The costs of street harassment of women, with respect to India

by on November 28, 2017 at 12:53 am in Economics, Education, Law | Permalink

This paper examines the impact of perceived risk of street harassment on women’s human capital attainment. I assemble a unique dataset that combines information on 4,000 students at the University of Delhi from a survey that I designed and conducted, a mapping of the potential travel routes to all colleges in the students’ choice set using an algorithm I developed in Google Maps, and crowd-sourced mobile application safety data. Using a random utility framework, I estimate that women are willing to choose a college in the bottom half of the quality distribution over a college in the top quintile for a route that is perceived to be one standard deviation (SD) safer. Alternatively, women are willing to spend an additional INR 18,800 (USD 290) per year, relative to men, for a route that is one SD safer – an amount equal to double the average annual college tuition. These findings have implications for other economic decisions made by women. For example, it could help explain the puzzle of low female labor force participation in India.

That is the excellent job market paper by Girija Borker at Brown University, this is one of the most novel and important works I have seen this job market season.

1 Axa November 28, 2017 at 1:38 am

People using Uber instead of transit are in the same situation: a “luxury” or a basic need?. It’s good to put some numbers on it.

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2 Anshu November 28, 2017 at 1:48 am

It’s easy to believe that women in Delhi would spend more money or time to take a safer route but it’s impossible to believe that they would sacrifice college quality because of safety, particularly across quintiles. It is super cut throat to get into elite colleges or even good colleges and its perceived impact on your career prospects is massive. Nobody who gets into St. Stephen’s, SRCC, LSR etc would give that up for a lower ranked college. They may pick and choose between the elite colleges based on perceived safety or choice of major but no student (or parent ) would prefer that they (their kid) study in Dayal Sigh college because it’s safer to get to than LSR. It’s like someone walking away from studying for free at Harvard because it’s safer to catch a bus to Bay state college. The idea is laughable.

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3 A Truth Seeker November 28, 2017 at 4:03 am

We will never know: Boston is not New Delhi.

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4 Matt November 28, 2017 at 8:07 am

“It’s like someone walking away from studying for free at Harvard because it’s safer to catch a bus to Bay state college.”

It’s not even a little bit like that. You’ve arbitrarily changed a major piece of data, namely the social and cultural context of the study, for no reason other than to help support the conclusion you’ve already drawn.

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5 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 8:27 am

How much do you know about the “social and cultural context” faced by Delhi University students?

Anshu, probably a native of Delhi, has a far better idea of that than you.

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6 Matt November 28, 2017 at 9:23 am

A bit. Definitely enough to know that it’s very different from that of Boston. Or are you claiming that only a native of Delhi could know that Delhi is not Boston? But then, if I can’t know that Delhi isn’t Boston because I’m not a native of Delhi, how could a native of Delhi know that Boston isn’t Delhi? Since, by your reasoning, only a native can know that.

Or, to put it more concisely, your comment makes no sense whatsoever

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7 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 9:44 am

Ofcourse Delhi isn’t Boston. But it doesn’t follow that Delhi women in particular would make suboptimal choices to improve “safety”?

I grew up in Bangalore and back when I was 17, I gave up admission in an engineering college 400 kms away to study in a Bangalore college close to family even though the former college was one of the top 20 institutes in the country and the latter college, was barely in the top 50.

And I am not female. My suboptimal choice was definitely not driven by considerations of safety or mitigating sexual harassment.

8 Anshu November 28, 2017 at 9:32 pm

“You’ve arbitrarily changed a major piece of data, namely the social and cultural context of the study, for no reason other than to help support the conclusion you’ve already drawn.”

Congratulations Matt!! You know everything! Particularly the hidden motivations behind the utterances of other people.

I am speaking precisely of the social and cultural context in Delhi and in India. I went to Delhi university as did many of my friends and family. The university consists of 77 colleges. From the ultra elite like St. Stephen’s, SRCC, LSR to the super shit like Shivaji College. There were several women who came to St. Stephen’s travelling 2 hours each morning, fending gropers all along the way in buses. It’s because getting into these colleges is a once in a lifetime opportunity and because the other option is to go to a shittier college near your home where you will only have to fend off gropers for 30 minutes and your career and networking opportunities will be several orders of magnitude worse. It’s not a trade-off any student is willing to make.

