Det här jästpaket kom in som ett mejl från Fredrik Johanssn precis innan jul. Tyvärr tappades det bort i julstöket. Redaktionen ber så mycket om ursäkt. Men som det brukar heta, bättre sent en aldrig. Vi publicerar mejlet ganska rakt av utan redigering bortsett från att länkar snyggats till. (Och givetvis finns intresse för uppföljande inlägg om saken.)
Jag fick upp ögonen för Eurobarometer 449 efter att ha läst en artikel i metro.
Några dagar senare skickade jag ett mejl med frågor till ansvariga bakom rapporten, och idag fick jag ett svar.
Det hade varit intressant att få lite input från er och era läsare på genusdebatten, så ni får gärna publicera detta i ett inlägg. Kanske återkommer jag med ett senare inlägg, om intresse finns, till hur jag resonerar kring svaret, och även om några andra saker jag reagerade på när jag läste rapporten. Just nu har jag tyvärr inte så mycket tid för det, utan väljer att kort och gott publicera mitt mejl, och deras svar för diskussion.
För den som vill läsa själv, så finns rapporten tillsammans med sammanställning av svar för 28 separata länderna här.
Detta är mejlet som jag skickade 2016-12-02:Hi,
I have a few questions concerning Special Eurobarometer 449 – ’Gender-based violence’. I would appreciate very much if you would take the time to help me straighten them out.
It was reported in Swedish media that ”27 percent of all europeans think rape might be okay”. The source given in the article is the Special Eurobarometer 449 report published in November 2016. As it seemed ridiculous to claim that over 1 in 4 persons would think rape is okay in certain situations, I went on the read the report myself to see if this was really the conclusion of the report. I found a few things in the report notable that I hope you can help clarify.
The numbers in the Swedish article are obviously based on the response to question QB10 in the questionnaire. The first thing I noted was that the question is about ”sexual intercourse without consent” which may or may not be synonymous with ”rape” (the phrase used in the article). My guess is that it might be in some countries but not in others.
Question 1: In your opinion, is the statment ”27 percent of Europeans think rape is justified or justifiable in certain contexts.” in line with the conclusions of the report?
The second thing I noted was how the question was formulated. On page 62 in the report it is stated that ”Respondents were asked whether having sexual intercourse without consent was justified in in [sic!] nine different circumstances”. And thereafter claimed that ”At least one in ten respondents think intercourse without consent is justified if the person is drunk or using drugs”. But in my opinion this is not what is actually asked. The exact formulation of QB10 is:
”Some people belive that having sexual intercourse without consent may be justified in certain situations. Do you think this applies to the following circumstances?”
I think this is different from asking ”Do you think that having sexual intercourse without consent is justified in the following circumstances?”.
Formulated as in QB10, I think that some people may have interpreted that question as ”Do you think that these (some) people (that believes it may be justified) are justifying it under the following circumstances?” (i.e. the respondent may have thought that you were asking, not whether they themselves would justify it, but in what situations they think others may have justified it. As it is clearly claimed in the question that others DO justify it.)
To me it seems more plausible that such a high percentage that responded yes to these questions may have interpreted them in that, not intended, way rather than them themselves thinking it is justifiable in those situations. Especially considering that several other questions in the questionnaire are asking the respondent to take an educated guess about how things are rather than asking about their own opinions and/or experiences.
It’s also interesting to note that in QB8.3, when explicitly asking what the respondent thinks about forcing a partner to have sex, 96 percent say it is wrong, and only 1 percent say it is not. While when asking about intercourse without consent the way it is asked in QB10, most circumstances has at least 7 percent answering that yes, it is justified.
Question 2: In your oppinion, is it possible that some respondents may have interpreted QB10 as asking in what situations they think other people may justify sexual intercourse without consent?
The follow up question to this is concerning the translation of QB10 into a multitude of languages. In the Swedish factsheet QB10 is translated as:
”Somliga tycker att det kan vara rättfärdigat att ha sexuellt umgänge utan samtycke i vissa situationer. Anser du att detta gäller för följande omständigheter?”
