On November 27, Master’s Day was celebrated in Spain. Although for many, it should already be called “Teachers’ Day”. It turns out that in recent years, the distribution of the sexes in the classrooms of primary and secondary schools has shown a clear female hegemony. Some studies conducted in recent years claim that male presence among teachers has decreased by 45%While men have never been the majority in the world of primary and secondary education in a few cases.
Currently, male teachers represent only 25% of school attendance. How to explain such a radical trend?
Teachers, the vast majority in kindergartens
If one thought that the differences in relation to sex were disparate, the results of the last year of primary and secondary education provided by the Ministry of Education are surprising to say the least. And it is that, neither more nor less than today, in Spain, neither more nor less 98% of teachers aged 3 to 6 are women.
This phenomenon clearly conflicts with the idea that men and women behave in the same way. Now what is the reason for this clear trend? Does it have to do with something cultural and with the deposit that traditions have left in the thinking of several generations?
Higher education, more teachers than teachers
Another fact to keep in mind and which explains part of the matrices that mark the society to differentiate between the sexes in education in general is that, the more the study or the degree of education is specialized, the higher the percentage of men teach there. The trend is reversed and the testimony is collected by the male sex: the older the student, the more men there are in the faculty.
Although they remain in the minority, there are more and more male teachers at the age of secondary school and compulsory secondary education. In this sense, 40% of teachers in this part of the education sector are represented by men. It seems that the higher the professional academic requirement, the more men occupy the position. The same goes for senior positions of responsibility, such as center directors; men are also in the majority. So this difference between men and women it is also reflected in the salaries to which one can opt.
How is this phenomenon explained?
Anyone has in their retina this teacher who marked her childhood or her adolescence, where she was like our second mother. This lovely person who taught in school what your parents couldn’t offer in the home environment. Without further ado, the teacher was a direct extension of the mother-child relationship. And the truth is that teaching has for centuries been attributed to the female gender, Since it is associated with the care of children and, therefore, with an extension of parenthood. But that does not mean that in practice, they are the only ones to exercise this profession.
Some explanations follow directly from the family model in the society in which we live. You could say that the school is the reflection or the mirror where the roles between the two sexes are projected. This means that, in general, the idea that women represent the qualities of patience, tenderness and empathy with younger people has been internalized, and that these characteristics define the feminine. In this sense, we ask teachers to be more maternal than professional.
On the other hand, there is evidence that the more comprehensive the welfare state, the greater the gender differences when choosing a job: in countries like Iran, for example, a woman is more likely to choose to study engineering (in this sense country, 70% of science and engineering students are women), compared to richer countries, such as Spain. It seems that, in most professions, with certain guarantees of being able to live with sufficient material resources, men and women opt for professional trajectories more consistent with gender stereotypes.
Worrisome data according to the European Union
What worries little or not the Spanish Ministry of Education, represents serious damage according to the European Union and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Gender disparity in the cases presented is a subject (never better said) hanging in Spain, as it sits right in the middle of the picture led by OECD member countries
Being the proportion of 1 man for 5 women in primary education, the European organization warns that the absence of a male reference in this area could constitute a turning point for children, because it shapes in their consciousness the most prominent stereotype in women. To be clear, students end up determining the preference of professions based on gender.
The reality is worrying for many researchers on gender equality. In some cases, universities have taken care to give lectures or bring in experts in the field of gender awareness, to arouse the interest of students, without much success. Perhaps the fundamental educational model should be influenced by public institutions, proposing a new selection model for future teachers.
A direct consequence of these public policies is the resulting pay inequality between teachers. The average of a primary school teacher is 33,000 euros gross per year, while that dedicated to secondary or higher education is around 38,000 euros respectively.