The social and cultural context that you think that only you are aware off is this: We have very few good quality institutes of higher education and it’s impossible to get into them. The cut off for LSR Econ Honors degree was 97.5% across all your subjects in the national high school exams. That’s insane! NOBODY who gets into LSR, in a major they want, walks away from it for a college in a different quintile. The second social and cultural reality is that even in a 30 minute bus ride to a closer college, or to go to the mall or to go anywhere, there is a positive probability that some asshole with grab you or try to grope you. It is a reality that is inescapable and normalized. It is enough to deter women from choosing alternatives they may have a slight preference for but not enough to deter women from choosing things they have strong preferences for. Particularly since going to the elite colleges opens up avenues for women to escape the clutches of their own families. A majority of Indian women who have gone to grad school in the US have no intention of going back to the repressive social set up in India, the set up in huge parts enforced by their own families. To repeat again, literally NOBODY will switch out of the top quintile. The top quintiles opens up opportunities that can potentially radically alter the quality of life of the women who study there.

But please keep don’t allow my post to keep you from firmly placing your head up your own ass. It must be warm and cozy there. Please enjoy your safe space.

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9 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 9:42 pm

“A majority of Indian women who have gone to grad school in the US have no intention of going back to the repressive social set up in India”

Ah. Just when I thought you were about to complete a fine comment, out comes the liberal gripe about India and its social set up.

Sure, many Indian women (and men) stay on in US after grad school, largely because this is a stinking rich country where their earning potential is practically double what it would be in India (in PPP terms). Many still do go back in their 30s/40s to India. I have many relatives who have made that choice. And are very comfortable with it.

Nobody leaves India to escape the “social repression”. Far from it, many are positively nostalgic for the warmth and care of the Indian social set-up. Many complain about the coldness of America and the complete lack of personal touch in the interactions here. The healthcare system in US is positively draconian and is despised by every Indian. The schools are awful and most of my relatives’ kids are distinctly uncompetitive in math and science relative to their similarly aged cousins in the best Indian schools. The labor is super expensive making home making an incredibly tedious task….I can go on and on about the umpteen ways in which living in US is a pain.

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10 Anshu November 29, 2017 at 12:18 am

I don’t think we’re saying contradictory things. In my experience, over 51% (majority) of Indian women LOVE their country so long as they don’t have to go back and live with the in-laws, and have a million restriction about what they get to wear, what time they can go out, where they can go, whether they can chill with their male friends independently of their husbands and boyfriends and dads, which bars they can go to etc. That still leaves huge numbers of people who are happy to live with their in-laws, happy to cover themselves up, and are not interested in getting shitfaced in a bar. Many people do go back, and many people are not able to make deep emotional connections with Americans, and they know that their privileged position in India will get them access to five star health care because the public healthcare in India is infinitely more shitty then in the US, they know that they can sent their kids to the elite schools in India because the average public schools in India are worse than the worst US public schools, and they know you can pay an army of maids, cleaners, gardeners etc a pittance to do your housework for you. I don’t disagree that life as a privileged person in India is way way more comfortable than life as a middle class person in the US and many people who fit culturally choose to go back. But a lot of people prefer the American culture and freedoms. In Delhi it’s very hard for a single woman or a divorced woman to even rent an apartment. Everyone from the washer-man to the gatekeeper think that a divorced woman is fair game. It is very difficult to simply even live-in with a person. It is very difficult for women to just hit a bar alone. Taking public transportation in a non-gendered compartment without being groped is close to impossible.

11 shrikanthk November 29, 2017 at 6:30 am

“Many people do go back, and many people are not able to make deep emotional connections with Americans, and they know that their privileged position in India will get them access to five star health care because the public healthcare in India is infinitely more shitty then in the US”

No it isn’t infinitely more shitty. It is a more virtuous and honorable system where you get what you pay for. And the poor can’t freeride

“That still leaves huge numbers of people who are happy to live with their in-laws, happy to cover themselves up, and are not interested in getting shitfaced in a bar”

It is a virtuous thing to take care of aged in-laws. India is a more virtuous place than immoral US where you have a very evil Social security set up where I need to pay for the security and care of aged people I dont give a shit for. In India, kids take care of parents. Not strangers. We are more virtuous.

