The Two-Part Gender Revolution, Women’s Second Shift and Changing Cohort Fertility

The two parts of the gender revolution have been evolving side by side at least since the 1960s. The first part, women’s entry into the public sphere, has proceeded faster than the second part, men’s entry into the private sphere. Consequently, women carried a more considerable burden than men throughout the second half of the 20th century, on average performing around 70 percent more activities than men, women’s second shift. The gender revolution has not generated a turnaround, i.e. an increase, in cohort fertility by the end of the 20th century. Nonetheless, wherever the gender revolution has made significant progress in reducing women’s second shift, cohort fertility declined the least; where the second shift has not been reduced, cohort fertility has declined the most. Such are the principal findings of this study based on data from 11 countries in northern Europe, central/western Europe, southern Europe, and Anglo-America between 1960/70 and 2000/2014.