Since the early 1990s, the diversity of work–family arrangement models has increased in Spain. It is difficult to understand this phenomenon without attending to the Spanish population’s preferences for such models. This article analyses the attitudes towards gender roles, and family model preferences within a normative and socio-structural framework. Using data from the International Social Survey Programme
2012, we developed descriptive and explanatory analyses. The findings reveal contradictions between attitudes towards the mother’s and father’s work intensity and gender roles that seem to be resolved through preferences for a “hybrid” or “adaptive” family model. We also identified the determinants of family model preferences for both men and women. The results show that gender plays a significant role in explaining preferences (women are less likely than men to prefer the male-breadwinner family model) and that socio-structural factors such as age, education level, immigrant condition, religious status and social class influence the preferences of men and women differently. Ultimately, these results contrast with Hakim’s Preference Theory, which emphasises individuals’ choices over socio-structural factors as determinants of family models, and align with Crompton’s and Pfau-Effinger’s theories.
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