The Nordic paradox.

May 27, 2019

Nordic countries have relatively high rates of violence against women, which is puzzling because they also have very high gender equality. When I first heard of this, my first thought was that surely, there’s a lot more reporting in those countries, so of course you get more cases.

This article seems to address that:

89.1% of the Swedish sample had higher values in the physical IPVAW factor than the Spanish average, and this percentage was 99.4% for the sexual IPVAW factor as compared to the Spanish average. In terms of probability of superiority, there was an 80.7% and 96.1% probability that a Swedish woman would score higher than a Spanish woman in the physical and the sexual IPVAW factors, respectively. Our results showed that the higher prevalence of physical and sexual IPVAW in Sweden than in Spain reflects actual differences and are not the result of measurement bias, supporting the idea of the Nordic paradox.

I’ll have to dig in a bit deeper to understand the methods they used to exclude the possibility that the difference is just due to reporting (“measurement bias”), but if it really holds, then I have no idea how to explain the paradox.