- ソシオロジ (ISSN:05841380)
- vol.58, no.3, pp.19-33,129, 2014-02-28 (Released:2015-04-10)
Gender role attitudes are one of the factors hindering gender equality, thus inspiring many studies throughout the world. In Japan, however, little analysis has been done on the factors involved in gender role attitude changes, and most previous studies have focused on short-term trends.
Therefore, using data from the Survey on Japanese Value Orientations from 1973 to 2008 conducted by NHK, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, we examined how and why gender role attitudes in Japan have changed, and whether younger cohorts have become more conservative. To understand the factors involved in changes in gender role attitudes, especially how cohort replacement and individual change contributed to aggregate trends, we used a linear decomposition method. We obtained the following results. First, both men and women became more egalitarian between 1973 and 2003, but since then, gender role attitudes have little changed or have been traditionalized. The gender role attitude change in the 2000s is mainly attributable to individual change, and there is no evidence that more recent cohorts are more conservative. In addition, the stagnation or conservative shift after 2003 cannot be explained by social changes in educational level, labor force participation rate, rate of unmarried people, and so on. We propose that the recent trend in gender role attitudes is a consequence of uncertainty in people's daily life, for example decreasing wages and more competitive working conditions, caused by sweeping reforms based on neo-liberalism.