Ice, E. (2023). Bringing family demography Back in: A life course approach to the gender gap in caregiving in the United States. Social Forces, 101(3), 1143-1170.

Despite decades of progress toward gender equality, women remain as theUnited States’ primary caregivers. Past research has shown how couples andfamilies organize care at distinct life course moments but has not studiedhow these moments combine to create differences in men and women’s full lifecourses of caregiving. In this article, I look beyond negotiations withinhouseholds to introduce a complementary demographic explanation for thegender gap in caregiving—women’s greater likelihood to reside withdependents. A focus on patterns of coresidence is warranted, given thegrowing diversity of family forms, which may expose women to additional andvaried care demands at differing ages. Drawing on data from the 2011 to 2019American Time Use Surveys, I study how coresidential care demands shape thepopulation gender gap in childcare and eldercare across ages 20–79 and howdemands differ for Black, White, and Latina/o women and men. My results showthat coresidence with dependents is uneven across the life course, andwomen’s exposures occur early and late in adulthood, while men are exposed tomore care demands in midlife. Patterns of childbearing, partnership, andextended family embeddedness contribute to Black and Latina women’s greaterexposure to care demands early in adulthood and White women’s greaterexposure to care demands later in the life course. Thus, despite growingegalitarianism within households, the rise of complex families contributes tobolstering population-level gender inequality in caregiving across adulthood.