Gendered Views in a Feminist State: Swedish Opinions on Crime, Terrorism, and National Security

Citation:

Wagnsson, Charlotte, Eva-Karin Olsson, and Isabella Nilsen. 2020. “Gendered Views in a Feminist State: Swedish Opinions on Crime, Terrorism, and National Security.” Gender & Society. doi: 10.1177/0891243220946029.
 

Authors: Charlotte Wagnsson, Eva-Karin Olsson, Isabella Nilsen

Abstract:

Gender differences have been observed regarding many political and social issues, yet we lack comprehensive evidence on differences in perceptions on a wide range of security issues increasingly important to voters: military threats, criminality, and terrorism. Previous research suggests that when women are highly politically mobilized, as they are in Sweden, gender differences in political opinion are large. On the other hand, Swedish politicians have worked hard to reduce gender stereotypical thinking. This prompts the question: Are there gender differences in attitudes on security issues in Sweden, and if so, in what ways do the attitudes differ? This study is based on comprehensive data from focus groups and a large-scale survey. The results show that women were more prone to respond with an “ethic of care,” across security issues. Women were more inclined to understand security problems as structural, explained by macho culture, segregation, and injustice. Women tend to support preventive measures that provide individuals with opportunities to choose “the right path,” such as education and economic investment in deprived areas. When asked about national security, women believe more in diplomacy and dialogue. In general, women are less inclined to support various repressive solutions.

Keywords: crime, law & social control, politics/state/nationalism, violence, war & conflict

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Political Participation, Security Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2020

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