The Most Feminine Country in the World

The Swedish Model

The Swedish Model

Mars, Venus, and All That

Continuing on the theme of culture and personality, I’ve noticed that social psychologist Geert Hofstede has found Sweden to be the most feminine country in the world according to his theory of cultural dimensions. Apart from masculinity/femininity, these dimensions – that he also views as personality traits, at least judging by his website – also include individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance (strength of social hierarchy), long-term orientation, and indulgence/self-restraint. But in this post I’m going to focus on the gender dimension in this post. Is Sweden the most feminine country in the world?

As a Swede myself, I think this might be true, but it all depends on your definition of course. Here is how Hofstede defines it on his website,

The masculinity side of this dimension represents a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success. Society at large is more competitive. Its opposite, femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life. Society at large is more consensus-oriented.

As all definitions, this one can be criticized. Women have part of achievement too – in a world of global capitalism you may argue that being modest and caring for the weak are big achievements. And men don’t necessarily look for material rewards, as can be seen in the case of for instance psychologist Hans Eysenck, composer Arvo Pärt or architect Antoni Gaudi. But overall, there is probably something to the general idea that men are competitors and doers and that women are caring and cooperative.

One way to validate this dimension would be with measures of gender equality, since we should expect feminine cultures to have more gender equality. Here is Hofstede’s measure compares to the Gender Inequality Index (GII) and the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI),

Untitled

 

As you can see, there are clear similarities between these indices. The Nordic countries and the Netherlands (which is culturally similar to those countries) make up 5-6 spots of the top ten on all three.  Outside this zone the measures start varying with some European, Anglosphere and Latin American countries. So the Nordic region plus the Netherlands is where femininity is the strongest. I’ll refer to this as the Feminine region from now on.

The Difference between WEIRD and Feminine

This may come as a bit of a surprise since femininity and the related concept of gender equality appear to be an integral part of the Enlightenment legacy that is mostly found throughout Northwest Europe and the Anglosphere, sometimes given the acronym WEIRD (as in Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic), a region characterized by its civic-mindedness, human rights and lack of corruption. And while the Feminine region is within the WEIRD region it’s only one half of it with the Anglosphere with countries like America, Australia, and Great Britain making up the other half, which is no where near as feminine.

So it seems not all children of Enlightenment are created equal. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone explain or even mention this divide (although someone has probably mentioned it). If, as I suggested in my previous post, culture is ultimately the collective manifestation of our individual personalities, this would have to be a mainly genetic divide, perhaps created by different selective pressures within Northwest Europe. One possible explanation would be that farming in the Nordic countries, with its much harsher climate and long winters, would make flexibility in gender roles a fitness trait. The combination of scarcity of resources and the high energy costs of a cold climate means that margins are small even under normal circumstances. If your wife is too ill to milk the cows and your children won’t survive without the milk, then you have to be flexible and sometimes do women’s work.

Health Care

So, is femininity a good thing, besides for milking cows? Are these countries really more caring and cooperative? A society level measure of caring might be quality of health care. This can be highly subjective since health is made up of many subfactors not always easy to quantify into numbers. And poor health can be largely self-inflicted by people we don’t necessarily think of as weak. To get around these problems I went with child mortality. If we compare the Feminine region with the Anglosphere we also have the benefit of comparing otherwise very similar countries. Acording to a recent report published in the Lancet with estimates of  mortality rates for children under five years of age (deaths per 1000 live births for the year 2013), we have the following,

mortality

 

Compared to the Feminine region, the Anglosphere has a mortality rate that is 70 percent higher, and there is no overlap between these groups of countries. It may seem like a small difference compared to sub-Saharan Africa, but it’s striking to have such a difference between rich Northwest European countries (or their descendants).

Udate: Jayman wondered about whether race may be a factor for American mortality. According to CDC, first year mortality per 1000 births for White Americans is 5.11 so it’s roughly on the same level as the rest of the Anglosphere, especially given that the figures above are for the first 5 years. (Black 1-year infant mortality is at 11.42.)

Consensus versus Majoritarian Democracy

The other main aspect of femininity, cooperation, is something that is found in the political systems of these countries. The Feminine region is characterized by consensus democracy, especially in the sense that these countries have proportional electoral system, lots of political parties that form coalitions and with the ambition of getting broad support for decisions, not just within coalitions but with opposition and other interest groups and institutions. It’s the friendly, inclusive, and cooperative way of governing.

In contrast, the Anglosphere is characterized by the majoritarian model (see the link above) in which countries have fewer parties, form less coalitions with often just a single party in government at a time. The government also focuses more on their own agenda with less concern for and compromise with other parties, interest groups etc. It’s the competitive and take-charge way of governing.

Unlike with child mortality, it’s not obvious which of these models is the better; it depends on the situation and what you look to accomplish. Polls on how content people are with democracy and government do not show either of these models to be more popular than the other. But this offers more support to the idea that the WEIRD countries, while being very similar in other ways, differ in ways that can be described as masculine and feminine.

The Feminine Madness

Overall, femininity seems like a fairly good thing, seeing as how the most feminine countries in the world are wealthy, healthy and democratic.But what happens at the extreme ends of the spectrum? Just as for individual personalities you get crazy and maladaptive behavior. This can be seen in Sweden, where feminism has become so dominant that any critique is viewed as backward-minded bigotry by definition. The lack critique creates a sort of unsupervised playground for all sorts of crazy. According to a recent poll, 2.3 percent of the voters favoured the feminist party Feminist Initiative in the upcoming election to the European Parliament. Here is what one of their leaders said in 2002,

“The discrimination and the violations appears in different shapes depending on where we find ourselves. But it’s the same norm, the same structure, the same pattern, that is repeated both in the Taliban’s Afghanistan and here in Sweden.”

