whether couples agree on having a(nother) child, is a topic of great relevance for society and for individuals. After decades of a female-centric perspective in research on fertility, scholars are increasingly calling for incorporation of the views of both prospective parents. Yet, up until recently, analyses that consider the desires and intentions of men, alongside those of their partner have been scarce. The focus on women has been motivated by homogamy, i.e. that people self-select partners who are similar to themselves in terms of traits and values. It is well-known that couples with mixed backgrounds have higher rates of dissolution, and may be less likely to share family beliefs. Here we add to studies that examine fertility intentions at the couple level, but examining how mixed couples fare in terms of agreement and disagreement about having a(nother child). Using the 2021 Swedish Generation and Gender Survey (GGS), we find that most of the couples agree to not have a(another) child, in line with fertility decline in recent years. However, mixed couples have somewhat higher levels of disagreement than either native Swedish couples or migrant couples, even when controlling for socio-demographic characteristics. Yet, this difference is small in magnitude. That mixed couples disagree more is in line with the vast literature on higher dissolution risks among intermarried/mixed couples. However, reverse causality is also possible if differences in values are associated with other stressors that mean that having a(nother) child together is less desirable.


Influences of origin and destination on migrant fertility

Swedish Research Council for Health Working Life and Welfare

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Original title

Agree to disagree? Fertility intentions among mixed couples in Sweden

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  • English

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