Three Demographic Consequences of Gender-Specific Behavior Pattern: The Case of Serbia

Šobot, Ankica (2012) Three Demographic Consequences of Gender-Specific Behavior Pattern: The Case of Serbia. Stanovništvo, 50 (2). pp. 85-109. ISSN 0038-982X eISSN 2217-3986

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The focus point in this paper referes to three issues of demographic development in Serbia presented from the gender perspective. Feminization, mortality in men and low reproductive norms are analyzed as effects of relevant behavior of both sexes. This choice is the result of earlier analyses of gender socio-demographic characteristics as well as the researches of demographic phenomena from the perspective of gender roles and gender relations. The gender aspect, as a cognitive concept, implies the importance of the female and male behavior pattern in understanding demographic structures, processes and phenomena. The theoretical foundation was found in the anthropological character of contemporary demography which focuses on the individual’s behavior in the context of interactive relations with the concrete environment. In the context of a complex deterministic basis and interactive connection of various factors, gender roles and gender relations represent a relative segment of social dimension of various demographic issues. Feminization of the middle-aged and older population emphasizes the importance of female perspective, taking into consideration space diversity. Feminization is most intensive in Belgrade. Among the middle-aged women there is a higher proportion of tertiary educated and divorced, and less share of the economically independent, in relation to the remaining region of Central Serbia. As regards older women, irrespective of spatial distribution, widowhood, unfavorable education characteristics, lower economic activity and greater economic dependency are important matters. The issue of retirement has specific importance, and should be solved in the context of educated and socio-professional characteristics of women, in order to promote their social position and gender equality. A shorter life span of the male population requires recognizing specific mortality factors of the middle-aged and older males, in order to eliminate the gender gap in this view. Greater mortality rate in men implies diversity of factors and characteristics of concrete social context. Part of the response lies in their greater exposure to risky behavior. Apart from that, the importance of socio-psychological factors has been recognized, which includes the prevailing concept of gender roles and gender relations. The asymmetric division of activities and obligations regarding parenthood represents an increasingly important determinant of low reproductive norms. Empirical research confirms the prevailing realization of motherhood in everyday parent activities and in the responsibility for raising and upbringing children. Sweden is an example of a country in which the above average European fertility rates correspond with a more equal division of parenting roles, whereby the support for coordinating parenthood and the profession is orientated both towards mothers and fathers equally. A gender sensible approach in solving demographic matters implies recognizing the position and status of both sexes and acknowledging the gender relations as a relevant factor. The analyzed issues are not specific only to the demographic development of Serbia. Nevertheless, their solving implies confronting cultural norms, achieved degrees of economic and social development, as well as building necessary institutional mechanisms.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender roles, gender inequality, feminization, ageing, mortality, fertility, rodne uloge, rodna nejednakost, feminizacija, starenje, mortalitet, fertilitet.
Institutional centre: Centre for demographic research
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2021 19:42
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2021 19:42

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