The Angel of Reason

Tanja Bergkvist – The Angel of Reason

But it’s in the academic community that feminism is the most influential and the consensus/conformity is the strongest. A rare example of someone rebelling against the insanity is Tanja Bergkvist, mathematician at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. In her blog she reports on gender politics that the mainstream media normally don’t care to mention for political reasons. It’s unfortunately only in Swedish but if you’re interested you might try and crunch it through a translator. Otherwise, here are a few goodies from her blog that will show that words like “madness” and “insanity” are in fact appropriate,

  • In 2007, the University of Lund (one of the most prestigious) decided to introduce so-called gender certification for every single course. Meaning a course in for instance theoretical physics should include information about the implications and relevance regarding gender issues on things like quantum theory. One criteria for certification was whether the department in question was actively seeking an equal distribution of male and female teachers. However, the department of gender issues at the university turned out to have 89 percent female teachers!
  • The government guidelines on gender education in pre-school include reading only modern stories to children and avoiding the classics or at least changing the gender of the characters. Cinderella would be a pretty gay dude – but all the better I guess.
  • In 2008, the gender committee of the Science Council, a government agency created to promote scientific research, begins a three year project on the gender aspects of the musical instrument of the trumpet. Here is a quote presenting the project and the important questions it will raise, “What timbre in the wide spectrum of the trumpet becomes the norm and what timbre is perceived as deviant and labeled female and male respectively?”
  • Also in 2008, the company Swedish Nuclear Waste Disposal that manages all the waste from Sweden’s nuclear power plants, hired two gender experts to include a text in the company’s yearbook entitled, “Gender constructions, perceptions on gender and the experience of risk – a reflection on the meaning of gender in regard to attitudes to long-term management of nuclear waste.”
  • In 2009, a gender expert holds a lecture at a seminar at the University of Uppsala (like Lund a top university) and notes that a man in the audience appears inattentive. She later finds out from a third person that he commented on the way she was dressed. So she files a complaint of sexual harassment. The university informs the man that they have started an investigation about his conduct. So he calls the woman to explain the reason why he had commented on her clothes. The woman forwards this information to the university as evidence of further harassment. The man is then questioned and admits to looking in his papers at times during the lecture and apologizes for commenting her clothes, but is nonetheless officially reprimanded by the university president.

This is just 5 out of 213 posts on Bergkvist’s blog and I have in no way cherry picked them; I just took a few of the earliest that were easy to understand for non-Swedes. You might think I’m making this up (or that she is) but see for yourselves, there are links to sources on all this madness. When this happens on the individual level it’s called a personality disorder, but what do you call it on the societal level?

And at the other side of the spectrum of Hofstede’s cultural dimension, Japan scores as the most masculine country in the world. A whole different brand of crazy…

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58 Responses to The Most Feminine Country in the World

  1. JayMan says:

    Great post. Almost missed it in the furor over Wade’s book.

    Readers see also:

    Predictions on the Worldwide Distribution of Personality | JayMan’s Blog

    One nitpick:

    Compared to the Feminine region, the Anglosphere has a mortality rate that is 70 percent higher, and there is no overlap between these groups of countries.

    Did you break the Anglo countries’ data by race, especially the U.S.? Infant mortality is a lot higher among Blacks, for example.

    Though, point taken there, I think.

    I would agree characterizing Sweden as highly feminine seems quite fitting. Certainly vis-à-vis the Anglo countries. Though I’m not so sure about the rest of it. Japan for example is highly patriarchal, but do the Japanese strike you as more masculine than say sub-Saharan Africans?

    • Staffan says:

      Thanks,

      No, I didn’t look at demographics within nations, it might explain some of it, although Sweden has some 10 percent Middle Easterners. I’ll have a look at it.

      Africans do rank as masculine but it seems Hofstede looks at gender roles and relations as a measure of this dimension. In that way the masculinity of Japan is partly caused by the particular behavior of the Japanese women. But even so, I would have thought it would be a Muslim country…

  2. Dandre says:

    Important to remember there are many aspects of it. Speaking of Sweden for example, maybe it’s fair to say that the public political discussion is feminine, the “political correct” is feminine, all the political parties call themselves feministic. But at the same time, the politicians don’t have so much power, I believe, they let themselves be ruled/instructed by economists and experts, who reason according to masculine principles (such as cool-headed rational calculations).

    • Staffan says:

      Sure. Feminism is largely confined to certian arenas, like universities. Most pre-schools no doubt ignore guidelines about making Cinderella a man and such nonsense.

      Politicians are often very ignorant and surround themselves with what they think of as experts – which includes both gender experts and economists. Anyone with a degree in something who can tell them how to cater to a certain demographic or interest group.

      • Dandre says:

        You may well be right. Experience about university in Sweden though tells me it’s polarized. Seems to be an ongoing conflict between pro-feminists, and others who perhaps exaggerate an opposite standpoint.

  3. Loved your blog here and the overview and posts you share.
    (Regards : http://www.scientificbeast.wordpress.com)

  4. Gottlieb says:

    Excellent post!! Sweden really is a strange country, but it’s funny to note that all nations have their idiosyncrasies. There are no formally normal nations.
    With regards Japan as more masculine, well, depends on if you think this country as a particular kind of masculine culture, more nerdish. The idea of ​​masculinity and femininity can vary considerably. Within the wider spectrum masculinity-femininity no doubt that there are many other micro-spectra and I think this author looked at the male end of a spectrum, especially in the case of Japan I also have the impression that Muslim nations but especially nations and African populations are more masculine, through a pure biological perspective and basing myself on racial theory of Rushton.
    Brazil is also a very masculine and even more masculine country that the Andean nations of South America where it has a very high percentage of Amerindian mixture. Interestingly, I see the platinum, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay countries, as more masculine (in purely biological terms) than the South American nations with large numbers of descendants of Amerindians. It seems that the Mediterranean and mulattos hit the Amerindians in masculinity or capacity for individual domain.
    It is interesting to think because Asian nations do not seem to be more feminine than the Nordic nations, since it seems that among Scandinavians there is a greater sexual dimorphism than among Asians. It may be because Asian women have such low levels of testosterone than Asian men who made it easy submission of the first by the second. In contrast, the Norse are more varied hormonally and his theory about why the Nordic cooperation fits perfectly with the idea that, under severe conditions of life, all were useful for cooperation.
    An interesting thing to note between Europeans and Asians is the difference in latitude between the two ancetrais niche occupation of two groups. Beijing is the height of Rome. Does that indicate that more than half of mainland China is in the same (or lower) latitude mediterranean sea. Polar bears are always white?

