Relative Status of Men and Women

There are no legal differences between the value attached to men and women by the state or in authority, rights and privileges. Even informal differences are very difficult to pinpoint. Only the still very common "obsequious" behavior of girls and young women towards male leadership in organizational or technical matters may point in this direction, but it might also only be the result of a hierarchical gradient. Usually even these women who show a distinctive obsequious behavior deny, if asked, that they think that men in general are of higher value. However, in this context it is surprising that more female employees (6%) take the chance of a Seitensprung (a "bit on the side," (little) affair) at company parties than men (1%) according to a Forsa survey in 2000. Only the Catholic church is still a stronghold of formal male supremacy, although this might be changing because the German Catholic Church suffers a severe shortage of priests and so more and more tasks are taken on by female lay helpers. However, although they gain some informal influence because of these activities, they are not paid or distinguished with a hierarchical rank.

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