Demography and gender


In this international workshop, we invite young researchers in demography and quantitative sociology working on gender issues to present their main results and discuss to what extent the use of the sex variable is compatible with gender research.

Deadline for submissions:  11 July 2016

While the dichotomous sex variable (male/female) is central to all analyses of mortality, fertility and migration, its meaning is complex and rarely discussed. What are demographers talking about when they use the words male and female? Does the sex variable refer to biological characteristics, a perceived identity, membership to a social group? The way in which the sex variable is interpreted is of key importance, given that fertility behaviours and mortality risks are closely linked to both the biological and social conditions of each individual. Yet many demographic indicators are different for males and females (life expectancy at birth, age at first childbirth, etc.). What hypotheses have been put forward to explain sexually differentiated demographic behaviours? To what extent do these explanations incorporate the question of gender relations, i.e. the power relations between men and women, and of gender differences in social status? More generally, how do demographic and quantitative approaches reveal inequalities between men and women?


The question of sexually differentiated demographic and social behaviours (fertility, mortality, migration, health, education, professional life, etc.) is closely linked to that of gender inequality. One recent publication1 describes social progress regarding gender in France, and the persisting gender inequalities . More women are getting an education and have a stronger presence in the labour force, yet compared with men, they less frequently opt for the most "lucrative" fields in the job market and remain at a disadvantage in terms of salaries and promotions. They still perform the majority of domestic and parenting tasks, and are the main victims of domestic and sexual violence. But demography also provides examples of "reverse inequality", since women have a longer life expectancy than men (though a shorter healthy life expectancy).




Young researchers (Master's and PhD students, young researchers who defended their PhD after 2009) are invited to present their research findings and explain how gender issues are addressed in their work. The workshop will be organized around the 4 main demographic themes. Contributions with an international comparative dimension are especially welcome.


o Births, fertility and family


How have gender equality movements contributed to change in family structures? How is birth control negotiated between partners (contraception, abortion, desired number of children)? What do we know about men’s fertility?


o Marriage, conjugal life and sexuality


How do gender norms affect interactions in a couple? How do men and women experience their sexualities at different stages of their relationship (beginning of the relationship, divorce or separation)? Has the diversification of types of couple (unmarried cohabiting couples, non cohabiting couples, etc.) allowed for a greater equality between partners?


Call for papers – Demography and gender



o Migration, mobility and minorities


How do migration theories take into account the concept of gender? Do men and women have different reasons to migrate, or different ways of migrating? How can research on intersectionality improve our understanding of migration dynamics?


o Mortality, ageing and health


Ageing is a major feature of developed countries’ populations, and it implies different challenges for men and women. How can the gap in life expectancy between men and women (biological condition, social behaviours) be explained? What are the living conditions of older men and women (in terms of health, social support, standard of living, etc.)?


Inspired by the work of our colleague and friend Valeria Solesin2, this workshop will be dedicated to her memory.




  1. 1.     Hamel C., Rault W. and INED's Demography, Gender and Societies research unit, 2014. "A demographic perspective on gender inequality". Population & Societies. 517. 4 p.


  1. 2.     Winner of a doctoral scholarship of the Caisse nationale des allocations familiales (Cnaf) in 2012, Valeria Solesin was a PhD student at the CRIDUP and hosted at the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED). In her thesis on the transition from first to second child in France and Italy, she focused on "the impact of a first birth on women's labour force participation, and on the fertility intentions of couples who already have one child". Valeria was killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015. See




Amélie CHARRUAULT, PhD student in demography (CRIDUP – CNAF – INED) Pierre ELOY, PhD student in demography (CRIDUP – Observatoire social de la Dases) Cécile FLAMMANT, PhD student in demography (CRIDUP – INED)


Pauline HERVOIS, PhD student in demography (CRIDUP – iPOPs – INED)




Date         11 October 2016, from 9 am to 5 pm


Place         Maison des Sciences Économiques 106-112 Boulevard de l’Hôpital

75013 Paris



Paper submission procedure


Proposals (between 300 and 500 words, in English or French) should include your name, the name and address of your institution, the title of the paper and keywords. Please send them by email to the address before July 11th, 2016 (format .doc or .pdf). Authors whose papers have been selected will be informed at the end of July and will be invited to send the text of their paper before September 20th.



Transport and     Participants  from  neighbouring  countries  (Belgium,  Switzerland,  Italy,  Spain, accommodation     Netherlands,  UK),  will  receive  a  refund  to  cover  their  transport  expenses (preferably  by  train)  and  one  night's  accommodation  in  a  hotel  in  Paris.


Participants from more distant countries should request funding from their own institutions.