Survey Reveals Widespread Superstitions Among Swedish Women

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 / Go to the mediabankA fortune-teller / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaThe findings turned out to be a surprise even to the researchers themselves, since Swedes have generally been seen as “rational humanitarians” with a strong scientific underpinning.Belief in supernatural abilities is surprisingly widespread among women in Sweden, the national SOM survey has revealed.The survey generally focuses on three areas – society, opinion and mass media – and consists of several parallel studies. This year’s survey has for the first time addressed paranormal abilities. The aim of the research is to get a picture of how widespread esoteric beliefs are among the population and which groups tend to be believers and skeptics respectively.WorldFewer Swedes Call Themselves Liberals, Feminists as More Switch to Conservatism13 March, 06:48 GMTRemarkably, the survey revealed a pronounced gap between the genders on supernatural issues, with women twice or more likely to be believers. The questionnaire was deliberately framed in a yes-or-no fashion, with the hope of getting respondents to take a stand and avoid diplomatic responses about things that are not scientifically established.For instance, almost half of all Swedish women – 44% – said that there are people who can perceive things via a “sixth sense”, as opposed to 21% of men. In addition, 30% of Swedish women believe there are people who can speak with the dead, as opposed to 11% of men. Likewise, 29% of Swedish women believe there are people who can remember what happened in previous lives, as opposed to 11% of men.The same dynamic applies to issues such as predicting the future, using tarot cards, runes, star movements or healing by transferring energy from one’s hands.SOM Institute Researcher Sebastian Lundmark, who was responsible for the study, ventured that the percentages may seem “surprisingly high” to many.”Even if the majority of Swedes are skeptical, it is clear that there are still relatively large groups we are talking about that differ from the majority in their view of where the limits of people’s abilities lie,” he mused.

The findings may indeed seem strange to many, as the common stereotype places Swedes in the less religious and more pragmatic and science-oriented category. Among others, writer and sociologist Hans Zetterberg labeled his compatriots "rational humanitarians."

The SOM survey was launched in 1986 to map the evolution of society and how it affects Swedes’ attitudes and behavior.


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