    • Staffan says:

      Thanks,

      As I said to Jayman, Hofstede’s definition is more concerned with gender relations than with what we normally think of as masculine – testosterone, aggression etc. In this way it may be a misnomer, although I’m not sure what else to call it. In countries with lots of this biological masculinity it may be that the women are tougher too.

      Are Asian the least sexually dimorphic? I didn’t know there was a difference, although I often wondered about Etruscans who are depicted as of equal height. They supposedly had a fair amount of gender equality.

      Latitude is one thing, but most of China has a continental climate with very cold winters.

      • Gottlieb says:

        I read something about homosexuality in Etruria, including paintings. If we could divide humanity into two patterns of behavior and morality, we could use the Athenian and Spartan society standard.
        I know that a good part of Chinese civilization developed in the Yellow River region , which has been both the most populated for millennia , and I know because I’ve seen several maps in a big book of universal history of ”Times” newsweeks , 1994 I have at home . The idea that the mongoloid race has developed in its infancy only on the plateau of Mongolia ‘s strange , starting from the geographical logic that has always had a lot of fertile and more affordable lands than the cold arid ”plain of Ulan Bator” .
        In return the Europeans were rarely choice. As far as the freezing surface arrived in China I do not know , but it seems almost obvious that it was not until the height of Hong Kong .
        My comparison on polar bears is interesting. Polar bears are albinos or are white and how was the change ? Randomness that is what characterize mutations and selection by specific environmental demands . I also have the impression that white people feel much less cold than people of color , but it is only an impression encapsulated by several reports of white nationalists on the collective behavior of its rivals when winter period .
        It is widely known in the anthropology that Asians are much less sexually dimorphic than their Western counterparts and sub-Saharan. Or at least, seems to be yes.
        This relates somewhat to the ability of a group has to dominate the other. In the case of gender, we see that black and white women seem to be more able to try to balance the social environment while Asian women seem to be more submissive. It is a matter of testosterone. Asian men already have less testosterone than most other men of other races (of course it must vary a lot internally). If this is really true then Asian women would be more easily domesticated.
        The testosterone is the drug that makes the man more variable than women, right?
        Returning to the Chinese case, it is known that up to the height of Hong Kong’s climate is subtropical and Beijing until the weather is not so strict. We have to think about it in the ice ages. East Asia is a lot lower latitudes than Europe, even though the island of Sicily. Scandinavia is in the same height than Siberia on the Asian side of Russia.

    • Gottlieb says:

      Staffan,
      I am waiting for your reply…

      • Staffan says:

        It’s certainly interesting (even though I do sleep at 3.13 in the morning : )

        Many psychologists insist that there is no relationship between intelligence and personality, and that openness is just a flawed IQ measure. While openness does measure intelligence directly through its items (and yes, self-report IQ tests actually have some validity) there is no doubt in my mind that there is a genuine link here. Or as they say in the article, that intelligence is in fact a personality trait.

        The MBTI has consistently shown introverts and intuitives to have higher intelligence and have higher grades, go for more demanding education etc. But the lexical models doesn’t feature intuition and it has a problematic version of the extraversion/introversion dimension. It showed extraversion to correlate with IQ for years but this has gradually dwindled down to a zero or slightly negative correlation today. The big problem here is that they measure outward behavior and don’t admit the existence of sociable introverts or unsociable extraverts.

        In Jungian theory, this dimension is more about how relevant other people are for you. An extravert wants to affect other people; an introvert may want to do stuff solely for his own satisfaction. I think this leads the introvert to think more independently and that this is a link to intelligence.

        Intuition is easier to explain since it is by definition the tendency to think about ideas and abstractions. It sounds almost identical to intelligence but people who lack intuition can still be very intelligent. No doubt because IQ is also about logic, focus, and energy.

        The other correlations are probably pretty small. To say that conscientiousness in unrelated while organization is positively related to IQ certainly suggest that. Impulse control is perhaps unrelated in a self-report test but we know that ADHD is linked to lower IQ even though this is an impopular fact. This might be an instance where self-report differs a lot from actual behavior. We know for instance that obese people underestimate the amount of food they eat.

  5. https://staffanspersonalityblog.wordpress.com/

    ”In contrast, the Anglosphere is characterized by the majoritarian model (see the link above) in which countries have fewer parties, form less coalitions with often just a single party in government at a time. The government also focuses more on their own agenda with less concern for and compromise with other parties, interest groups etc. It’s the competitive and take-charge way of governing.”

    Actually the precise difference between the Anglosphere and the other parts of the West is in proportional representation versus first-past-the-post. The Anglosphere does not use PR for the most part. This precision matters because the FPTP system is not necessarily majoritarian and is often “pluralitarian”. I don’t think a single government in the UK has ever received a majority of the popular vote since Clement Attlee. I have to check that, but definitely in the last four decades British governments were, if not “minoritarian”, then “pluritarian”. The Tories under Thatcher never got more than 43% of the vote. Likewise, in the 2000 election election, George Bush got less of the popular vote than his opponent.

    Yet this does not create political instability, and such “pluralitarian” governments can implement their programme in face of the majority of who don’t vote for them, because the social cohesion of the Anglosphere requires the acquiescence to the political rules of the game.

    But I imagine given the greater heterogeneity of the Anglosphere that political cohesion would be more tested if it adopted proportional representation. Because PR frequently results in too many small parties getting elected — it is the nature of the mechanism — it also frequently results in political instability. So in a way the Anglosphere has optimised its political institutions according to its natural social competencies.

    France under both the Third and Fourth Republics also used PR and was also subject to political instability. When I think about the political culture of those periods one must conclude the French can get quite hysterical. In the 1950s there were huge divisions over the Algerian War — this is before the 1960s and the counterculture — and these were far more destabilising than the divisions of the Vietnam War in the United States. The PR system was just not suited to France. But the French take themselves far more seriously than the Italians for whom a government forming or falling hardly matters. Thus De Gaulle and the 5th Republic superimposed an absolute-majoritarian presidential model on the underlying PR parliamentary system. (Under previous republics, the presidents were ceremonial.) This has worked quite well and has been tested by “cohabitation” periods when the president and the prime ministre have come from opposing parties.

