The Cost of Gender-Based Violence in Sweden : and an economic approach to the phenomenon
Abstract (Summary)Gender-based violence has been widely recognized as a public health issue and as a major obstacle for development worldwide. This thesis addresses the effects it has on the Swedish community and some of the underlying problems surrounding the prevalence of it. The aim of this thesis consists of three parts, namely; (1) Discuss and make brief measures of the annual aggregated costs of male violence against women in Sweden; (2) Discuss and explore the obstacles and methods used to asses this particular problem; and (3) Explore the nature of gender-based violence and discuss rational approaches of prevention.To attain the purpose, this thesis is constructed with a quantitative, as well as a qualitative method. The quantitative material is used for reaching the first part of the aim, i.e. the aggregate costs of the violence; and to answer this, a prevalence survey has been used. In the results and in the presentation of these estimations the second part of the aim is being discussed. To attain the third part of the aim, an analysis of the rational, or irrational, behaviour of both the perpetrators and the victims has been made through an economic approach mainly based within the discourse of rational behaviour.The annual direct costs were estimated to be 673.9 million SEK. Of these costs the health care sector answered for 122.1 million, the social sector for 86.8 million, the criminal justice system for 411.2. The rest on 53.8 million SEK were other costs or prevention costs. These costs are almost twice as high as the costs estimated in a similar study from Finland, even so, the results are still considered to be underestimates. The other types of costs, labelled as; indirect costs, intangible costs and multiplier effects are considered to greatly exceed the direct costs.A major problem is to access adequate statistics on the matter. The statistics used in this thesis are mainly based on a victimisation survey that gives subjective information of the prevalence of gender-based violence. It would have been preferable to find recorded statistics from the institutions, which carry a large part of the actual costs from gender-based violence, i.e. the police and court authorities.Three variables of importance could be noted. The perpetrators gain, invested police resources and prison time. A change in the internal norm would have a direct effect on the variable gain. Invested police resources and prison time also affects the utility but not as direct as the change of the internal norm. However, a change in invested police resources and prison time can in the long run affect the internal norm which means that these variables affect a perpetrators utility function in two ways.To truly change the behaviour of both the women and the men seems to be to change the external and especially the internal norm of them both. To change a norm in a society is a complex matter which has to take place in many levels of the society. Especially in the case of the internal norm it has to start at an early age. This could practically refer to measures such as gender profiled day care institutions, and heavy regulations against sexist commercials etc.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:gender cost of violence
Date of Publication:12/13/2005