Kan individualism gynna jämställdhet?

Bildresultat för equality women

Jag har tidigare påpekat att en hel del forskning visar att individualism, som en del av ett lands kultur, har positiva effekter på såväl ekonomi som politik. Individualism mäts ofta med hjälp av det mått som Geert Hofstede skapade:

The high side of this dimension, called Individualism, can be defined as a preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of only themselves and their immediate families. Its opposite, Collectivism, represents a preference for a tightly-knit framework in society in which individuals can expect their relatives or members of a particular ingroup to look after them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. A society’s position on this dimension is reflected in whether people’s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “we.”

Kan en kultur som präglas av individualism även leda till bättre kulturella utfall? En ny studie, ”Does Individualism Promote Gender Equality?”, undersöker effekterna på jämställdhet. Resultat:

Using individual level data from World Values Surveys, we find that individualism is significantly associated with support for gender equal attitudes regarding employment, income, education, and political leadership. Individualism is also associated with greater levels of female employment and educational attainment, and lower levels of fertility. These results are robust to controlling for income, education, religion, historical plough use, gendered language, and country-time fixed effects. Our within country analysis allows us to isolate the impact of individualism from other confounding effects. Using historical rainfall variation as an instrument for individualism, we find that the exogenous portion of individualism reduces support for patriarchal attitudes and fertility, and it increases female employment and educational attainment. These effects are economically large.

Dvs. individualism – som gör att kvinnan ses som individ och som fri att förverkliga sig själv, snarare än att underordna sig kollektiva normer – verkar leda till såväl mer jämställda attityder som mer jämställda utfall. Leve individualismen (även av detta skäl)!