One of the social effects which affected almost all participants to a certain degree was the increased participation of women in the workforce (where they took the place of many men during the war years), though this was somewhat reduced in the decades following the war, as changing society forced many to return to home and family.
According to historian Antony Beevor, amongst others, in his book Berlin - The Downfall 1945 the advancing Red Army had left a massive trail of raped women and girls of all ages behind them. Between several tens of thousands to more than 2,000,000 were victims of rape, often repeatedly. This continued for several years. As a result of this trauma East German women's attitude towards sex was affected for a long time, and it caused social problems between men and women. Russian authorities dispute the event.
The German soldiers left many war children behind in nations such as France and Denmark, which were occupied for an extended period. After the war, the children and their mothers often suffered recriminations. The situation was worst in Norway, where the “Tyskerunger“ (German-kids) suffered greatly. However, today that factor is not present in Norway.
The casualties experienced by the combatant nations impacted the demographic profile of the post war populations. One study found that the male to female sex ratio in the German state of Bavaria fell as low as 60% for the most severely affected age cohort (those between 21 and 23 years old in 1946). This same study found that out-of-wedlock births spiked from approximately 10-15% during the inter-war years up to 22% at the end of the war. This increase in out-of-wedlock births was attributed to a change in the marriage market caused by the decline in the sex-ratio.
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