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US News IFO study: Introduction of ethics lessons influences how religious and conservative people are

01:40  12 january  2022
01:40  12 january  2022 Source:   spiegel.de

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religious or ethics lessons - students were able to choose more often. Did that change your attitude to religion, marriage and labor market? Yes, IFO researchers say.

  ifo-Studie: Einführung von Ethikunterricht beeinflusst, wie religiös und konservativ Menschen sind © PressFoto Rudel / Imago

What effect did the introduction of the ethics specialist as an alternative to religious education? For example, on religious and social ideas in adulthood?

researchers of the Munich IFO Institute have investigated these questions and want to establish a correlation: ethics lessons at school have, statistically considered, contributed to lower religios in adulthood. At the same time, the introduction of the trade has pushed back traditional gender roles as well as the labor market participation and wages increased.

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This is evident from a notification of the IFO Institute published this Tuesday at the study results. "In addition to general religiosity, the likelihood to participate in the worship, pray or be a member of a church," says IFO researcher Ludger Wößmann. These consequences are above all observed in Catholic regions.

How Solid is the study?

basis for the study were survey data of more than 58,000 adults, which have been enrolled between 1950 and 2004 in West Germany. The West German federal states replaced the obligatory visit of the religious education at different times by choice between religious and ethics lessons - from 1972 in Bavaria to 2004 in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Before the reform, the mandatory religious education had been intensively, it is called by the research team. During the entire school period, he prevailed about a thousand lessons, about four times as much as physical lessons.

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of ethics lessons did not affect life satisfaction or ethical behavior, such as volunteers: "The introduction of choice between religious and ethics education was not at the expense of general ethical attitudes," said IFO researcher Larissa Zierow. However, after the introduction of ethics lessons, the information has been reduced to the task distribution of the genders and the need for marriage.

This suggests down

in the number of closed marriages (-1.5 percentage points)

and births (-0.1 children).

For this,

rose the labor market participation (+1.5 percentage points)

the working hours (+0.6 weekly hours)

and the wage level (+ 5.3 percent).

The study poses quite questions. The assumption is suggested that less the introduction of ethics lessons than general social developments could have changed religiosity, traditional ways of thinking or trends in the labor market. In addition, most of the IFO Institute changes in the framework of only small changes. These are statistically significant, said Ifo researchers Benjamin Arold on mirror demand.

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federalism as a "luck" for the science

The research team has separated the impact of ethics teaching on religiosity from the general social development as follows: it taken into account that the West German federal states had introduced the lesson reform at different times. "From a scientific point of view, educational federalism was a luck for us," Arold says.

So you can first consider the different age groups within a federal state. The older ones have gone to school under the old regulation, the younger ones under the new one. Second, researchers and researchers would have compared the difference in religiosity of these age groups with the differences between the same age groups in other federal states, almost as a "control group", as Arold says, where there was no reform at the time.

But perhaps there was no reform in the respective federal states because religiosity has a higher meaning there - and therefore recorded religious education? "We also considered this opportunity," says Arold. But social trends in the population in the respective federal states have taken into account without reform or before the reform in the study.

for the researcher states that the introduction of ethics lessons had the stated effects.

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