Girls better protected against autism
Autism strikes many more boys than it does girls. And now Swedish scholars believe they’ve found proof that girls have a natural protection against the disorder. There are many theories as to why more boys than girls are diagnosed with autism. Experts and scholars in Stockholm and Göteborg have been trying to find proof for why that is. In two independent studies, 9,900 pairs of identical twins between the ages of 9 and 12 were examined in Sweden and England, in order to find out if siblings of girls with pronounced autistic behaviors had more autistic traits than sibling of boys with pronounced autism, and that seems to be the case. In the study, which was recently published in the prestigious scientific journal PNAS, the experts write that this shows it takes more genetic risk factors in girls than in boys in order to develop an autistic behavior.

No children, please!
They make it too noisy and too difficult to move around—some of the personnel even got injured, thanks to the kids at café Nelly. It got so bad, the manager banned children from the café. Diskrimineringsombudsmannen (the Equality Ombudsman) is now revoking that ban. Says Edessa Ok, who manages café Vurma in Hornstull: “I sincerely hope other cafés won’t do the same and ban children. Everyone is welcome here, no matter their age, and it will always be like that. Kafé Nelly (located on Kungsholmen) used to be a popular hangout for parents with young children. “One day we had no less than 18 strollers here at the same time,” says Josef Shamon, spokesperson for Nelly’s. But after an employee got burnt by spilling coffee while making way for a running child, the staff had enough. A week ago, a sign was put up saying children were no longer welcome. “It’s not the children’s fault, but the parents who need to learn to be respectful to other guests,” says Shamon. However, after a discussion with DO, the kafé Nelly was forced to remove the sign. “I’d never advise them to add a sign like that. The sign is not only covered by the discrimination law, but to deny children access to the premises would be breaking the law,” says Per Holfve at DO.

Fewer report discrimination
The number of reported discriminations in Sweden is decreasing. Last year, the reports to Diskrimineringsombudsmannen (the Equality Ombudsman) was one-fifth less than the year before. But according to Minister for Integration, Erik Ullenhag, that doesn’t necessarily mean discrimination is on the decline. “Rather it’s the opposite,” Ullenhag says to daily Svenska Dagbladet. And Lina Gidlund, who works at Sveriges antidiskrimineringsbyrĺer (Sweden Antidiscrimination Agencies), agrees, saying that in all probability discrimination in Sweden is on the rise.

Boys spend more time at daycare
Boys spend an average of two and a half hours more at daycare than girls on a weekly basis, according to a survey made by Ekot, who compiled the weekly schedules of parents to 9500 children in five municipalities: Lerum, Norrtälje, Partille, Karlstad and Trosa. In all the communities but Karlstad, the boys’ time in daycare was longer than the girls’. In some municipalities, such as Norrtälje, the differences were quite significant: Boys stayed an average of six hours longer in daycare every week than girls. In Trosa the average difference was five hours. Only in Karlstad was there an equal distribution between the genders. There’s no explanation for these differences, and there’s no research on the topic. But according to Mia Heikkilä, gender researcher and lecturer in pedagogy, other research points to the attitude in parents. They feel that boys can handle more, and that one has to be more careful with girls. Heikkilä adds this is subconscious thinking. Parents often refer to boys with words like “tough” and “strong” and similar epithets. “And if you subconsciously use labels like those, then perhaps you also think boys can handle being in daycare longer,” Heikkilä says to Ekot.