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Article

The Age Parameters of the Starting Demographic Events Across Russian Generations

Russian Education and Society. 2016. Vol. 58. No. 9-10. P. 601-622.
Translator: K. Cargill.

This article presents comparisons of the ages and the facts of the occurrence of starting demographic events, based on the results from three large-scale surveys carried out in Russia: the European Social Survey, 2006; the Generations and Gender Survey, 2004, 2007, and 2011; and Person, Family, Society, 2013. This study focuses on the intergenerational and gender differences in the start of sexual debut, first partnership, first marriage, and birth of the first child. Analysis of the data shows that the maximum number of starting demographic events takes place before age 35. In the average biography, the first event is sexual debut, the following events are matrimonial (marriage and partnership/cohabitation), and the last event is the birth of the first child. The greatest gender and generational differences are observed in matrimonial behavior: the popularity of unregistered unions is much greater among younger generations than among their predecessors, and young people’s interest in marriage is much lower. Men begin partnership and marriage about a year or two later than women. In reproductive behavior, there are greater gender differences than generational: men are more inclined to postpone the birth of the first child. This is because women wish to give birth to their first child at a reproductively healthy age, and men prefer to postpone both having their first child and entering their first marriage.