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Health

Swedes are not sexist or nativist

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanSeptember 21, 2010 10:32 AM

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A party, the Sweden Democrats, is about to enter the Swedish parliamanent which is described in this way in Wikipedia:

The party has its origins in the nationalist movement Bevara Sverige Svenskt ("Keep Sweden Swedish")...During the mid 1990s, the party leader Mikael Jansson strove to make the party more respectable, modelling it after other "euronationalist" parties, most prominently the French National Front. This policy continues to be followed by the present leader Jimmie Åkesson. This effort included ousting openly extremist members.

Yes. More respectable by modeling itself on the National Front. Here's a bit about the organization which eventually grew into the Sweden Democrats:

Bevara Sverige Svenskt ("Keep Sweden Swedish") was a Swedish nationalist movement based in Stockholm and is a slogan used by various Swedish nationalist parties. The stated objective of the BSS movement, and the aim of the slogan, was to initiate a debate in order to reduce immigration from non-European countries and repatriate non-ethnic Swedes.

The Swedes, and the world, are shocked. Should they be? From what I can tell the Social Democratic Party of Sweden no longer has a hegemonic grip on Sweden's politics. But the core working class base of such coalitions is shrinking because of economic restructuring throughout the developed world, with the remnants often defecting to Right-populism. Today Gunnar Mydral would have to look to writing a book about his own nation, which has about the same foreign born proportion as the USA (though that is a touch deceptive as many of these are other Scandinavians or Finns). This prompted me to look in the World Values Survey. Specifically, the last wave which started around 2005. One thing you notice in the survey is that Swedes are very politically correct, even compared to their Nordic neighbors. I have read that the ecological awareness imputed to Native Americans in part because of the Noble Savage idea has actually resulted in a real shift and striving by many Native Americans to actually implement those ideals. Sometimes I wonder if the Swedes are so "progressive" and "forward thinking" in surveys because everyone always pats them on the back for being progressive and forward thinking. Sweden sure is the least sexist and nativist nation in the WVS. There are two questions which ask about job preference in times of scarcity. First, "Employers should give priority to (nation) people than immigrants," and second, "Men should have more right to a job than women." There are three responses: agree, disagree, neither. Let's code agree = 1, disagree = -1, and neither as 0. Weight by proportion and get an index of "nativism" and "sexism" within the population. If you get a score of -1, that would mean everyone was nativist or sexist. If you get 0, that would indicate perfect balance. 0.5, a touch on the nativist or sexist side. The plot below has sexism on the x-axis, and nativism on the y-axis.

natsex.png

Though I think racism is more taboo than sexism internationally (if Saudis explicitly treated blacks in their nation as they do women there would be a natural boycott. One of the reasons the Saudis banned slavery in 1960 had to do with protests which they kept encountering in the civilized world). But sexism is more taboo than nativism (I think there are important reasons for the rank order, but that's not a matter for this post). The correlation between nativism and sexism is ~0.76, so variation in sexism explains 58% of the variation in nativism. As you can see Sweden is a definite outlier. Note: don't attach too much normative baggage to my use of the terms "sexist" and "nativist." They seemed compact and communicated the underlying sentiments. Here are the raw values:

