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Professor Mary Brinton Featured in Harvard Gazette for Sociology Research

Mary Brinton (Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology and Director, RIJS) has been featured in a recent issue of the Harvard Gazette for her research on the factors at work in countries with historically low birth rates in parts of Europe and East Asia, especially Japan. After multiple rounds of interviews, she has found a "strong correlation” between low birth rates and high levels of gender inequality, particularly in Japan. She suggests "the rigidity of what men’s and women’s roles are supposed to be within the family and also in the workplace," and proposes that "If the Japanese government could convince companies to lower work hours, to look at productivity on the job in a different way than ‘face time,’ and to strongly encourage men to take at least some childcare leave, it would have positive ripple effects for the family, for gender equality, [and] for the fertility rate."

More information can be found in the March 22 article of the Harvard Gazette.