Non-Marriage and the Meaning of Employment for Women: An Examination of Cohort Effects on Marital Behavior

Akiko Yoshida, University of Oklahoma

Marriage rates significantly declined in Japan since the mid-1980s when Japan’s economy boomed and expanded women’s employment opportunities. Applying the life course perspective and Ogburn’s cultural lag theory, this study hypothesizes that the cohort that experienced the boom as young adults has a larger gender discrepancy in views toward wives’ employment compared to older and younger cohorts. The data used in this study are a subsample dataset from the Japanese General Social Survey 2005 (n = 1,167). Multivariate logistic regression analysis supports the hypothesis. The gender discrepancy in views toward women’s marital role might have contributed to the increase of singlehood among the boom cohort whereas this might not be a relevant factor for the subsequent cohort. This study suggests cohort differences in reasons for non-marriage and impact of economic conditions on marital behavior.

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Presented in Poster Session 7