Gender-Role Attitudes of Immigrant and Native Children in Germany: The Role of Education

Hakan Yücetas , University of Cologne
Sarah Carol, University College Dublin

While abundant research on gender-role attitudes has focused on adults, we investigate adolescents and aim to answer the following questions: How does obtaining an educational degree affect the gender-role attitudes of immigrant and native children? Does education influence the attitudes of boys and girls differently? Some scholars argue that education has a liberalizing effect on attitudes, raising more open-minded individuals. On the other hand, one can argue that education can yield to the opposite effect among ethnic minorities if it coincides with experiences of exclusion in the vulnerable stage of adolescence and identity crisis, leading to more traditional values. Additionally, previous studies have underlined that individuals who would benefit the most from gender equality, are also more supportive of gender equality. According to this so-called interest-based approach, girls – especially highly educated and girls belonging to less egalitarian ethnic groups – should hold more egalitarian attitudes. To answer our questions, we draw on the German CILS4EU-DE data that surveyed adolescents aged 13 to 22 years. Tentative findings suggest that the positive significant effect of education vanishes when holding other variables constant. Moreover, education works indeed differently for girls and boys. Interestingly, the effect goes in the opposite direction. Our findings suggest that education is potentially important for the liberalization of boys’ gender-related attitudes irrespective of ethnic origins.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course