Estimating effects of 2007 family policy changes on probability of second and subsequent births in Russia
The analysis of current trends of fertility, family planning and family policy in Russia is presented in chapter. The special attention is paid to changes in age profile of fertility, changes in structure of firtility by birth order, current and expected cohort total fertility, to ethnic and regional differentials in fertlity and in abortion prevalence, regional specifics of demographic and family policy. The analysis was carried out on the basis of detailed and, often, unpublished statistical information from Rosstat, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Labor, Social insurance fund, and also on representative for Russia sample surveys.
Markedly low fertility rates in Russia and western European countries are real challenges for these states. The governments should determine what considerations guide the people who refuse giving birth to their fi rst or subsequent children, as well as the should understand what measures they can encourage parents to increase the number of children. The following paper shows that, as in Europe, it is very important in Russia to take into account indirect costs of children, and in Russia a parent who is meant in this situation is the mother. However, for Russia the possibility to have children is very closely related to the type of locality, which in the case of our country also means the difference in income and the difference in the established system of external child care.
Based on reliable sources of statistical information and its quantitative analysis, the authors address the following questions: what is the real prevalence of single motherhood in Russia, taking into consideration different modes of defining the phenomenon; to what extent do the socio-demographic characteristics of women raising children in single parent and two-parent families differ; what is the probability that women with children will transition from one partnership status to another; and whether the average duration of parenting children in single-mother families has increased or decreased over the last decades. The paper uses data from the population censuses, extensive vital statistics, as well as data from two waves of a large sample survey "Parents and children, men and women in family and society," performed in the framework of the UNECE "Generations and Gender" comparative research program of surveys. Although single-mother families are significantly present in the structure of Russian families, our analysis does not confirm the widespread opinion that the number of single parent families in Russia is growing. The proportion of single mothers varies from 12% to 21% and the proportion of children under 18 years of age living in single parent families varies from 10% to 25% depending on the definition being used. On the whole, the social and demographic characteristics of single mothers and mothers bringing up children in unions do not differ significantly. However, single mothers share certain characteristics: more experience of changing partners, fewer numbers of children ever born, early orphanhood, diversity of values regarding family and children’s education, and greater economic vulnerability. Nonetheless, single motherhood is a temporary condition for a considerable number of women, a stage in the establishment of a two-parent family. The dynamism of single motherhood directly influences the conditions in which children are socialized within the family. The average duration of living in a single-parent family has decreased for children who were born in single parent families, and has increased for children who were born in two-parent families. The data confirm the growing instability of mothers’ marital/partnership status in both types of families. At the same time, over the last decades, a child’s overall probability and average duration of living in a two-parent family with someone other than the biological father have increased over the last decades, which may be assumed to entail a specific type of parenting and upbringing.
The paper presents brief results of research devoted to the factors of high parity fertilty in Russia. The analysis is based in the 2004, 2007 and 2011 Russian GGS data.
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.