    I’ve always wondered whether, in their imitation of Western political models, some non-Western countries failed to consider what might have been more appropriate for their national personality characteristics. Take Turkey. The amazing thing about the rise of the AKP (the Islamist party) is that it was permitted by the odd combination of proportional representation and the 10% rule. But for some reason many countries don’t think of abandoning PR as the solution, but decide to put a stupid fix on it. So Turkey imposed a 10% rule — any party must win 10% of the vote to get into parliament — which is a very high threshold. I believe most countries have got 5%. Yet without this gross distortion the AKP wouldn’t have been able to form a government. When the AKP won power in 2002, they received only ~34% of the national vote !!! Too many opponent parties were excluded by the 10% rule and never made it to Parliament. Amazing, really.

    Then there was the rise of Salvador Allende in Chile. Leftists frequently believe he was “elected”, but he was also the plurality winner of the presidential election. But unlike the French 2-round absolute majority system of presidential voting the Chilean system allowed the chamber of deputies to choose the president when the popular election failed to produce a >50% winner. What a mistake ! In a country as divided and polarised as Chile, where a Marxist-Leninist party could get more than 1/3 of the vote, to allow wheeling & dealing in the parliamentary system to decide the winner !

    Lesson : (1) customise your democratic institutions very carefully according to your social competence, (2) unless you are Icelanders or Japanese don’t use a pure unvarnished proportional-representation system, (3) even the Anglosphere FPTP system can be dangerous if you are prone to many internal divisions ; and (4) if you need unambiguous electoral winners to keep the social divisions at bay yet still satisfy the urge for fair, pre-announced rules, then the French have blazed the trail for you with the 5th republic.

    • Staffan says:

      Thanks,

      That looks like something that could be a post on your own blog – I’d definitely read it. The term “majoritarian” is clearly a misnomer but it seems too established to disregard.

      But the point is the same: the PR system requires more cooperation and is more inclusive. Which can be construed as more feminine.

      The first lesson you suggest is very true. All social institutions reflect and depend on the underlying, and I believe ultimately genetic, nature of the people in question. In the long run this is a self-regulatory process, but you can create mismatches in the short perspective that can be very devastating. The Arab Spring quest for democracy seems like one such mismatch.

      • fnn says:

        Israel, Greece and Russia have PR. FPTP has become mostly peculiarity of the Anglosphere in the post-Cold War world.

  6. Of course if your social competence is really low no amount of rules and no amount of institutional engineering will make things good. Even the best designed institution requires an underlying ability to form some degree of social consensus.

    • Staffan says:

      That’s what you get in honor cultures; you fight it out, someone wins and the others step back until they are strong enough to challenge him and then the cycle repeats itself. It will be interesting to see if democracy has a chance in the Middle East. I wouldn’t bet on it.

  7. Gottlieb says:

    Beijing is in the height of Dubai.

    • Bobsm says:

      Dubai is at 25°18’N; Beijing is at 39°54’N

      • Gottlieb says:

        Yes, it’s time, but not in exact proportions. 😉
        However the most important, is to compare the most populated region of China with Europe. Beijing is located in a region climate, subtropical to temperate.
        Europe’s climate, especially during the glaciations, was much more rigorous than the climate of this region of China.

  8. Matt says:

    I can remember reading that, in freer and richer cultures, people identify less with cross sex characteristics. Where there is more self expression, men tend to think of themselves in a more masculine and women in more feminine fashions, which wouldn’t be surprising.

    More boys and girls toys, advertising is more focused on selling to men as men and women as women, etc. I’ll see if I can find a reference for this.

    With this idea of masculinity and femininity, I think there might be an effect here where societies which have been richer and well organised for longer, with low mortality have less “survival” values associated with a view of the world as dangerous and more “self expression” values associated with a positive world view.

    And from a certain perspective this looks feminine – women certainly tend either to believe less in a harsh, competitive world or be less interested in competing in it rather than being protected from it.

    But from another perspective, possibly not – men are harsh competitors, but also confident, freebooting, egoistic self expressers.

    And also an effect where certain self expression focused Anglo cultures seem to differ in traditionalism (which includes a traditional approach to gender roles) in focus of rationalistic High Modernism (which seems to be associated with organised and effective state governments, but also the downsides to these).

    I’m sure there is a real underlying content of differences here, I’m just a little cautious of labeling it as masculine or feminine though – Europeans in the 19th century often described the Middle Eastern Orient as feminine, due to being apparently to them a place of irrationality, laziness and sensual pleasure (see “Orientalism”) but we don’t think of it that way today. Is what’s being measured here accurately thought of as “masculinity”? For instance, does it really make sense to think of Japan as the society with the most masculine values in the world?

  9. Staffan says:

    “Where there is more self expression, men tend to think of themselves in a more masculine and women in more feminine fashions, which wouldn’t be surprising.”

    Only that Scandinavia and the Netherlands rank high on self-expression as well as femininity. I don’t know how they’ve defined self-expression but the term implies individuality to me.

    ” Is what’s being measured here accurately thought of as “masculinity”? For instance, does it really make sense to think of Japan as the society with the most masculine values in the world?”

    No, as discussed earlier, Hofstede’s masculinity/femininity dimension refers to how rigid gender roles are and how focused it is on masculine values of achievement and competition or feminine values of caring and cooperating. Japanese men are focused on these male values and the gender roles are pretty strict. It is a problematic concept, especially what it should be named. Perhaps gender flexibility would be a better name.