Men should get preference in jobs over women

CountryAgreeDisagreeNeither

Sweden2.10%94.10%3.80%

Andorra4.40%89.90%5.70%

Ethiopia6.00%85.60%8.40%

Norway6.50%88.60%5.00%

United States6.80%66.40%26.80%

New Zealand8.00%72.60%19.40%

Finland9.60%81.50%8.80%

Netherlands12.50%81.40%6.20%

Serbia12.50%63.10%24.30%

Slovenia13.60%73.50%13.00%

Australia13.90%64.70%21.40%

Canada14.30%77.90%7.80%

Great Britain16.20%76.10%7.70%

Spain17.40%76.00%6.60%

Peru17.70%72.80%9.50%

Germany17.80%66.80%15.40%

France18.10%73.80%8.10%

Guatemala19.10%72.30%8.60%

Hong Kong21.60%44.20%34.30%

Uruguay21.90%69.30%8.90%

Italy22.00%59.20%18.80%

Switzerland22.10%62.90%15.00%

Brazil22.30%64.10%13.60%

Bulgaria24.20%52.60%23.20%

Mexico25.30%67.60%7.00%

Trinidad25.30%65.70%8.90%

Rwanda25.30%64.20%10.50%

Japan27.10%17.90%55.00%

Argentina27.70%60.00%12.30%

Chile30.20%46.30%23.50%

Poland30.80%51.00%18.20%

Thailand32.30%40.60%27.20%

Ukraine32.50%44.70%22.80%

Zambia33.60%51.50%15.00%

Romania35.20%40.90%23.90%

South Korea36.50%26.40%37.10%

Cyprus36.50%46.40%17.10%

Russia36.60%43.70%19.70%

South Africa37.10%49.50%13.40%

Moldova38.10%39.00%22.90%

Viet Nam40.80%37.70%21.50%

China42.30%32.70%25.10%

Taiwan43.60%36.00%20.40%

Malaysia49.00%15.20%35.70%

Morocco50.80%33.20%16.00%

India51.40%20.50%28.10%

Burkina Faso52.30%34.80%12.90%

Georgia52.50%26.10%21.40%

Turkey53.30%29.80%16.90%

Ghana53.60%37.40%8.90%

Indonesia55.40%36.20%8.40%

Mali62.40%22.80%14.80%

Iran69.40%16.50%14.10%

Jordan88.20%7.90%3.90%

Egypt89.10%4.30%6.60%

Natives should get preference in jobs over immigrants

Country

Sweden11.80%79.90%8.30%

Andorra29.80%53.20%17.00%

Norway34.70%57.30%8.00%

Netherlands40.10%49.80%10.20%

Canada40.90%46.10%13.10%

Australia41.60%36.40%21.90%

France42.10%46.40%11.50%

Serbia44.70%28.80%26.40%

Switzerland48.00%35.50%16.50%

New Zealand51.90%29.30%18.80%

Great Britain52.90%36.40%10.60%

Ethiopia54.70%29.30%16.00%

Finland54.90%30.80%14.30%

United States55.40%20.00%24.60%

Germany55.70%27.90%16.40%

Spain57.70%34.20%8.10%

Thailand61.20%16.80%22.10%

Japan62.70%6.10%31.20%

Italy63.90%19.10%17.00%

Turkey64.40%23.20%12.40%

Romania65.10%14.60%20.30%

China66.00%13.70%20.40%

Ukraine69.90%16.20%13.90%

Burkina Faso71.70%18.80%9.50%

Argentina71.90%17.40%10.70%

Hong Kong72.30%3.80%23.90%

Uruguay72.50%21.30%6.30%

Rwanda72.60%18.00%9.40%

Slovenia73.70%15.00%11.30%

Viet Nam74.30%10.80%14.90%

Mexico74.80%19.60%5.60%

India75.20%6.10%18.70%

Moldova75.50%8.50%15.90%

Bulgaria76.60%14.70%8.70%

Zambia77.00%11.40%11.60%

South Africa78.30%11.00%10.70%

Cyprus78.60%12.20%9.20%

South Korea78.90%2.40%18.70%

Guatemala79.60%10.20%10.30%

Chile79.80%7.50%12.70%

Brazil81.40%9.50%9.10%

Russia81.40%9.00%9.60%

Poland81.60%8.40%10.00%

Peru82.20%12.50%5.30%

Mali83.80%7.10%9.10%

Trinidad84.00%10.80%5.30%

Morocco84.90%5.60%9.50%

Ghana85.20%8.60%6.10%

Malaysia86.10%2.10%11.80%

Georgia87.00%4.50%8.60%

Indonesia87.40%5.50%7.10%

Iran89.00%5.40%5.60%

Taiwan91.00%3.80%5.20%

Egypt97.90%0.20%1.90%

Jordan98.50%0.80%0.70%

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