Non-Traditional Family-Related Attitudes in Japan: Increase and Plateau 1994 to 2009

Minja K. Choe, East-West Center
Larry Bumpass, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Noriko Tsuya, Keio University
Ronald R. Rindfuss, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and East-West Center

Using data from national family surveys conducted in 1994, 2000, and 2009, this paper examines the patterns and changes of attitudes of Japanese men and women age 20-49. Three dimensions are explored: centrality of marriage and childbearing, employment and the family, and non-traditional family-related behavior. The proportions with non-traditional responses increased substantially between 1994 and 2000 for all items. Since 2000, the non-traditional responses increased at much slower pace, or even declined. One exception to this plateau was approval of non-marital sex for women. In 2009, variation in proportion of non-traditional response was large ranging from 14% to 61%. Women are more non-traditional than men in most items, and the gender differences have become more consistent over time. For most items, the period effect is larger than the cohort effect except for two items, considering marriage as essential for men and approving non-marital sex for women.

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Presented in Session 128: Demography with a Gender Lens