Gender and the Transition to Parenthood: Introduction to the Special Issue

Kristin Mickelson, Susanne N. Biehle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The transition to parenthood is a rite of passage for most adults; however, given the dynamic state of gender roles in society, the parameters surrounding the ease or difficulty with this transition are evolving. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the work included in the special issue, Gender and the Transition to Parenthood. Academic literature has been filled with articles on how women cope with the transition to parenthood from a variety of perspectives, including a feminist perspective. However, much of this literature is dated and cannot account for how today’s gender roles in society (particularly those of fathers) may influence the transition to parenthood. We argue that, with the rapidly changing gender roles in society, it is crucial to consider three perspectives in parenting: hers, his, and theirs. The ten works included in this special issue represent these three perspectives and seek to understand the transition to parenthood and its intersection with today’s gender roles. Based on these works, the authors encourage researchers interested in the transition to parenthood to incorporate both male and female perspectives, as well as the interplay between the genders in making the transition smooth or difficult. Following a brief overview of the existing literature, we introduce the articles in the special issue. All papers in this special issue are based on U.S. samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
JournalSex Roles
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Family
  • Gender roles
  • Parenthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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