And yes, decent people do not mind covering themselves up unless the occasion calls for not covering up (eg – beach or a picnic). India isn’t US where every other woman dresses up like a pornstar.

“But a lot of people prefer the American culture and freedoms”

I call it American license and vice.

“Taking public transportation in a non-gendered compartment without being groped is close to impossible.”

You may get groped once in a blue moon in India. But in US, besides being groped you also get ruined by nasty boyfriends in the dating market.

12 freethinker November 29, 2017 at 6:43 am

“Sure, many Indian women (and men) stay on in US after grad school, largely because this is a stinking rich country where their earning potential is practically double what it would be in India”.

OK but how come few well-qualified Indians would like to become a citizen of Saudi Arabia or Kuwait? Work for some years there to earn a lot of money, yes. But not many would do anything to become a citizen of such very rich nations. Obviously when it comes to western nations money is a major factor but not the only one as shrikanthk suggests. The fact is, these nations at present have a superior civilization and a superior culture and it is this that Indians find appealing. Many Indians settled in the US keep running down American culture but in their heart of hearts they know they are being hypocritical.
This may change in the future and Indian culture may become superior to western culture but that time is not yet.

13 shrikanthk November 29, 2017 at 6:52 am

Ofcourse the privileged would prefer a culture that tolerates vice and license more. Who wouldn’t. We all like candies. But that doesn’t make candies healthy or desirable.

Virtue is hard. No wonder it is also less attractive.

And your comparison with Saudi isn’t apposite. Those are downright unlivable places where Indians don’t even have the same rights as the local Muslims.

I don’t need lectures on Western civilization. I have grown up reading Dickens and Wodehouse, watching Hitchcock and Ford, discussing Hume and Hamilton. I understand western civilization better than most westerners. That doesn’t take away the fact that it is a Faustian civilization, as Spengler rightly pointed out. It has made a pact with the devil. It is a civilization less concerned with virtue and more concerned with pleasure. And that will be its undoing in the long run.

14 Anshu November 29, 2017 at 9:29 am

“No it isn’t infinitely more shitty. It is a more virtuous and honorable system where you get what you pay for. And the poor can’t freeride”

India is a more virtuous place than immoral US where you have a very evil Social security set up where I need to pay for the security and care of aged people I dont give a shit for.

India isn’t US where every other woman dresses up like a pornstar.

I call it American license and vice.

You may get groped once in a blue moon in India. But in US, besides being groped you also get ruined by nasty boyfriends in the dating market.”

Dude…what just happened??? Leaving aside issues of morality, virtue, and vice, if you don’t think Indian public hospitals are shit, just go today outside AIIMS (India’s best public hospital) and look at the poor patients sleeping on the footpath. Or if you’re not in Delhi then just google “patients outside AIIMS on footpath” and look at the google images or read the first few links. Secondly, if you think women in Delhi buses get groped once in a blue moon then we have a permanent blue moon situation going on. I don’t think you’ve ever talked to a woman who has taken a bus in Delhi. Finally, every other woman in the US dresses like a pornstar?? Hmm, you need to update your porn choices from the 1800s to modern times. All this vitriol and morality, seems very personal. Someone must’ve really hurt your feelings when you were in the US.

15 shrikanthk November 29, 2017 at 9:37 am

Nothing personal. I just refuse to argue with the people here using western yardsticks and assumptions. I have my own yardsticks. Indian ones.

Maybe I stretched things a bit with the pornstar comment. But even that is not as much of an exaggeration as claiming that most Indians pass bowels in public, which is commonly accepted wisdom on India here in Marginal Revolution threads.

16 shrikanthk November 29, 2017 at 9:39 am

And AIIMS treatment is perfectly fine given the prices you pay there. You get what you pay for.

If you need 5-star treatment, please cough up 5 star prices.

As Milton Friedman said, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

17 shrikanthk November 29, 2017 at 9:46 am

“Secondly, if you think women in Delhi buses get groped once in a blue moon then we have a permanent blue moon situation going on. I don’t think you’ve ever talked to a woman who has taken a bus in Delhi”

The parents of Delhi girls must let their girls go a bit ant atleast let these precious damsels travel in public buses, so the public knows they exist and aren’t aliens. Hah. Heck,…how can groping happen when women don’t even travel in buses to know.

