Boys’ ‘anti-studying’ culture hurts Swedish school equality: study

The 'anti-studying' culture among Swedish boys and problems relating to honour impede school efforts in pushing gender equality, according to a new government report on Monday.

Boys' 'anti-studying' culture hurts Swedish school equality: study

International research shows that differences in aptitude between boys and girls are small or nonexistent. There are larger variations between individuals within the same gender than between boys and girls, according to research.

However, despite the findings, girls continue to perform better than boys in almost all subjects. According to the research, girls still put in more time, effort and commitment for school than boys.

According to Anna Ekström, the chairwoman of the government’s delegation for equality in schools (delegation för jämställdhet i skolan, Deja), there have not been any major changes in gender equality in Swedish schools since the 1960s.

“A lot has happened in the field of equality in society, but in working for gender equality in the schools, far too little has taken place,” Ekström told news agency TT on Monday.

“I can imagine that it is because equality is something that one becomes dedicated to in the worst case in the worst case through project work with a study day and a lecture or something similar,” she added.

Traditional gender roles result in restricting boys and girls during their school years. In turn, this can also result in certain effects after they have left school.

“School results become important in the future as we transition into a knowledge-based society. If the girls with their superior scores keep the boys out of the most attractive courses, then the boys’ problems in school will become the men’s problems in the future,” warned Ekström.

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Schools in Sweden discriminate against parents with Arabic names: study

Parents with Arabic-sounding names get a less friendly response and less help when choosing schools in Sweden, according to a new study from the University of Uppsala.

Schools in Sweden discriminate against parents with Arabic names: study

In one of the largest discrimination experiments ever carried out in the country, 3,430 primary schools were contacted via email by a false parent who wanted to know more about the school. The parent left information about their name and profession.

In the email, the false parent stated that they were interested in placing their child at the school, and questions were asked about the school’s profile, queue length, and how the application process worked. The parent was either low-educated (nursing assistant) or highly educated (dentist). Some parents gave Swedish names and others gave “Arabic-sounding” names.

The report’s author, Jonas Larsson Taghizadeh said that the study had demonstrated “relatively large and statistically significant negative effects” for the fictional Arabic parents. 

“Our results show that responses to emails signed with Arabic names from school principals are less friendly, are less likely to indicate that there are open slots, and are less likely to contain positive information about the school,” he told The Local. 

READ ALSO: Men with foreign names face job discrimination in Sweden: study

The email responses received by the fictional Arabic parents were rated five percent less friendly than those received by the fictional Swedish parents, schools were 3.2 percentage points less likely to tell Arabic parents that there were open slots at the school, and were 3.9 percentage points less likely to include positive information about the municipality or the school. 

There was no statistically significant difference in the response rate and number of questions answered by schools to Swedish or Arabic-sounding parents. 

Taghizadeh said that there was more discrimination against those with a low social-economic status job than against those with an Arabic name, with the worst affected group being those who combined the two. 

“For socioeconomic discrimination, the results are similar, however, here the discrimination effects are somewhat larger,” he told The Local. 

Having a high economic status profession tended to cancel out the negative effects of having an Arabic name. 

“The discrimination effects are substantially important, as they could potentially indirectly influence parents’ school choice decision,” Taghizadeh said.

Investigating socioeconomic discrimination is also important in itself, as discrimination is seldom studied and as explicit discrimination legislation that bans class-based discrimination is rare in Western countries including Sweden, in contrast to laws against ethnic discrimination.”