  10. Gottlieb says:

    Yes , as I imagined . Well , it is possible to measure the IQ as a personality then maybe we could measure the personality as a quantitative measure and see what it can happen.
    On the relationship between adhd and low iq , well, it’s a bit complicated because in fact the studies I have seen people with this condition tend to score low or lower than the control groups , however , I did not see differences considerably such as significant are the differences between blacks and whites . For a contextually unfavorable condition in a world where the characteristics of the left brain are most valued , until adhd ‘s not fare so badly in iq tests
    Also it seems, most parts of these syndromic conditions when analyzed as a large population sample, will swing between extremes much more capacity than average and more , because tests of IQ or the way hbd community looks to iq tests and their relationship to intelligence , it is very likely that many adhds will not score high on tests but in return will be highly creative . ADHD is part of the genetics of human randomness where a completely logical reasons , it is much expected that all types of phenotypes is found that the linear and punctual distribution of scores as the community hbd like figure IQ tests .
    I fully agree about the strong relationship between what I think , any kind of phenotype intelligence and introversion . It seems that all factors corroborate greater intelligence when you are introverted , regardless of which area or even cognitive levels at which you find yourself. Also by severely logical reasons , the most introverted people tend to focus more on ideas than in people , especially in terms of socialization . It seems that the appearance of the phenotype of high intelligence derives these mutations that make us less sociable than others , but more conscious .
    It is interesting that I have almost all of these traits , I ‘m open to experience despite having avoided during a good part of my life . I’m actually an introvert and I am indeed an intellectual , regardless if my thoughts are correct or not, regardless of level, I definitely prefer to think of it interacting with people , but when I do not go out until me wrong , especially if are with older people , because a lot of people my age are idiots . For example , yesterday at a birthday party of my nephew , I just talked to old people, Well , one would expect a 25 year old to talk to adults , but nowadays , young people my age seem to teenagers . Adolescence is extended beyond 20 years. .
    One thing that makes me worried is that there are many traits that are highly contextual or heartfelt words are traits that are not well understood by most people including psychologists . For example , the idea of emotional intelligence according to modern psychiatry really is very obscure . Psychologists center on the idea of ​​people’s ability to interact. But in fact the emotional intelligence would be the ability to feel empathy for others, rather than self-knowledge, knowledge of the other , regardless of whether the person is able to interact or not .
    Still on Adhd is clear to me that the modern world is geared especially for the most common features in people with greater activation of the left brain , which in the end are most people .
    I do not think talking about and emphasize the advantages of adhd at individual and collective level is even a politically correct way to talk about it , if indeed this condition is related to the high creativity , but of course not for all this population. I think it’s possible that we can find high psychoticism with adhd .

    http://borntoexplore.org/addint.htm

    The story of the boy is really intriguing. Well, I’d like you to explain to me about people who are intelligent but low iq. I remember you had said that in your previous post, but did not answer. What you see is seen in your clinic? What is the real relationship between IQ and intelligence? Of course, I am referring to the exceptionally talented and not the crowds of college where the relationship is clearly positive and significant.

    Sorry for the huge comment. *_*

    • Staffan says:

      “Yes , as I imagined . Well , it is possible to measure the IQ as a personality then maybe we could measure the personality as a quantitative measure and see what it can happen.
      On the relationship between adhd and low iq , well, it’s a bit complicated because in fact the studies I have seen people with this condition tend to score low or lower than the control groups , however , I did not see differences considerably such as significant are the differences between blacks and whites . For a contextually unfavorable condition in a world where the characteristics of the left brain are most valued , until adhd ‘s not fare so badly in iq tests”

      Not only can you measure IQ as personality but I read somewhere about measuring personality as ability, although I’m not sure if they have done that yet. I suspect such tests would have better validity because you can’t just say that you are highly conscientious or whatever, but you have to prove it.

      I can’t recall the exact average IQ of people with ADHD but keep in mind that just a few points have consequences. There are only five points separating Ireland from Turkey.

      “Also it seems, most parts of these syndromic conditions when analyzed as a large population sample, will swing between extremes much more capacity than average and more , because tests of IQ or the way hbd community looks to iq tests and their relationship to intelligence , it is very likely that many adhds will not score high on tests but in return will be highly creative . ADHD is part of the genetics of human randomness where a completely logical reasons , it is much expected that all types of phenotypes is found that the linear and punctual distribution of scores as the community hbd like figure IQ tests .”

      ADHD seems heterogenous and psychologists have noted that some have very high IQs. The term annoys me though because I haven’t found anything in it that isn’t just plain impulsiveness. I’m not sure how creative they are though. They seem to be somewhat entrepreneurial, but I haven’t seen much of true originality from that category. That’s not to say there can’t be a creative subset. Roman poet Horace could be one of these guys.

      “I fully agree about the strong relationship between what I think , any kind of phenotype intelligence and introversion . It seems that all factors corroborate greater intelligence when you are introverted , regardless of which area or even cognitive levels at which you find yourself. Also by severely logical reasons , the most introverted people tend to focus more on ideas than in people , especially in terms of socialization . It seems that the appearance of the phenotype of high intelligence derives these mutations that make us less sociable than others , but more conscious .”

      True, this connection is probably much stronger than the current definitions of introversion suggest.

      “One thing that makes me worried is that there are many traits that are highly contextual or heartfelt words are traits that are not well understood by most people including psychologists . For example , the idea of emotional intelligence according to modern psychiatry really is very obscure . Psychologists center on the idea of ​​people’s ability to interact. But in fact the emotional intelligence would be the ability to feel empathy for others, rather than self-knowledge, knowledge of the other , regardless of whether the person is able to interact or not .”

      Emotional intelligence is just nonsense. There is empathy and there are social skills. And I suspect it’s a consolation prize for people with less regular intelligence. A machiavellian person can have great social skills and zero empathy and a highly empathic person can have zero social skills. None of these “alternativev intelligences” add anything new. Howard Gardner made a career renaming personality traits as intelligences and selling books about that as if he discovered something new.

      “What is the real relationship between IQ and intelligence? Of course, I am referring to the exceptionally talented and not the crowds of college where the relationship is clearly positive and significant.”

      I think IQ is a fairly good measure of actual intelligence but as with every other test you have a mismatch between the test result and various outcomes. David Ogilvy was one such person, who may fit the ADHD profile, if I was to guess. It’s fully possible that he didn’t have all that much general intelligence but that he got his results from a combination of being creative and disciplined. So I guess I would say that intelligence is IQ plus certain personality traits.