I’ve lived in Delhi for 8 years, and never witnessed an indiscretion. In contrast, I have personally been accosted and even spat on in 5th avenue, 42nd street in NYC (broad daylight mind you)

18 So Much For Subtlety November 28, 2017 at 5:09 am

So the claim is that sexual harassment is so bad it is keeping women out of the work force? Interesting claim. I think that would need quite strong proof even though I am inclined to believe it.

I am mildly reminded of a Richard Prior joke that there were no Black astronauts because while they could handle being launched into outer space, the bus trip down through Alabama had them worried.

Mind you, I am also reminded of the famous Gandhi quote:

Interviewer: Mr. Gandhi, what do you think about Western civilization?
Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.

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19 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 9:52 am

Gandhi, an English barrister, who spent over a decade of his life in South Africa and England, a fan of the Bible, John Ruskin, Leo Tolstoy, among others, definitely knew more about Western civilization, than many on this thread.

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20 freethinker November 29, 2017 at 7:00 am

” It [ western civilization]has made a pact with the devil. It is a civilization less concerned with virtue and more concerned with pleasure. And that will be its undoing in the long run.”
shrikanthk, are you saying is there is nothing positive about western culture? And Indian culture is totally spotless and full of virtue?

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21 shrikanthk November 29, 2017 at 7:05 am

Haha. When did I say that.

I am offering a corrective here to the “pursuit of happiness” narrative which is totally unchallenged and slavishly celebrated.

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22 Butler T. Reynolds November 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm

The people who celebrated the “pursuit of happiness” were thinking of the Aristotelian definition of happiness, not the Hugh Hefner definition.

23 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 7:30 am

Well. It is interesting that most indicators of sexual harassment in india are far lower (ie better) in urban India as compared to say US.

The thing with many Indian women is a very low tolerance threshold where even a mild complimebmnt on one’s looks qualifies as “harassment”. And also the parents of indian women are often ultra conservative (not a bad thing ) and are willing to make that extra effort to pamper their daughters.

This isnt a reaction to the threat of sexual harassment. Rather it is indicative of the cloistered upbringing of indian youngsters ( particularly women)

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24 A Truth Seeker November 28, 2017 at 9:07 am

Well, if you can cure the patient’s (the country’s) fever, feel free to break the thermometer.

Let’s be blunt: the Indian regime is a savage, radical one, it is an outpost of tyranny in no way different from Pakistan or Red China.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/world/asia/for-rape-victims-in-india-police-are-often-part-of-the-problem.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/19/world/asia/murder-small-town-india.html

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25 A Truth Seeker November 28, 2017 at 9:08 am

Well, if you can not cure the patient’s (the country’s) fever, feel free to break the thermometer.

Let’s be blunt: the Indian regime is a savage, radical one, it is an outpost of tyranny in no way different from Pakistan or Red China.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/world/asia/for-rape-victims-in-india-police-are-often-part-of-the-problem.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/19/world/asia/murder-small-town-india.html

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26 chuck martel November 28, 2017 at 7:39 am

This resembles the on-going concern over sexual predation on campus, the “rape culture”, as if women that don’t attend college are exempt from consideration. It’s interesting that the study focuses on the travel risks of female college students as opposed to all students, females in general, male students, or the population in general. Maybe female students are more important than others.

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27 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 7:56 am

Rape rates per 100,000 population

India : 1.8

USA : 27.3

Sweden : 63.5

But yes, India is still “unsafe” for women. It is common to apply a different yardstick for India. After all we don’t share one of the three desert religions. So our numbers are to be trusted less than those of the Abrahamic brethren.

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28 JWatts November 28, 2017 at 9:13 am

Interesting statistics and thanks for supplying them!

“After all we don’t share one of the three desert religions. So our numbers are to be trusted less than those of the Abrahamic brethren.”

But this is a ridiculous comment. Do you think anybody on this board thinks uses a different yardstick when comparing rape in Japan or Taiwan versus the West? The comparisons have nothing to do with the religious aspects. It’s a first world point of view about third world countries and is certainly prone to misconceptions.

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29 blah November 28, 2017 at 11:39 am

@JWatts : frankly I don’t see TC writing about any country as negatively as he writes on India. e.g., search his posts on Pakistan – https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Amarginalrevolution.com+pakistan&oq=site%3Amarginalrevolution.com+pakistan

You are surprised at shrikanthk’s comment because you don’t have that bias against Indians in yourself, but I think there are sections of the American academia that do.

