Remaining childless in France: being outside social norms

Magali Mazuy, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Charlotte Debest, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Childlessness, especially voluntary childlessness, is low in France. Using data from the French version of the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS), this paper will focus on French reproductive norms. Among new generations the idea to have no child is supposed to be growing, but regarding to several indicators, this doesn’t seem to be so much verified, neither in the reproductive behaviors nor in representations: 12% of women remain childless, around 95% of men and women declare they want at least one child, and around 10% of men and women declare it’s not necessary to have children to be “satisfied” in life. After describing the background of childlessness, we analyze the characteristics of people who support this point of view, which is a minority position, regarding to social norms. Do they belong to specific socio economic status? Do they have other specific attitudes or behaviours? Do they personally have children or not? We will pay special attention to gender differences, comparing opinions and behaviours of men and women regarding to voluntary childlessness.

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Presented in Session 58: Childlessness