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Moderskapet – det självklara föräldraskapet? Genus betydelse vid vårdnadstvister

Motherhood – the obvious parenthood? The signification of gender during custody battles


  • Linda Nilsson
  • Anne-Marie Jurzysta

Summary, in English

Author: Anne-Marie Jurzysta and Linda Nilsson
Title: Motherhood – the obvious parenthood? The signification of gender during custody battles (translated title)
Supervisor: Susanna Lundberg
Assessor: Lars Harrysson

The purpose of this study was to analyse custody battles that had ended during the years 2008-2009 in the municipality of Lund, Sweden. We wanted to see which different variables that are considered during these custody battles. We also wanted to see if gender really does matter during the process. The analyse was rooted in theories about gender since we have been interested in seeing why mothers are more likely to get sole custody than fathers are. The material we have studied are verdicts from the district court in Lund, and mainly we have studied the ones where the parents have not been likely giving up on obtaining sole custody. We did an analysis of content when we studied the material; we had to find clarity in which parent that was the front figure and which of them was more likely “the bad guy” in each case. What we have found in this study suggests that gender is a variable that does matter in custody battles. We found out that a high percentage of mothers managed to get sole custody, while only a few percent of the fathers got sole custody. We also found out that it seems to be harder for fathers to win in custody battles and it seems like there often needs to be some sort of risk for the child’s safety if they live with their mother for fathers to get sole custody. The district courts might strive for equality, but since they’re a part of this society they are affected by the gender roles that currently exist, and these gender roles seem to value mothers’ parental ability above fathers’.

Keywords: custody battles, gender contract, parental ability, child’s best interest

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Social Sciences


  • child’s best interest
  • parental ability
  • custody battles
  • gender contract


  • Susanna Lundberg