The MeToo movement has focused on female victims and often on cases that occurred several months or years before being discussed in the media.
The MeToo movement, which has plagued the world, led to a 14% increase in reporting of sexual offenses during its first three months in the OECD countries.
The MeToo movement began on October 15, 2017, after allegations of sexual misconduct against former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein were made public following a tweet by actress Alyssa Milano, who encouraged people who were harassed or sexually assaulted. writing “Me too” on social media.
The MeToo movement has been exceptionally effective in rapidly raising awareness of sexual misconduct in many countries, including India. However, despite the increase in reported crime, the movement has not increased the number of sex offenses released by police, said the study published in SSRN, formerly known as the Social Science Research Network.
For the study, Roee Levy and Martin Mattsson of Yale University built a new data set of sexual and non-sexual crimes in 24 OECD countries, covering 81% of the OECD population. “Our results suggest that social movements can rapidly change high-risk personal decisions,” the study said.
The researchers estimated that in the first three months of the movement, 11,598 additional sex crimes were reported in the 13 OECD countries with “strong” MeToo movements.
“This study showed that the MeToo movement had a substantial and persistent effect on the propensity to report sex crimes. This result is consistent across multiple samples and robust in various estimation techniques,” the study concluded.
The MeToo movement has focused on female victims and often on cases that occurred several months or years before they were discussed in the media. The researchers said focusing on the US allowed them to better understand who was affected by the movement. “The effect is strong and statistically significant for harassment and sexual assault,” the study said.
“In addition, we found no evidence that the movement disproportionately affected neighborhoods with higher incomes or more education. Overall, we can reject the argument that the MeToo movement had an effect mainly among whites or high socioeconomic status,” he added.
The findings suggest that social movements can have large and lasting effects on social norms and, as a result, individuals make significant changes in their personal decisions. The action that individuals take is expensive and the effect occurs almost immediately. This suggests that awareness campaigns can be effective in changing personal behavior.