      • Gottlieb says:

        ”Not only can you measure IQ as personality but I read somewhere about measuring personality as ability, although I’m not sure if they have done that yet. I suspect such tests would have better validity because you can’t just say that you are highly conscientious or whatever, but you have to prove it.”

        Well I think personality is something too complex, too interconnected in a way that is tricky trying to put everything in a row. But you should at least try to. I think you have a point of convergence, where born. That’s what we centralize our attention, because the rest is very personal.

        ”I can’t recall the exact average IQ of people with ADHD but keep in mind that just a few points have consequences. There are only five points separating Ireland from Turkey.”

        But Turkey is a country without large discrepancies of IQ scores. We are dealing with large variation. At the most, I think when we talk about ADHD or anything, iq tests, should be left in the third plane, after all, we are dealing with exceptionalities where there is a predominance of the right side of the brain. IQ tests were designed to measure intelligence with reliability of neurologically normal people. I know, I know a girl with adhd, very boring, not like studying, inventing lies, intrigues like to do, but she is a person within a universe of types. Ireland or Turkey or Japan versus Britain??

        ”ADHD seems heterogenous and psychologists have noted that some have very high IQs. The term annoys me though because I haven’t found anything in it that isn’t just plain impulsiveness. I’m not sure how creative they are though. They seem to be somewhat entrepreneurial, but I haven’t seen much of true originality from that category. That’s not to say there can’t be a creative subset. Roman poet Horace could be one of these guys.”

        Well, as I said before, I think, is a guess taken from logic, that IQ tests do not work for measuring capacity or outliers in any relationship is quite modest. Well, now I became a poet, LOL, I’ve written about 20 poems. But in fact, the girl with adhd I know it’s annoying even when it’s already been medicated, I wonder how it would be without the medication. I pity her mother.

        ”Emotional intelligence is just nonsense. There is empathy and there are social skills. And I suspect it’s a consolation prize for people with less regular intelligence. A machiavellian person can have great social skills and zero empathy and a highly empathic person can have zero social skills. None of these “alternativev intelligences” add anything new. Howard Gardner made a career renaming personality traits as intelligences and selling books about that as if he discovered something new. ”

        I totally agree. For example, that movie with Sean Penn in which he plays a person with mental retardation and has a daughter to raise. The character’s agoraphobic pianist, is in my view a perfect example of a person with high emotional intelligence. People with this trait are highly sensitive, and even think it is a component of creative geniuses (more than the savant-style convergent geniuses). They are not being worshiped by the common and superficial people but suffering somewhere, is a kind of hyper sensitivity but with consciouness.

        ”I think IQ is a fairly good measure of actual intelligence but as with every other test you have a mismatch between the test result and various outcomes. David Ogilvy was one such person, who may fit the ADHD profile, if I was to guess. It’s fully possible that he didn’t have all that much general intelligence but that he got his results from a combination of being creative and disciplined. So I guess I would say that intelligence is IQ plus certain personality traits.”

        Well, the study of child prodigies in which the variation in IQ performance was significant, 108-147, impacted me deeply and made ​​me finish what I imagined, the disconnection of iq tests with very high intelligence or I would define as genius because the genius would be mostly super high creativity with high intelligence, but the combination of the two seems to be the main point that defines the cognitive profile of genius.
        Especially after learning that the prodigy with the lowest iq , only 107 had already won several renowned awards . This applies to my situation. I’m sure that organically do not have a high IQ , but that does not seem to hinder me to be smart and not at the level of the normal neurologically someone with the same IQ . It may seem very pretension and maybe it is, but I do not see myself as inferior to anyone here just because I have a performance IQ within the normal range .
        I could also show you the example , especially after really unbelievable that we are mentally inundated with psychometric science , the largest single iq in my country is a mediocre rock singer , pretty mediocre . And despite all attempts to explain their genius iq test, as he has no motivation or at least he is phd , does not change the fact that he never produced any work of musical genius as well, so I have observed , he is a normal guy with above average intelligence but he does not seem to have the ”daemon” in the body .

  11. KarenEllis says:

    Fascinating Blog post and equally
    fun/interesting comments following.
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    decided to write more articles in depth,
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  12. Swedish expat living in Mexico. I am always thrilled when I receive a “Swedish” toy for my four year old daughter. Once, we received this book about princesses by a Swedish author. Predictably, since the book is a contemporary piece, it depicts a princess that fights dragons and saves princes. It worries (although since I’m a long way from home, I’m able to laugh at it) me how in my beloved Sweden, expressing the natural order of things has become unacceptable. Any hint of conservatism uncomfortable. Any view deviating from the “progressive” norm controversial.

    • Staffan says:

      They think that anyone who acknowledges human nature is a bigot, racist, and ultraconservative. I’m actually a bit of a leftist; I believe in a strong government and redistributing some wealth. And if a girl wants to be a firefighter that’s fine by me. But there will be unicorns before there are 50 percent female firefighters.

      • Exactly. Inherently “female” occupations will remain dominated by females and “male” occupations by males. Key word, “dominated” (well, unless we force workforce diversity upon the masses which seems to be the prescribed solution in Sweden) which is not the same as “exclusively belong to”; individual deviations will always exist. Expressing “conservative” views when surrounded by swedes nowadays actually feels kind of radical, a bit “far out” even. Refreshing for those of us who like to cause a bit of a ruckus, that the current climate allows us to do so by stating trivial matters and obvious truths.

  13. […] Is Sweden the most feminine country in the world? […]

  14. Gottlieb says:

    Staffan,
    recently i read a relation between ADHD and higher verbal iq and higher discrepancy among this subtests scores. What do you think about it?

    • Staffan says:

      Higher discrepancy possibly, but hardly above average on any subscale. Keep in mind the correlates of adhd – prison, car accidents, alcoholism etc. They may be good entrepreneurs but I haven’t seen anything conclusive on that.

