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Changing Gender Roles and Attitudes to Family Formation in Ireland$
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Margret Fine-Davis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096969

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096969.001.0001

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Attitudes to social policies relevant to family formation

Attitudes to social policies relevant to family formation

(p.125) 7 Attitudes to social policies relevant to family formation
Changing Gender Roles and Attitudes to Family Formation in Ireland

Margret Fine-Davis

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores people’s attitudes to childcare, work-life balance and related social policies in relation to their attitudes to having children. New measures were developed to tap attitudes in this sphere. It is clear that choices regarding family size are being influenced by child care costs and the data suggest that if these were more affordable people would be inclined to have more children than they are presently having. Another important factor which impinges on fertility decisions is that the workplace as currently constructed is not viewed as conducive to work-life balance and flexible working policies are perceived as relevant to childbearing decisions. Results signalled a readiness for greater sharing of childcare between men and women. The findings underscore the need for social policy to address the dilemmas faced by young people who want to start families, while at the same time fulfilling their own needs for autonomy and development.

Keywords:   Child care, Work-life balance, Flexible working, Fertility, Co-parenting

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