Hungary’s State Audit Office has issued a report about the risks of the country’s education system being “too feminine”, warning it could hurt the development of boys and create demographic problems.
The report was issued last month but had not caught public attention until a newspaper article published on Thursday.
“The phenomenon called ‘pink education’ has numerous economic and social consequences,” wrote the state body which is seen as close to nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Like in many countries, the teaching profession in Hungary is dominated by women, accounting for 82 percent of teachers.
“If education favours feminine traits” such as “emotional and social maturity” and “provokes the over-representation of women in universities, equality (of the sexes) will be considerably weakened,” the report concluded.
It warned that if boys who, it said, are more inclined to be entrepreneurial and take risks are not allowed to develop unfettered they will be at risk of “mental and behavioural problems”.
The report added that boyish traits of creativity and innovation are “necessary for the optimal development of the economy”.
The State Audit Office warned that ultimately “pink education” could cause “demographical problems” as educated women would be unable to find similarly educated spouses “which could lead to a decline in fertility”.
Talk of masculine and feminine qualities is “total scientific absurdity,” Hungarian opposition lawmaker Endre Toth fired back on Facebook.
“It is time to remove your glasses from the last century.”
Viktor Orban has promoted a “conservative revolution” since returning to power in 2010, encouraging nativism and denigrating immigrants.
He has also defended a controversial law banning LGBTQ content to minors.
In 2019, the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner noted “backsliding in women’s rights and gender equality in Hungary” following a visit.
While Hungary has recently elected its first woman as president, Katalin Novak, it has only one woman serving as a minister in the government, which puts it in second to last place in the European Union.