Do more egalitarian men experience less union dissolution? A couple-level analysis

Liat Raz-Yurovich*, Barbara S. Okun, Matanel Ben-Avi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We consider whether heterosexual unions in which male partners are more gender egalitarian experience less union dissolution. Background: Gender revolution theory argues that as men become more egalitarian in their attitudes and behaviors, female partners experience reduced work–family conflict, and couples enjoy more stable partnerships. In contrast, the “flip side” perspective argues that consequences of men's increased egalitarian behavior for their own experience of role incompatibility may counterbalance effects on union stability. Method: Analyzing a sample of roughly 46,600 women-years from the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society (1993–2019), we estimate random-intercept and fixed-effects models of union dissolution. Explanatory variables include, for each partner, measures of egalitarianism in gender role attitudes and weekly housework hours. Results: Odds of union dissolution are not associated with men's absolute level of egalitarian attitudes, but they are higher when men's attitudes are less egalitarian than their partner's. Neither the absolute number of men's housework hours, nor their share of total housework, is associated with the odds of dissolution. Conclusions: Our findings are not generally supportive of gender revolution theory. Counterbalancing effects may provide an explanation for the findings, as per the flip side approach. Implications: Taking a couple-level perspective advances understanding of the associations between gender egalitarianism and union dissolution.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalFamily Relations
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Family Relations published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of National Council on Family Relations.


  • divorce
  • domestic labor
  • gender inequality
  • housework
  • union dissolution


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