What is a traditional woman

Back to the stove? : Traditional gender roles are becoming more popular again

Lots of articles, outraged activists and heated discussions on the Internet: The study “How does the man tick?”, Published by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy this week, caused a sensation. The main reason for the outrage was one result: According to the study, almost two thirds of men (64 percent) think that equality for women is now enough. More than one in four men even thinks that gender equality policy has been exaggerated in recent years.

A look at earlier, comparable surveys shows that the result is surprising. In 1996, also in an Allensbach survey, only 44 percent of men said that equality between men and women had "largely been achieved" in Germany. In 2008 there were a similar number of 42 percent. The “Enough-with-equality!” Parliamentary group has grown by a good twenty percentage points in a short period of time. And, also surprisingly, this faction is also growing among women. According to the latest Allensbach survey, every second woman still does not feel equal. In 2008 and 1996, however, it was 72 percent - also a good 20 percentage points more.

Is it fairer between the sexes than it used to be?

From this we can now conclude: In Germany, things are more equitable between the sexes than before. Figures from the Federal Statistical Office show otherwise: In 2013 men earn significantly more than women. The average male wage is 22 percent higher. Men are more likely to get into the executive suite. Only four percent of all executive board and 13 percent of all supervisory board positions in the 200 largest German companies are held by women. In return, women are clearly in the majority among those who earn very little.

Scientists have different explanations for why fewer women and men are outraged about it than in the past. The increased satisfaction is not due to the fact that things are fairer in Germany, but to the fact that fewer people are outraged about the injustice. “Traditional gender roles are becoming more popular again in parts of society,” says Bochum sociology professor Katja Sabisch. This can be seen in the recently introduced family policy benefits such as the childcare allowance introduced by the still incumbent black-and-yellow government. This increases the likelihood that one parent will not work or work only to a limited extent - usually the woman. "That is clearly a step back to the traditional family image." In addition, there is now increasing tiredness and rejection of classic equality issues because these are not discussed objectively. “In the discussion about the women's quota, the impression was constantly given that it was discriminating against men. That's not true at all, ”criticizes the sociologist. The Tübingen sociologist Reinhard Winter agrees. "The debate about the quota was simply thrown out as a leveling off."

The male researcher has another explanation for the increasing male rejection of gender equality policy. Many men were plagued by hardships that do not play a role in social discourse. Health policy is a good example of this. Men die about seven years earlier than women, and the number of deaths in the workplace is much higher for men, as is their suicide rate. But such problems are not taken up, says Winter. In addition, many men feel pressured by traditional expectations. Many still think they have to support their families on their own. “Those who fail to do that often consider themselves a failure.” The Allensbach study also came to a similar conclusion. 71 percent of the men said they were expected to provide for family support. However, only 60 percent of women agree. Women also find success at work and assertiveness among men less important than men themselves believe. “You have to counteract this imaginary pressure of expectation,” says Winter.

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