Publication Date



We use comparative and multilevel methods to examine attitudes toward the distribution of household labor in 32 countries. We test hypotheses derived from Baxter and Kane’s (1995) gender dependence theory, which suggests complex relationships between societal-level gender dependence, individual-level gender dependence, and gender attitudes. Country-level data are from the United Nations and survey data are from the International Social Survey Programme’s 2002 Family and Changing Gender Roles III module. Our analysis is among the first to combine societal and individual indicators of gender dependence using multilevel modeling and to test for cross-level interactions between societal and individual gender dependence. Results provide mixed support for gender dependence theory and suggest several revisions – especially pertaining to men’s attitudes.

Document Type



dependence, gender attitudes, gender ideology, household labor, housework, ISSP, gender dependence theory


Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology of Culture | Theory, Knowledge and Science

Part of

Kunovich, R.M. and Kunovich, S. (2008). "Gender Dependence and Attitudes toward the Distribution of Household Labor: A Comparative and Multilevel Analysis," International Journal of Comparative Sociology 49:395-407.


Robert M. Kunovich is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Arlington. He conducts research in the areas of comparative race, ethnicity, and nation; social stratification and inequality; and political sociology. Much of his current research focuses on the negotiation of contemporary national identities. He also studies contextual sources of prejudice. Address: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The University of Texas at Arlington, Box 19599, Arlington, TX 76019–0599, USA. [email:]

Sheri Kunovich is an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at Southern Methodist University. She conducts research in the areas of gender inequality, the sociology of wealth and consumption, and intergenerational inequality. Much of her current research focuses on women’s political participation in Eastern Europe and parental financial transfers to adult children.




Copyright 2008 SAGE Publications