The article presents comparisons of the ages and facts of the occurrence of starting demographic events, based on the results from three big surveys carried out in Russia: ‘European Social Survey’ — 2006, ‘Generations and Gender Survey’ — 2004, 2007, 2011, and ‘Human, Family, Society’ — 2013. The research was devoted to inter-generation and gender differences in the start of sexual debut, first partnership, marriage, and a birth of the first child.
Analysis of the obtained data shows that the maximum number of starting demographic events takes place at the age under 35. In the average biography the first event is a start of sexual life, then follow matrimonial events, and the last event is a birth of the first child. The greatest gender and generational differences are observed in matrimonial behavior: the popularity of unregistered unions is much higher among the younger generations than among their predecessors, and their interest in marriage is much lower. Men enter into marriage and partnership about year or two later than women. In reproductive behavior, there are more gender differences than generational: men are more inclined to postpone a birth of a child. This is because women wish to give birth to the first child in the reproductively healthy age, and men prefer to postpone both getting the first child and entering the first marriage.
The second half of 20-th century gave us the Second Demographic Transition. This phenomenon was marked with great personal emancipation in the area of sexual, matrimonial and reproguctive behaviour. The traditional social standards have lost their enormous impact on human life. In this article we consider the trends in marriage and partnership as a logical consequence of demographic modernization of society.
Russia has been characterized by an early and universal marriage for a long time. After the Soviet Union collapse, the average ages for marriage have been rising, marital unions have becoming rarer while cohabitations have becoming common because of changes in norms and values that citizens of many other countries witnessed several decades before. Many scholars have observed this trend and tried to explain its reasons through the perspective of the Second Demographic Transition and Globalization theories. Current research is another attempt to understand these changes. The aim of this research was to define the nature of cohabitations in Russia, and find out the factors of entrance to non-marital unions. For these purposes, we used Event History Analysis and Sequence Analysis. The key requirement in using these methods is applying longitudinal or retrospective collections of data that have become the gold standard of current quantitative social science. Accordingly, the three-wave panel data of the Russian part of “Generations and Gender Survey” and the retrospective data of “Person, Family, Society” were chosen for this study. The opposite trends of matrimonial behavior were revealed: the younger Russian people are, the higher their probabilities to start the first cohabitation and the lower their risks to have the first marriage. Cohabitation is not a complete alternative to marriage in our country yet, but the proportion of Russians, for whom cohabitation does not grow into a marriage, rises, and young people start to consider a non-marital union appropriate for childbearing. It is a sign that cohabitation is close to become an independent social institution for young non-religious people who get secondary vocational education in big cities.
Declining marriage rates and increasing cohabitation rates in modern Russia have become a trend that many scholars have observed and tried to explain through the perspective of the Second Demographic Transition. The current study is another attempt to understand these changes. The aim was to reveal the difference between some patterns of matrimonial events, define the nature of cohabitations in Russia, and find out the factors of entrance to non-marital unions. For these purposes, Event History Analysis method was applied. We also suggested a logical scheme of the ways of development of the first cohabitations. The opposite trends of matrimonial behavior were observed: the younger Russian people are, the higher their probability of starting the first cohabitation and the lower their risk to have the first marriage. The analysis showed that a cohabitation is not yet a complete alternative to marriage but it has possibility of becoming it for younger generations.
The chapter discusses long-term and short-term changes in the formation of the marrital structure of Russia's population, taking into account the results of the 2015 Microcensus and in comparison with the results of previous population censuses and microcensuses, as well as taking into account estimates of parameters characterizing the intensity of marriage and divorce made by the author on the basis of data of official registration of these events. Combining the data of censuses / microcensuses on the number of people who have never been married, with the data of the current statistics of marriage registration allowed the author to build a historical series of the first marriage tables (life-table or survival analysis approach), indicating the fundamental changes in the marriage model of Russians that have taken place over the past two to three decades.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.