Changing family formation patterns in young generation in Russia: State and Legislation Responses
Sociology Russian State University for the Humanities Moscow, Russia
Teenage motherhood as a consequence of early marriage was widespread in Russia during the 20th century. The interest in the phenomenon of low-age motherhood appeared in the early 1990s, at a time of considerable increase in teenage birth rates. However, by the early 2000s young people´s fertility rates dropped to the level observed in the 1970s. How can we interpret these changes? Do they represent a reaction to reforms in the welfare system? Are they the result of the erosion of traditional marriage and family values and rising individualism among the young generation? Indeed, changing family formation patterns reflect new lifestyles and aspirations of young generations. The paper first, analyses statistical trends in young people´s reproductive behavior over the past thirty years since 1965. Second, the reasons for these changes are identified. Third, the paper discusses current directions in pronatalist demographic policy in Russia. Forth, it provides an assessment of the various initiatives relating to young people´s reproductive rights. And finally, the role of various political actors in the emergence of competing policy discourses in relation to teenage reproductive behavior is analyzed.