The State Audit Office worries that too many Hungarian women getting university education will lead to less children being born

August 25. 2022. – 12:42 PM



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According to a recent analysis published by the State Audit Office, the significant over-representation of women in higher education may cause demographic problems, as it makes finding a partner more difficult, as well as potentially leading to the risk of a reduction in childbearing.

The analysis, entitled “Is pink education occurring in Hungary?” examined the economic and social effects of the over-representation of women in higher education. Although the analysis was published in July, it has recently been spotted by Népszava.

In the first part of the analysis the authors state that in each year between 2010-2021, more women gained admission to higher education institutions than men, and that in the fall 2022 semester, the percentage of female students will be 54,5. The proportion of women among graduates has been even higher, at around 60 percent, due to a higher drop-out rate among male students.

The questionnaire-based, representative survey conducted among 700 parents and teachers around the time of this year’s parliamentary elections was – among others – aiming to find out whether the Hungarian education system ensures equal opportunities for both boys and girls.

According to the respondents, emotional and social maturity, diligence, obedience, dexterity, good oral- and written communication skills, a tolerance for monotony, accuracy and precision are primarily feminine traits. On the other hand technical skills, risk taking, liveliness, agility, depth perception, entrepreneurship and logical thinking are primarily masculine traits.

The results show that the respondents deem feminine traits more important in public education.

According to research participants, girls are more diligent, but the analysts point out that “anyone who has seen a boy juggling a soccer ball before knows that men are capable of performing tasks with a very high level of concentration”.

According to the researchers, the reason why women became over-represented in higher education is because “feminine traits” and humanities are preferred in public education (the compulsory subjects for high school graduation include three humanities subjects and only one science subject), as well as the fact that the majority of teachers (82%) are women.

The analysts also state that the significant over-representation of women in higher education may also cause demographic problems.

"If this trend continues, the reversal of gender inequality in higher education could lead to a risk of decline in birth rates, as women will become less likely to marry and thus less likely to have children," – they write.

The researchers also emphasized that women also have a stake in men doing well and succeeding, because if the development of masculine qualities is disadvantaged, this will also result in economic damage.

Men's creativity, competitiveness and performance-oriented approach are not only necessary for the optimal development of the Hungarian economy. These qualities are also important in everyday life, because

"growing up, even in their homes, young people are faced with a frozen computer, a dripping tap, or furniture that has arrived flat packed and there is no one to put it together".

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The translation of this article was made possible by our cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation.