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Xenophobia among radical and mainstream right-wing party voters : prevalence, correlates and influence on party support

2022-05-20

Considering the current political relevance of anti-immigration sentiments, we examined preference to avoid interacting with immigrants - conceptualized here as a manifestation of xenophobia - among radical (Sweden Democrats, Sverigedemokraterna, N = 2216) and mainstream (Conservative Party, Moderaterna, N = 634) right-wing voters in Sweden. Correlates of xenophobia did not differ between the voter groups or compared to other populations in previous research, suggesting that increased societal focus on immigration has not altered the correlation patterns. Intended Sweden Democrat (vs. Conservative Party) voting correlated with Right-Wing Authoritarianism, institutional distrust, less right-leaning socioeconomic attitudes (in both low- and high-xenophobia subgroups), sexist attitudes (low-xenophobia subgroup), male gender and younger age (high-xenophobia subgroup). In both voter groups, respondents with higher xenophobia expressed on average more sympathy for the Sweden Democrats, perhaps indicating a larger potential voter base. We discuss the interplay of xenophobia and contemporary voting behaviours, and the concept of xenophobia in relation to anti-immigration attitudes.

Pavlovian Summation : Data and Theory

2022-05-19

In summation experiments, responding to a compound stimulus is assessed after conditioning a response to each of its components. This simple experiment poses significant challenges to models of associative learning because of substantial variability in results. Here, I introduce a new method to quantify generalization from components to compound in summation experiments, which I apply to over 250 measurements of summation in rabbits, pigeons, rats, and humans. The analysis confirms that more summation occurs with stimuli from different rather than from the same sensory modality, although this is not the sole determinant of summation. A theoretical analysis shows that this finding is best accounted for by a model that includes both element sharing (Rescorla & Wagner, 1972) and element replacement (Brandon et al., 2000) in stimulus representations. I point out remaining gaps in our empirical and theoretical understanding of summation. 

Sex Selection for Daughters : Demographic Consequences of Female-Biased Sex Ratios

2022-04-10

Modern fertility techniques allow parents to carry out preimplantation sex selection. Sex selection for non-medical purposes is legal in many high-income countries, and social norms toward assisted reproductive technology are increasingly permissive and may plausibly become increasingly prevalent in the near future. We explore possible outcomes of widely observed daughter preferences in many high-income countries and explore the demographic consequences of the adoption of sex selection for daughters. While concerns over son preference have been widely discussed, sex selection that favors female children is a more likely outcome in high-income countries. If sex selection is adopted, it may bias the sex ratio in a given population. Male-biased populations are likely to experience slower population growth, which limits the long-term viability of corresponding cultural norms. Conversely, female-biased populations are likely to experience faster population growth. Cultural norms that promote female-biased sex ratios are as a consequence therefore also self-reinforcing. In this study, we explore the demographic consequences of a female-biased sex ratio for population growth and population age structure. We also discuss the technology and parental preferences that may give rise to such a scenario.

Women's Experience of Child Death Over the Life Course : A Global Demographic Perspective

2022-01-25

The death of a child affects the well-being of parents and families worldwide, but little is known about the scale of this phenomenon. Using a novel methodology from formal demography applied to data from the 2019 Revision of the United Nations World Population Prospects, we provide the first global overview of parental bereavement, its magnitude, prevalence, and distribution over age for the 1950–2000 annual birth cohorts of women. We project that the global burden of parental bereavement will be 1.6 times lower for women born in 2000 than for women born in 1955. Accounting for compositional effects, we anticipate the largest improvements in regions of the Global South, where offspring mortality continues to be a common life event. This study quantifies an unprecedented shift in the timing of parental bereavement from reproductive to retirement ages. Women in the 1985 cohort and subsequent cohorts will be more likely to lose an adult child after age 65 than to lose a young child before age 50, reversing a long-standing global trend. “Child death” will increasingly come to mean the death of adult offspring. We project persisting regional inequalities in offspring mortality and in the availability of children in later life, a particular concern for parents dependent on support from their children after retirement. Nevertheless, our analyses suggest a progressive narrowing of the historical gap between the Global North and South in the near future. These developments have profound implications for demographic theory and highlight the need for policies to support bereaved older parents.

Social mindfulness and prosociality vary across the globe

2021-11-12

Humans are social animals, but not everyone will be mindful of others to the same extent. Individual differences have been found, but would social mindfulness also be shaped by one's location in the world? Expecting cross-national differences to exist, we examined if and how social mindfulness differs across countries. At little to no material cost, social mindfulness typically entails small acts of attention or kindness. Even though fairly common, such low-cost cooperation has received little empirical attention. Measuring social mindfulness across 31 samples from industrialized countries and regions (n = 8,354), we found considerable variation. Among selected country-level variables, greater social mindfulness was most strongly associated with countries' better general performance on environmental protection. Together, our findings contribute to the literature on prosociality by targeting the kind of everyday cooperation that is more focused on communicating benevolence than on providing material benefits.

Birth order and alcohol-related mortality by ethnic origin and national context : Within-family comparisons for Finland and Sweden

2021-09-20

Background: Previous studies have found that birth order is an important predictor of later life health, including hospitalisation for alcohol use. We examine the relationship between birth order and alcohol-related mortality in two national contexts, within native families who differ on ethnic origin.

Methods: We study the association between birth order and alcohol-related mortality after age 17, using Finnish register data for cohorts born 1953-1999 and Swedish register data for cohorts born 1940-1999. We apply Cox proportional hazard models and use sibling fixed effects that eliminate confounding by factors shared by siblings. We separate full-sibling groups by ethnic origin, which for Finland means mother's and father's Finnish or Swedish ethnolinguistic affiliation. For Sweden, we distinguish native-born according to whether one or both parents were born in Sweden or Finland.

Results: We find a positive correlation between birth order and alcohol-related mortality, but only for ethnic Finns in Finland and primarily men. Within these sibling groups, second-borns have an alcohol-related mortality risk that is 9% higher than that of first-borns, third-borns 19 % higher, fourth-borns 22 % higher, and fifth- or higher-borns 47 % higher. No such birth order associations can be found for any of the other ethnic groups analysed in Finland or Sweden.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that cultural-related behaviours typical for ethnic groups, and the national context in which they are studied, are relevant for whether any association between birth order and alcoholrelated mortality can be observed. Differences in the social interplay within the family may be an important factor.

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