Icelandic young people have more conservative attitudes about gender roles than Icelanders of the same age 20 years ago, a new study shows.
The study in question was conducted by Andrea Sigrún Hjálmsdóttir, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Akureyri, Vísir reports.
About 3,500 students in the tenth grade (about the age of 16) took part in the survey. Boys and girls were asked if they felt men or women were better suited for a variety of occupations, or if they felt there were inherent differences between the genders in terms of ability.
The results, when compared to data from two decades ago, surprised Andrea. When asked, for example, whether they felt men or women were better suited to take positions in government ministries, 36% of boys said they felt men were better suited for such work, as opposed to 14% of girls who said the same. At the same time, more girls than boys felt there was no difference between the genders in terms of who was better suited, at 78% to 60% respectively.
When compared to results of a similar survey conducted 20 years ago, says professor of gender studies Þorgerður Einarsdóttir, young people have actually grown more conservative. She found the comparitive data “very troubling” and said she believes that gender education must be stepped up, “in the entire educational system, from preschool on up”.