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Family values Swiss youth remain conservative

An idyll: the family as desired by many young Swiss people

(Keystone)

The first Swiss digital natives are now grown up – but they retain the values of past generations, especially when it comes to family life. Many are in favour of the traditional family model.

Most would like to get married and three quarters of this generation would like to have children, according to the youth poll ch-x, which was published on Fridayexternal link.

A large majority of those wanting families believed the man should be the provider and the women should look after the children. The most popular family model was the man working full-time and the women part-time, with 42% of women and 44% of men polled agreeing with this. A quarter of both men and women said the women should not work at all.

Overall, 24% of women and 19% men would consider both partners working part-time, but only a minority were in favour of the woman working more than the man or that both partners worked full-time.

As for other generations, friends, family, hobbies and work were more important than politics or religion. This has remained constant for 30 years, the study’s authors remarked.

Also important was independence and personal fulfilment and working towards a higher social status through work-based success, a statement said.

Social media

A change was seen in spare time activities. Sport, going out and spending time together were still popular. But new was the dominance of social media and the internet, which were used daily. But young people still liked television and radio: three quarters of the young people said they listened to the radio at least once a day and two thirds said they wanted at least one hour of television a day.

“Overall, young people are faced with tension over their desire for personal self-fulfilment, also supplemented through new media in their various forms and manifold possibilities, and holding onto traditional structures that have a rather collectivistic orientation. This generation is therefore faces challenge of reconciling their many incommensurable wishes and obligations,” added the statement.

The results are part of a Swiss-wide government survey of young people: 50,000 army conscripts and 1,800 young women took part in the survey in 2012/2013. A digital native is a person born or brought up during the age of digital technology.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ilj

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