Feminists say that women are the most oppressed gender and that men live in a haven of patriarchal rule. A new study from the University of Essex and the University of Missouri-Columbia and published in the journal Plos One says otherwise.
“Women are better off in more countries than men are, a new study has found,” reports the Daily Mail. “A method that assesses the forms of hardship and discrimination facing men and women has revealed males have it harder in 91 countries out of 134. Women were disadvantaged in only 43.”
The study showed that the U.K., the U.S., and Australia all favored women, while Italy, Israel, and China favored men. The numbers were factored based on men receiving harsher punishments for the same crime, compulsory military service and more occupational deaths than women.
The study differs from that of the commonly-used Global Gender Gap Index by including certain factors that specifically affect men. This new method, the Basic Index of Gender Inequality (BIGI), focuses on varying aspects of life and measures overall satisfaction. The Daily Mail breaks it down:
The closer the BIGI score is to zero the greater the level of equality is in the country.
Zero is a perfect score, indicating absolute parity between the genders – and Italy came the closest with a score of 0.00021. Slightly favouring males.
The top ranked nation to favour women over men is claimed to be Saudi Arabia, with a score of -0.001554.
If it is a negative number it indicates females are better off and if the BIGI score is positive it shows males are less discriminated against.
For example, Guatemala and Albania came in as the 17th and 18th ranked countries, respectively for equality and had a BIGI score a similar distance from zero.
However, Guatemala is a better environment for men with a score of 0.012198 where as Albania is better for women – it scored -0.012889
The index is based on three factors: educational opportunities, healthy life expectancy and overall life satisfaction.
“No existing measure of gender inequality fully captures the hardships that are disproportionately experienced by men in many countries and so they do not fully capture the extent to which any specific country is promoting the wellbeing of all its citizens,” says Professor Stoet. “The BIGI provides a much simpler way of tackling gender inequality and it focuses on aspects of life that are directly relevant to all people.”
“Used alongside other existing indicators, it provides additional and different information to give a more complete assessment of gender equality, making it easier for policy-makers to introduce changes to improve the quality of life for both men and women,” he continued.
Professor David Geary, from the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri in the United States, said, “We sought to correct the bias towards women’s issues within existing measures and at the same time develop a simple measure that is useful in any country in the world, regardless of their level of economic development.”
According to the study, women in underdeveloped countries like Chad faced the most hardships, which researchers say stemmed from lack of quality education. In the developed nations of the Western world (where feminists claim they are oppressed), women actually had the slight advantage.
“We’re not saying that women in highly developed countries are not experiencing disadvantages in some aspects of their lives,” said Professor Stoet. “What we are saying is that an ideal measure of gender equality is not biased to the disadvantages of either gender. Doing so, we find a different picture to the one commonly presented in the media.”