Gender Diversity in Swiss Schools (GeViSS)


Gender Diversity in Swiss Schools (GeViSS)

What is the aim of the GeViSS study?

GeViSS is a German abbreviation and stands for "Gender diversity in Swiss Schools" (in German: Geschlechtliche Vielfalt an Schweizer Schulen). Gender diversity refers to variations 

  • Transgender, which concerns a person's gender identity. That is, how people see their gender itself.
  • Intersex, which is a congenital variation of the physical sex.


The aim of the study is to learn more about...

  • what student teachers, teachers, pupils and parents think about gender,
  • what they know about transgender and intersex issues, and
  • how they think and feel about transgender and intersex people.

Why is the GeViSS study important?

A social interest in gender diversity has increased significantly in recent years and gender issues are currently some of the most important questions of our time. At the same time, the state of research in this area shows large gaps. There has been little attitudinal research on intersex so far. Also – especially in German-speaking countries – little is known about what (prospective) teachers and students know about transgender identities and what their attitudes are towards trans people. The GeViSS study aims to provide an in-depth understanding of social attitudes towards gender diversity in the school context.

Furthermore, gender diversity is a relevant school and teaching topic. The study’s results will allow us to make conclusions on pedagogical practices and how to best approach gender diversity in the school context. The education of (prospective) teachers will continue to be developed on this basis. By means of the study’s findings, we will be able to make recommendations on an appropriate integration of the topic in teaching and the support of an inclusive approach to gender diversity in Swiss schools.

How is the GeViSS study designed?

The main instrument of the study is an online survey of the following three target groups: Teachers and prospective teachers, students (14-15 years of age), and their parents.

To be able to draw meaningful and representative results, we need to collect data from at least 850 students and 100 teachers, distributed among 50 school classes across all German-speaking cantons of Switzerland. Ideally, we would like to collect responses from at least one parent for each student surveyed.

The online survey will take place in the first semester of the academic year 2023/2024, between the middle and the end of 2023.

The survey period will be followed by a longer evaluation period. We can expect the first results of the study by the end of 2024.

Who is responsible for the GeViSS study?

The study is conducted by a small project team at the University of Teacher Education in Bern/Switzerland in the research programme "Inclusive Education" which is led by Prof. Caroline Sahli-Lozano.

The project is led by Marie-Lou Nussbaum, lecturer in school sex education, sex educator and doctoral student in psychology. The study is supervised by Prof. Dr. Sabine Sczesny at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Bern and Prof. Dr. Peter Hegarty at the School of Psychology & Counselling  Psychology at The Open University




Research project information

Contact person:


German, English

Project start:


Project end:



Diversity labels:


Research labels:

Diversity – gender diversity
Gender identities
Education – vocational training


Psychology, Curative education




Research project