It seems to me that in the swedish translation it’s harder (but still possible) to misinterpret the question in the way described above. And, as seen in the report, swedes are some of the least likely to have responded ”may be justified” in most of the situations. It would be interesting to know from someone speaking romanian (as they are stated in the report to be most likely to respond ”may be justified”) what they think about their translation of QB10 concerning this matter.
Question 3: Do you think the translation of QB10 into various languages may have affected how the question was interpreted by respondents in different countries?
Thank you for taking your time to read and respond to this mail!
Fredrik Johansson, Software developer & Concerned EU citizen.
Här är svaret som jag fick 2016-12-23:
Dear Mr Johansson,
Thank you for your interest in Eurobarometer surveys.
We are sorry for this late reply.
We take note of your remarks on the Special Eurobarometer 449 ”Gender-based violence”.
Please see the statement prepared by Directorate-General Justice of the European Commission on this matter:
”Many thanks for your interest in this survey and for writing to express your concerns. The aim in designing this Eurobarometer was to provide EU and national policymakers with information on attitudes towards gender-based violence, in order to better respond to the problem, both as regards prevention and tackling the issues of under-reporting and access to justice and support for victims.
We understand that the findings of the survey are shocking, including the responses to the question regarding sexual intercourse without consent. However, QB9 also uncovered shocking victim-blaming attitudes among an almost equally sizable segment of the EU population, and an EU-wide survey on women’s experiences of violence carried out by the European Fundamental Rights Agency in 2013 found that 5% of women have been raped in their lifetimes, with only 30-40% of women who have experienced sexual violence reporting it to the police or contacting support or legal services, in many cases due to shame or a belief that they are to blame. This supports the finding that victim-blaming attitudes still persist in society, both among men and women. Furthermore, the data from the question on sexual intercourse without consent is consistent with similar research undertaken at the national level in Member States. For example, a survey in Estonia shows that 47% of the general population completely or partly agreed with the statement that ”Women cause their victimisation or rape by their clothing” and in another survey 39% of young people in Estonia partly or completely agreed that a victim of rape who has consumed alcohol before it occurred is partly responsible for what happened. In Sweden, 23% of men and 18% of women agree that ”The woman herself is responsible for being raped if she is under the influence of alcohol/drugs.” The same Swedish survey also showed high percentages of agreement (in some cases over 25%) with a number of statements that included different circumstances or behaviours justifying rape: “she does not physically resist or scream” (25% men; 18% women), “she voluntarily follows a man home, for example after a party/restaurant” (26% men; 25% women), “she has flirted and petted with the man before the rape” (26% men; 22% women) or “she dresses and acts provocatively” (26% men; 19% women). These examples are drawn from a mapping exercise carried out in preparation for developing this Eurobarometer and detailed in the following report, published by the Commission a year ago: Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women in the EU (see p 72 and further).
In addition, the question on sexual intercourse without consent sought to minimise social desirability bias, which refers to the fact that people will often report inaccurately on sensitive topics in order to present themselves in the best possible light, by referring to the fact that some people believe the statement. The questionnaire was subjected to testing before roll-out to the full sample. No issues of understanding were raised during this process – this means that during the interviews, respondents didn’t want to clarify with the interviewer or didn’t ask the interviewer about what was exactly meant by the question. It appears that the question was understood the way it was intended and that ’the persons interviewed find sexual consent justified in situation x, y, z, or in none of these’. In fact a majority of people selected ’none of these’, which would be strange if respondents thought we were asking why others may believe that sexual intercourse without consent could be justified.”
Som sagt, hade varit intressant att höra några andra personers tankar kring detta.
I övrigt vill jag tacka för en trevlig blogg som jag följt till och från under de senaste åren, samt passa på att önska alla en riktigt god jul och ett gott nytt år!
Med vänlig hälsning,