      • Gottlieb says:

        Well, this already is a possible evidence about what do i want to say. Left handedness also is related to this bad things, but is very heterogeneous. I will continue believing that the genius today, probably, will take medication to adhd or struggling to have a succesfull life. There a other side about adhd. Neurodiversity unfortunately do mix with political corretness, but are very different proposal, because the second is about take the power and shut up the mouth of opponents. The first is about create the respect of the real and natural differences of brain morphology and functioning and respect the real diversity, that is localized in our brains. In fact, this diversity make us more strong.
        The possible evidence of discrepancy of iq scores and the strenght for ADHD usually will be to the verbal component is very interesting and reinforce my theory to explain the exceptionality of ashkenazim cognitive profile. Higher verbal iq combined with discrepancy among this component than others is a reality to many minority neuro-conditions as nonverbal disability and asperger. If ADHD also exhibit the same situation so i think who we will found a similar psychometric pattern to different extreme personalities.

  15. […] The Most Feminine Country in the World – feel sorry for staffan! […]

  16. Tikka Linnut says:

    I feel compelled to note Finns are not Nordics. Nor are we Scandinavians. No matter HOW much Swedes want to claim that is true.

    I do not agree that real (as opposed to ideological) gender (meaning sex) equality originates with the Enlightenment. It originates with genomes heavily selected for cooperation to survive winter. When there’s firewood to be cut, animals to be tended, etc., and an extended family is on hand to care for the children, the strongest and most competent step to the plate. Far northern women had to be robust, intelligent, and competent.

    Finland urbanized later than the rest of Europe, Finland still identifies as a more “redneck” nation than prissy urbanized Sweden and oil-socialism-teat-sucking Norway. (Ahem) I’m also thinking of all those Americans whose genome derives at least in part to the Forest Finns who came to the New World in the 17th century (“New Sweden”). Those were seriously robust people, heavily inbred in the first century or so, and despite being remembered by most as “Swedes,” they were not. It would be hecka fun if JayMan or someone would do genomic studies of Americans from this older and more forest-adapted stream of Finnish ancestry (later Finns–19th and 20th century–were urban or Swedish-type-agricultural).

    The ideological gender (meaning gender) equality probably comes from arguably Enlightenment-derived institutions such as higher education and its ideological orthodoxies. Those surely can shape an environment, which then shapes the genome. But as we can easily see, feminization does not equal equality, it equals female dominance, and selection against physical robustness in men.

    To put it another way, gender equality is a process of turning men into drones. Sex equality is a process of turning men and women into Finns.

    😀

  17. Staffan says:

    The Finns are genetically and culturally different from Scandinavians but also similar in many ways. In a broader categorization I believe they fit the Nordic fold in both respects. Not just on this measure but on the other dimension too (there is a comparison tool on Hofstede’s site). It’s also a common fact that Swedes find it hard to think of Finns as foreigners because they look and behave so similar to Swedes. I get the redneck thing, but Finland is also a high-tech country whose children do extremely well in school. And when I think of rednecks I think of extraverted conventional people, not highly introverted people whose nationwide tv provides news in Latin. Try that in Kentucky ; )

    I agree about sex equality preceding gender equality and that this may have to do with the cold climate (as I mentioned above) but I think sex equality is a prerequisite for gender equality. Finland is the more masculine of the Nordic countries, although not very masculine by international standards. Perhaps Finland has just struck a good balance, as they have between the modern/inclusive cultures of northwest Europe and the more tribal/nationalist culture more common in the rest of the world.

  18. Gottlieb says:

    http://santoculto.wordpress.com/

    My blog, 🙂
    I’m embarrassed and I need to fix some things but that’s it. Excuse me if” some” Sometimes I have monopolized and re-directed the subject of your posts, I did not do it intentionally.

    • Staffan says:

      Way to go. I know you didn’t. I hope you consider to blog in English, at least to some extent, because I don’t understand Portugese; I just enjoy the sound of it : )

      • Gottlieb says:

        Yes, I’ll try to make an English version. Indeed, the Portuguese is a beautiful language, sorry that there are Brazilians.

        Thanks for following my blog!!! 🙂 🙂

  19. josh says:

    femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life.

    Do you have evidence supporting this claim. I don’t think it’s true. As far as I know men were better at cooperating with each other than women
    are. It’s also usually men who sacrifice themselves for the sake of the group.

    As for the modesty and caring for the weak I have to point out a glaring paradox. Women are the biggest spenders of wealth on themselves. Just look at a mall and you can tell who uses resources on themselves more freely.

    • Staffan says:

      The evidence I’ve seen show small differences in cooperation skills between men and women. But they seem to be mainly based on game theory, like Prisoner’s Dilemma and similar designs. Consider women’s better language skills and the fact that men have more extreme personalities with 10 percent having personality disorders – and they are by definition very reluctant to cooperate. But more realistic research is needed.

      Women like to shop, I think that’s a safe assumption. But men spend money on other stuff. And caring is also about spending time and attention to others. On the national level I chose infant mortality because it’s a more robust measure – one that takes money, time and attention. Then there is of course the fact that feminine countries lean towards the consensus democracy in which attempts are made to compromise and get along with your opponents.

    • Matt says:

      Although the HEXACO is a broad measure, it is interesting to note that the primary male-female sex difference there is in Emotionality, where high E people have higher tendencies to feel love, empathy and fear, and conversely low E people tend to be tougher and worry free.

      E is theoretically related to kin altruism and particularly nurture (a disproportionately female thing). It might raise and lower cooperation in other situations, depending on how salient fear and empathy are to those situations and whether there is competition between kin and non-kin altruism.

      Sex differences in the HEXACO’s other active and reactive altruism traits, Humility and Agreeableness (essentially a factor relating to trust, a lack of suspicion, tolerance and forgiveness) I think are smaller and not consistent. Although that said, low Agreeableness is related to Borderline Personality Disorders and low Humility to Dark Triad Traits, and a Croation sample (http://hrcak.srce.hr/file/162363) found the pattern you’d predict for the prevalence of these psychological types, where the males had higher Agreeableness (just as they have less BPD) and females had higher Humility (just as they have lower psychopathy).

      Another part of that study is that the HEXACO’s Openness is subtly different from Big 5, by removing intellect related content (the facet where males outscore females), and the females score higher on Openness. Openness without intellect seems a lot like aesthetic interest.

