People in Rich Countries Considered ‘Equal’ Tend to Choose ‘Traditional’ Gender Roles, Study Finds

Europe

In what is known as the ‘equality paradox’, men’s and women’s differences in preferences and career choices are more stark in countries considered gender-equal. For instance, 99 percent of all Swedish carpenters are men and about 90 percent of all assistant nurses and childminders are women.

Swedish research has indicated that differences between men’s and women’s preferences, personalities and career choices are greater in countries with more gender equality and higher living standards, national broadcaster SVT reported.

In what is known as the ‘Equality paradox’, men and women are known to more strongly adhere to gender stereotypes in countries considered rich and equal. For instance, relatively few Swedish girls study technology and mathematics at university despite having all the opportunities and sometimes even outperforming boys at school.

For instance, in Sweden, about 99 percent of all carpenters are men and about 90 percent of all assistant nurses and childminders are women.

The reasons for the differences can be numerous, but it has not yet been clearly demonstrated what is due to biology and what is due to social factors. One of the explanations may be that a more advanced society with more opportunities simply allows people to pursue their biological interests.

Markus Heilig, a brain researcher at Linköping University, concurred that biology is one of the explanations.

“It is clear that the girls’ better ability to understand…

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