The Production of Inequality: The Gender Division of Labor Across the Transition to Parenthood

Jill E. Yavorsky, Claire M. Kamp Dush, Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Using longitudinal time diary and survey data from a community sample of dual-earner couples across the transition to parenthood, the authors examined change in divisions of paid and unpaid work and assessed the accuracy of survey data for time use measurement. Mothers, according to the time diaries, shouldered the majority of child care and did not decrease their paid work hours. Furthermore, the gender gap was not present prebirth but emerged postbirth with women doing more than 2 hours of additional work per day compared to an additional 40 minutes for men. Moreover, the birth of a child magnified parents' overestimations of work in the survey data, and had the authors relied only on survey data, gender work inequalities would not have been apparent. The findings have important implications for (a) the state of the gender revolution among couples well positioned to obtain balanced workloads and (b) the utility of survey data to measure parents' division of labor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-679
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Fatherhood
  • Gender
  • Inequality
  • Infants
  • Motherhood
  • Parent involvement

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