Jour Fixe 89 | Veronika Paksi, Beáta Nagy, Katalin Tardos: Perception of Barriers to Motherhood: Female Phd Students’ Changing Family Plans in the STEM Fields

   2022. március 17.

A Társadalomtudományi Kutatóközpont (MTA Kiváló Kutatóhely)
Szociológiai Intézete
tisztelettel meghívja 89. Jour Fixe eseményére

Veronika Paksi, Beáta Nagy,Katalin Tardos: Perception of Barriers to Motherhood: Female Phd Students’ Changing Family Plans in the STEM Fields


Előadók: Paksi Veronika és Tardos Katalin  (TK SZI) 

Felkért hozzászólók: Herke Boglárka (TK SZI), Murinkó Lívia (KSH NKI)

Időpont: 2022. március 17. csütörtök 13:00 

Helyszín: Az eseményt online formában tartjuk meg.

Zoom link:

Passcode: 033785



In spite of recent pronatalist policies in Hungary, the country has not boosted birth rates at the expected rates. Higher educated women still delay the transition to first birth, a lower rate of planned children are born than in Western European countries, and the level of childlessness has also been increasing. As a post-socialist legacy, prevailing traditional family and gender norms strongly constrain the reconciliation of work and family roles, which can prevent women from realizing their childbearing intentions or drive them to live a childfree life. Qualitative studies are scarce on how the fertility decisions of women are formed, particularly in male-dominated high-skilled professions, where the realization of family plans can be especially challenging. The present article aims to explore barriers to parenthood among female engineers. Results of 27 semi-structured interviews with mainly childless female PhD students during 2014-15 show that women face strong social expectations that negatively influence their fertility plans. From the family side, to become a mother and to be responsible for the second shift; from the work side, knowledge-intensiveness and a male career model that hardly tolerates motherhood roles. As a result, they further delay childbearing, forecast to reconsider family plans after the first childbirth, and in one case, voluntary childlessness was also to be found. Women also reflected on how their fertility is at stake due to their postponed motherhood and the cumulative effects of hazardous laboratory work. Several intervention points are offered for stakeholders.

Kulcsszavak:  delayed motherhood, engineering, fertility, higher educated women, PhD, pronatalism, STEM

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