      Women do like to shop, and in my experience tends to be driven by their emotionality and less so their aesthetic interest. The women I know who shop most tend to be driven most by how the products make them feel, not so much the status driven desire to look like a big spender which might be more common in men.

      Incidentally this is part of why it feels odd to think of feminine societies as those which are not exactly known for being emotional, tender and delicate people, rather practical and emotionally blunted.

  20. Hey, Staffan – now that the soccer world is about to begin, and Sweden is not in it, an idea pops up in my mind that I have been thinking about for years. It is loosely related to your post, and perhaps you can help me gain some clarity. I am sensing that Swedish results in major sports tournaments are on the decline and have been so for some time. A brief glance at Wikipedia (Swedish medals and rank at the Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics and to a lesser extent football world cup, btw ice-hockey doesn’t seem to fit the trend at all) confirms this. Why would that be? Could Swedish “femininity” have anything to do with it? Jantelag? In Sweden (and I don’t even think that this point is arguable), feminism, just as much as promoting “feminine” values, suppress “masculine” dito with the latter, one might argue, being vital for success in competitive sports (as a side note, I would suspect that international Swedish female sports results are on the rise – just a hunch, no data). This really bugs me, and even if I’m not very interested in sports per se, having to answer the question “Is Sweden participating in the World Cup” is humiliating. After all, it is a matter of national pride and I don’t care if we are not supposed to feel such. I would be very interested in your take on the issue. Hell, it might even be worth a blog post… Anyway, your 10¢ (ören) would be greatly appreciated.

    • Staffan says:

      I don’t keep track of sports results much, but I think it’s more to do with the fact that young people are less into it nowadays. They spend their free time playing games and being on social media. In poorer countries, sports are probably more relevant both as fun and as a potential career opportunity. That trend will no doubt reach Mexico as well.

  21. fnn says:

    Swedes are simply highly conformist. They conform to the existing system-which is the American Empire and its ideology.

    Sweden was very different before the worldwide democratic-Communist victory of 1945:

    http://conswede.blogspot.com/2008/07/social-paradigms-shift-eg-our-view-on.html

    …To illustrate what I talk about. Louis Armstrong visited Sweden in 1933. In all the news papers he was describe as something monkey-like let loose from the jungle. All across the line! And in the reviews by the most serious music critics.

    Who would have imagined in 1933, that twelve years later Western Europe would undergo an America-led cultural revolution which would lead to the common belief that there are no differences between races?

    Translation of two of the quotes:

    Knut Bäck in Göteborgs-Posten, November 1933:
    “This world is strange… No protests are raised against how the jungle is let loose into the society. Armstrong and his band are allowed to freely wreak destruction.”

    Sten Broman in Sydsvenskan, November 1933:
    “Dare I say that he at times had something monkey-like about him and sometimes reminded of, according to our perceptions, a mentally disturbed person, when he pouted with his mouth or gaped it to its widest open and roared like a hoarse animal from a primeval forest.”

    The third quote compares the concert with a natural disaster, and Armstrong’s trumpet with a hell machine. The only good thing coming out of it, he says, is that it solves to old dispute of whether monkeys have a language.

    This is what Europe looked like, up until 1945. And since some people will live under the misconception that this was a phenomenon of the ’30s, I here provide a quote from the Swedish Encyclopedia, Nordisk Familjebok, the 1876-1899 edition (here and here).

    “Psychologically the negro can be said be on the level of a child, with vivid fantasy, lack of endurance, … can be said to lack morality rather than being immoral … etc.”

    Even though the point here has been to illustrate how social paradigms can shift completely in short time (and this is just one out of numerous examples), let me add how up until 1945 all the focus was put on the differences between races, and after that all the focus has been put on what is equal (while ignoring differences).

    • Staffan says:

      True, Swedes are conformist, although how strong this tendency is compared to other countries is hard to estimate. Most likely similar to Germany, somewhere between Russia and the Anglosphere. It may also be that this tendency is linked to femininity – women are more flexible and eager to get along, that’s not always a good quality.

  22. nabil says:

    swedish women are highly crazy and sentimental with egoistic disposition,may God save us all .it is my personal experience.I cant say anything more.

  23. […] also shows up in the political system. A Swedish blogger who specialises in personality psychology explains how a “feminine […]

  24. […] you guess which country is the most feminine in the world? Yes, it’s Sweden, according to Staffan’s Personality Blog.[…]Staffan notes a couple of interesting peculiarities. One is that some of the WEIRD (Western, […]

  25. Bird_of_Prey says:

    Hello,

    The masculinity/femininity dichotomy is a fascinating one. I would like to see the development of a feminine society in a non-western context. As it stands now, the ‘feminine’ countries are also very individualistic and western, making the research contaminated by these other variables.

    I’m generally in favour of a more feminine society (I live in the Netherlands and in some ways we’re still too masculine I believe!) but we also need to make sure that feminists aren’t running rampant and call out any sensible biological difference as conservative. Gender differences need to be accepted and taught, whilst allowing the individual to deviate from the norms without penalty.

  26. Staffan says:

    Hi there,

    It may be impossible to have a non-Western feminine society as Western individualism is likely that which enables people to break the norms in the first place. So I think individualism is more of a prerequisite than a contamination.

    • Bird_of_Prey says:

      It’s strange in a way because collectivism is often said to be related to femininity and individualism to masculinity. Maybe individualism leads (or can lead) to a more feminine society and in turn it becomes more collectivist?

      • Staffan says:

        Yes, like an extremely mild version of immigration to the West – you allow for dissent but then dissenters are less tolerant towards others.

  27. suttichart says:

    admitted that I didn’t read your whole thing but I think you misunderstood what Hofstede mean by feminine culture.

    Feminie here does not mean womenhood – it just a variable to represent one of his dimension.

    Feminist, for example, would be ironically musculine in his definition and certainly didn’t meant to be a criticism (or may be it is – given that Hofstede’s femininity is basically told that people are lazy, although he certainly doesn’t intend it to be so)

    • Staffan says:

      Hofstede’s measure is somewhat problematic, as I mention in the post, but feminine culture is found where feminism is the strongest so it clearly relates to it.

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