A nationwide study now shows which population groups are more likely to support gender and which are more likely to reject it. One result is astonishing.
Augsburg – citizens, teachers, dancers – gender spellings have the potential to divide friendships and families, as otherwise only Corona or climate change do. The Augsburg Institute for Generational Research now wants to bring facts into the overheated debate. From all over Germany, 2398 people between 16 and 71 years of age took part anonymously in the study. Of them, 46 percent found the debate important, 43 percent unimportant, and 11 percent neutral.
The generation up to the age of around 50 think it is important to talk about gender at all. In the age group above, however, interest and understanding of this quickly decline. And another competitive line is also at O / U-50. If people had to decide on a rule, those over 50 would choose the slash (teachers), those under 50 the asterisk (teachers). The asterisk should leave room for a blank space – and thus also appeal to people who do not feel they belong to any of the genders.
Gender in everyday life – yes or no? It is not the youngest who speak out in favor of it
While 61 percent of men find the debate unimportant, it is only 38 percent for women. Of these, in turn, a slim majority of 52 percent consider the topic to be important. In the east of Germany, 27 percent of people thought the topic was important, in the west 51 percent. All age groups, educational groups and regions agreed that the current debate was “not well conducted”. Here it was 65 percent of women and 68 percent of men who said that.
Perhaps surprisingly about the study: It was not the younger participants who attributed the greatest importance to the debate. Here it was only 39 percent, while 44 percent of the middle age group were in favor of gender in everyday life. “The group with the most gender advocates: women, lives in West Germany, has a university degree and is between 30 and 45 years old,” says study director Rüdiger Maas.
Conclusion of the study: The majority of the respondents reject the kind of debate about gender
The conclusion of the study reads: “The majority of those questioned reject the way in which the gender debate is discussed in the media. The majority of the respondents are opposed to a gender standard and oppose gender in everyday language usage. ”73 percent of the men and 57 percent of the women had rejected a fixed standard. Respondents pointed out that the debate reveals “a system flaw” and is important, but also that there are “more important issues”.
Maas points to scientific findings from Cornell University: language specifications could stimulate creative processes in mixed groups. “In plural societies like in Germany, standardized forms of language should be discussed more intensively,” says Maas. If so, then one would have to discuss things differently, as the study also makes clear.
The so-called “gender pay gap” is part of the exploratory paper of a possible traffic light coalition in Germany. (kat)