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30 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 11:52 am

Yes, And that bias definitely stems from a bias against Hinduism. Fact.

Tyler himself has acknowledged his partiality for Islamic theology on more than one occasion on his blog. As well as his soft spot for Christianity, For instance – his disdain for Edward GIbbon’s thesis that Christianity hurt European civilization in the 1st millennium CE.

Deep down this bias stems from a belief in Judeo Christian (and Islamic) cultural superiority and a contempt for cultures outside that tradition.

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31 Sam Haysom November 28, 2017 at 12:22 pm

What made India such a pushover that every European county even weak Portugal made India their bitch. Whose the Hindu god for knee pads.

32 Careless November 29, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Yes, And that bias definitely stems from a bias against Hinduism. Fact.

Yikes. What an absurd persecution complex you have

33 A Truth Seeker November 28, 2017 at 10:37 am

“It is common to apply a different yardstick for India. After all we don’t share one of the three desert religions. So our numbers are to be trusted less than those of the Abrahamic brethren.”

Also, India is madly corrupt.

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34 Kris November 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

@shrikanthk:

Though we must factor in the higher rates of reporting rapes (and a “lower” threshold for what constitutes rape) in the Western countries, I can believe that rape rates in India are significantly lower, though perhaps not by the magnitude suggested by the above numbers.

I would guess that the rates of low-scale harassment are much higher in India (what we euphemistically call “eve-teasing”), at least for single unchaperoned women. You can see groups of young men hanging aimlessly around staring at women in our cities (much more true in the north), especially those who dress in any non-traditional way (and far from “slutty”.) This probably deters Indian women from putting themselves out in the public in many ways (not as much as in Islamic countries though), leading to fewer situations in which rape, or even sex, can occur.

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35 blah November 28, 2017 at 11:34 am

@Kris: I agree, and as a related point: a lot of the rapes in the US are date-rapes, which would be rarer in India simply because people don’t date as much.

In this respect, I used to think that India would gradually become more like the US, but with feminism leaning more and more puritanical it looks like US may become more like India 😛

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36 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 11:47 am

I never cease to be amazed at the ease with which educated Indians buy the “underreporting” argument – though there is no objective basis for that belief – except for a deep seated aversion to India.

Sure, I don’t deny some underreporting. But underreporting that explains a difference of 15X? No way.

I think it is very hard for the westerners as well as “westernized” Indians to digest the plain truth that Indians are indeed more virtuous in their dealings with women than most countries in the world.

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37 blah November 28, 2017 at 11:51 am

I don’t claim that it explains a difference of 15X.

38 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 12:31 pm

I know you didn’t. Just referring to the defensive tendency of Indians to buy the “underreporting” line as if it is axiomatic.

The reality is that Indian women have it very very good! This is the only country on earth possibly, where a young widow, will probably be taken care of by her in-laws as long as they are alive, without any monetary consideration! A land where Dharma indeed rules in the hearts of men.

I can’t imagine that sort of a thing happening in most other societies.

39 y81 November 28, 2017 at 11:19 am

What is the source of these statistics? (Not that they aren’t believable, but I like to know my sources.)

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40 Cooper November 28, 2017 at 4:37 pm

The stats are NOT believable. You don’t report a rape in a country where you don’t trust that the police will believe you.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/world/asia/29iht-letter29.html

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41 Pramod November 29, 2017 at 12:00 am

Haha. Big Hollywood stars sexually abuse women around them and the victims don’t speak up for decades. How’s that for under reporting ?

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42 raj November 28, 2017 at 11:20 am

“In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country”

Indian rape victims are much less likely to report than Americans or Swedes. Swedish and American police are much more likely to take a report seriously. India doesn’t recognize marital rape. Sweden recognizes many nonviolent and nonpenetrative acts as rape. You are the one applying different yardsticks.

