Parenthood in Norway: Between Politics and Science

Part of the Crossroads of Knowledge book series (CROKNOW, volume 1)


Norwegian legislators have recently altered the legal regulations for the parental leave. Parents are now given the chance to split the existing one year of leave fifty-fifty. A newly proposed bill even seeks to make paternity leave mandatory. Several Norwegian medical and psychological experts have opposed this newly introduced legislation. Their argument is that ‘Research shows that…’ young children may show symptoms of stress reactions and in the worst case suffer from mental health disorders later in life when the primary caregiver changes during the child’s first year of life. Many of the experts implicitly seem to defend a normative idea of static ‘natural preferences’ between men and women, as a basis for a conservative political outlook, that neglects that deducing from scientific knowledge to political decision-making rarely is straightforward. The experts in question rarely seem to recognise that questions of maternity and paternity leave, also concerns opposing values and political priorities, for instance equal rights between the sexes.


Gender Equality Parental Leave News Story Individual Freedom Conservative Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the HumanitiesUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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