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The Varying Display of "Gender Display" A Comparative Study of Mainland China and Taiwan

Publication Abstract

Yu, Jia, and Yu Xie. 2011. "The Varying Display of "Gender Display" A Comparative Study of Mainland China and Taiwan." Chinese Sociological Review, 44(2): 5-30.

In the literature on household work, "gender display" refers to the hypothesis that in order to compensate for their deviation from gender norms women who outearn their husbands tend to do more household work than women whose earnings are similar to those of their husbands. Much of the prior literature on this topic has debated whether or not gender display exists in the United States and other developed countries. However, the extent to which the gender display hypothesis is confirmed may depend on social context. Capitalizing on comparisons of mainland China and Taiwan, this study reexamines the gender display hypothesis in terms of varying social contexts. Our results show that (1) there is some evidence for gender display in rural China and Taiwan, but not in urban China, and (2) the evidence for gender display is more pronounced in Taiwan than in rural China. These results reveal not only that gender display is context-specific, but that the contextual variation of gender display may depend more on gender ideology than on macro-level economic development.

DOI:10.2753/csa2162-0555440201 (Full Text)

Countries of focus: China, Taiwan.

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