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43 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Sure, that’s because Sweden is a deeply immoral country that is sold to the feminist lobby

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44 A Truth Seeker November 28, 2017 at 1:03 pm
45 Vishwas November 28, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Not only that. A significant percentage of rape cases before the courts is actually parental criminalization of consensual relationships. Here is the link. The author is an avowed feminist.
http://www.thehindu.com/data/the-many-shades-of-rape-cases-in-delhi/article6261042.ece

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46 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Blah / Kris – This is interesting. Vishwas’s link shows that the “rape definition” thresholds aren’t that high in India as people are apt to think. And under-reporting is also probably exaggerated as a factor.

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47 Cooper November 28, 2017 at 4:39 pm

The cops in India are much quicker to blame the victim than they are in Sweden. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indian-women-aint-no-cinderella-selfies-after-midnight-support-stalking-victim-case-politician-a7883841.html

You’d have to be crazy to think Sweden has 50 times the rape rate of India.

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48 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Nobody is saying 50. We are just saying India has a lower rape rate than Sweden. Nobody disputes that, regardless of the under-reporting that might exist.

And there are MANY MANY false rape cases in India as well. Indian women are no angels. They can be nasty.

49 Michael S November 29, 2017 at 2:34 am

Does shrikanthk have a number more exact than “MANY MANY” for false rape claims, and some sort of citation to back it up? I’m curious, because as many already-mentioned problems there are for rape statistics, I’d imagine there would be quite a few for the “false” ones.

For example: Are they false, or just not proven to be true to the satisfaction of a jury or judge? There’s a difference.

50 shrikanthk November 29, 2017 at 11:11 am

I suggest you read Vishwas’s link.

51 blah November 28, 2017 at 8:59 pm

Very good point.

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52 freethinker November 29, 2017 at 6:32 am

shrikanthk, even 20 years ago many victims of rape in India used to hesitate reporting it because instead of ostracizing the criminal it is the women who used to get ostracized. These days more victims of rape are bold enough to complain. Sadly even today I know many well-educated people who view these victims with suspicion and this puts off many women . So perhaps we really don’t know how many rape cases go unreported.

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53 shrikanthk November 29, 2017 at 6:37 am

There are also many women who do file false cases. And women hesitate in the US too. It’s interesting we are discussing this in US where I find so many women opening up against celebrities years after the alleged incident.

I see there is a lot of self-flagellation among NRIs, on this thread.

54 Cooper November 28, 2017 at 4:35 pm

That statistic is garbage because women in India do not report sex crimes. They’re afraid to report these crimes because the police blame the victim. https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/11/08/india-rape-victims-face-barriers-justice

Sweden has a weaker definition of rape than the United States so the data give the illusion that Sweden is less safe than the US as it relates to sex crimes.

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55 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Ofcourse. The Swedes are angels and the Indians demons. Feel free to nurse your hunches.

The data be damned. It’s all contaminated by “underreporting”. Hah.

How on earth can the compatriots of Ingmar Bergman be more likely to rape and molest than those dark skinned, idol worshipping Indians? How? Surely the methodology is wrong. Surely there is underreporting. Surely!

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56 freethinker November 29, 2017 at 6:55 am

shrikanthk, first let me clarify that I am not an NRI. I could have been if I wanted to but decided to remain an Indian citizen and live in India. many call me a fool for this.

I think the hesitation to report rape and sexual harassment in India should not be underplayed. merely because it is less than in Sweden does not in any way make what happens in India less horrendous.

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57 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 7:58 am

And US has a lot of work to do on ensuring safety for women. The rape rates in US are about 16 times the rates in Canada, your somewhat similarly wealthy neighbor.

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58 Sam Haysom November 28, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Sweet maybe you guys can stop immigrating here since things are so bad.

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59 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 8:03 am

” it could help explain the puzzle of low female labor force participation in India”

Well, it is perhaps low because Indian women have better husbands? Who are less likely to desert or divorce them. And less likely to smoke weed or have painkillers? Ever thought of that?

Those who really wish to work do manage to work in India. And Indian labor participation rates are way higher than those of Pakistan and several very wealthy muslim countries of the middle east.

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60 Sam Haysom November 28, 2017 at 12:18 pm

What thin skin you have for a mid caste. All this play acting as a Brahmin is making you soft.

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61 Dmitri Helios November 29, 2017 at 1:35 am

I can attest for a fact that shrikanth is a Brahmin. What exactly is source of this idea you keep hinting at that these commentators are not Brahmin?

