Hybrid Format

Towards a Multidimensional Conceptualization of Gender Ideologies: Implications for Understanding Gender Equality and Family Behavior

Katia Begall
Research Group: Gender Inequalities and Fertility, January 26, 2023

Katia Begall from Radboud University Nijmegen presents results of a latent class analysis of gender attitude items using data from the European Value Study 2008.


In recent years, a multidimensional conceptualization of gender ideologies has developed which employs latent class analysis on survey items measuring gender attitudes to detect attitudinal profiles rather than constructing unidimensional scales. In this multidimensional conceptualization, gender ideologies are thus not understood as lying on a unidimensional continuum ranging from traditional to egalitarian, but may include mixed or ambivalent attitude profiles, characterized by egalitarian views on certain issues and traditional views on others. These ambivalent profiles—which, for instance, endorse women’s economic independence while also identifying motherhood and paid work as largely irreconcilable—can be regarded as empirical operationalizations of current discourses around gender, parenthood, and compatibility issues, including attention to intensive parenting, neo-traditionalism, intensive mothering or mothers “opting out” of professional careers to focus on childrearing and the prevailing cultural persistence of gender essentialism.

The talk will present results of a latent class analysis of gender attitude items using data from the European Value Study 2008. It examines the spread of gender ideologies and examine their association with national levels of gendered ascription of work and care roles, work–family compatibility, social inequality and societal affluence, individual characteristics, and cross-level interactions with gender and education in 36 (post-)industrialized countries. This study provides a comprehensive picture of the gender ideology ‘landscapes of Europe’, reflected in two unidimensional classes—egalitarian and traditional—and four multidimensional classes, covering more than 60 percent of respondents—family oriented, choice egalitarian, intensive motherhood, and neotraditional.

The implications of this multidimensional conceptualization of gender ideologies for understanding the stalled progress towards gender equality in post-industrialized countries will be discussed as well as its potential application in analyzing family behavior, specifically fertility decisions.


Katia Begall is an Assistant Professor at the department of Sociology at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. She obtained her Phd with research on working conditions and fertility from the University of Groningen in 2013. Her research interest focuses broadly on the interrelation between paid work and family over the life-course. In particular she is interested in the household division of tasks, gender ideologies and work-family policies.

Register to Take Part

You would like to attend the Online Seminar Talk? You are very welcome. Please register by writing an e-mail to langner@demogr.mpg.de.

Online Seminar Talk, January, 26th from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Rostock time)

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.