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62 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 8:18 am

“I assemble a unique dataset that combines information on 4,000 students at the University of Delhi ”

And since when did University of Delhi become representative of India? The Delhi elite are particularly noted for their extravagance and lavish upbringing of their kids (especially girl children). It is hardly representative of puritanical, austere India which is the opposite of Delhi in every respect.

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63 Public Service Announcement November 28, 2017 at 8:24 am

If you have a lot to say, put it in one post. No need to clutter up the board with multiple top level posts.

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64 Taeyoung November 28, 2017 at 10:46 am

So how does this analogise to the US, e.g. in terms of the impact of public safety (or lack thereof) in urban neighbourhoods in the US? I still remember the sob stories about how closing failing Chicago public schools meant that children would now have to walk a longer, more dangerous route to school, so they just wouldn’t go. The point of the stories was that failing schools ought to be kept open, but the lesson I took away was that public safety in Chicago (at least) is in a terrible state.

Do we, perhaps, undercount the adverse economic impact of public disorder?

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65 charlie November 28, 2017 at 11:41 am

So the dataset it based on surveys from Delhi University students — there are sometime like 30 colleges involved.

I have to wonder how much of this is just traffic; in the absence of getting into Lady Ram you’re going to pick something closer to it doesn’t take you 4+ hours to get to work.

I wasn’t aware there was that much a gender gap in Delhi in terms of the workforce — in particular for college grads.

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66 Alex Tabarrok November 28, 2017 at 1:00 pm

I too find this hard to believe. Crime is not especially high in Delhi relative to an American city. There are cultural issues and some fear with women walking around at night but I don’t see that would explain the results. See some of the surveys on crime by the IDFC Institute here (I had a small role in the study)

http://www.idfcinstitute.org/knowledge/publications/reports/safety-trends-and-reporting-of-crime-satarc/

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67 shrikanthk November 28, 2017 at 5:02 pm

“not especially high”

It’s actually lower than that of most American cities. Here’s a link –

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-has-lower-crime-rate-than-new-york-says-study/

I moved from Delhi to New York City a couple of years ago. And I find the latter far less safe. In the past 2 years, I have been spat on as well as manhandled by beggars on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight. The sort of incident that I couldn’t imagine happening to me in my wildest dreams back in Delhi.

And Delhi is an outlier, in that it is the least safe of all Indian cities. A city like Bombay has a fraction of Delhi’s crime rate.

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68 cliff arroyo November 28, 2017 at 3:44 pm

“This is the only country on earth possibly, where a young widow, will probably be taken care of by her in-laws as long as they are alive, without any monetary consideration!”

Assuming they don’t set her on fire….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bride_burning

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69 Evans_KY November 28, 2017 at 6:12 pm

I remember when I first read Rooftop Dwellers by Anita Desai in college. I was struck by how different my life was from Tara and Moyna. As I reflect on the story, I notice more similarities than differences. Every woman makes a calculation before she leaves her home. We are taught to guard ourselves and blamed when we fail to do so. This is true in America, as well as India.

Discrimination, segregation, and harassment harm society at large as much as they harm the victim. How much potential has been wasted by these patriarchal policies? Just remember, fresh eyes bring new perspectives to old problems.

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70 Pramod November 29, 2017 at 12:34 am

1.No boy or girl in Delhi ( or in India ) takes a bad college instead of a good one.
2. It’s not clear from the paper which are the 22 colleges that were chosen.
3. From methodology point of view, it’s not enough to rank colleges merely on the basis of their cut off for admissions. a more sensible approach would be segregate these colleges in groups with ratings such as “excellent”, ” Very good ” etc. and only when a female student gives up a higher rating college for a lower one, should we see it as an act of compromising college quality due to safety concerns. It’s a no-brainer that when the differences between colleges are negligible , ( say one with cut off 90% and another with 91% but not perceived to be very different in terms of job placements etc. ) then student will choose colleges located closer to home. These choices are reflecting indifference rather than any preference.

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71 shrikanthk November 29, 2017 at 9:27 am

This is an excellent comment.

Suppose your No 1 college has a cutoff of 98.1% and the No 6 college has a cutoff of 97.1%, that is no big deal. It hardly reflects on the colleges. Another point to consider is the type of education.

Getting to study History in LSR is infinitely easier than studying Economics

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