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Publication - Research Publication

Scottish Social Attitudes 2015: attitudes to discrimination and positive action

Published: 30 Sep 2016
Part of:
Research
ISBN:
9781786524744

This report explores attitudes to discrimination and positive action in Scotland in relation to: age, disability, gender, race, religion, gender reassignment and sexual orientation.

103 page PDF

1.1MB

103 page PDF

1.1MB

Contents
Scottish Social Attitudes 2015: attitudes to discrimination and positive action
3. Relationships

103 page PDF

1.1MB

3. Relationships

The previous chapter examined the extent to which people in Scotland are inclined towards a more discriminatory point of view. Here, and in subsequent chapters, attitudes to discrimination are explored across a range of specific contexts. This chapter examines the extent to which people hold discriminatory attitudes towards different groups of people in the context of personal relationships. The subsequent two chapters explore discrimination in the context of employment, and if (and why) these attitudes have changed over time.

SSA 2015 included a set of questions which asked respondents: 'How would you feel if a close relative of yours married or formed a long-term relationship with…': [9]

  • someone who was black or Asian
  • a Muslim
  • someone who is Jewish
  • a Christian
  • someone who from time to time experiences depression
  • a Gypsy/Traveller
  • someone who has had a sex change operation [10]
  • someone of the same sex as themselves, and
  • someone who cross-dresses in public.

Possible answer options were: 'very happy', 'happy', 'neither happy nor unhappy', 'unhappy' and 'very unhappy'. [11]

The greatest unhappiness expressed was towards a close relative marrying someone who cross-dresses. In 2015, 4 in 10 (39%) said they would be 'unhappy' or 'very unhappy' about this. Prejudice towards someone who has undergone gender reassignment or a Gypsy/Traveller marrying a close relative was slightly lower, with around a third saying they would be unhappy if someone who has undergone gender reassignment (32%) or a Gypsy/Traveller (31%) married a close relative (see Table 3.1). While there was far greater acceptance of a family member marrying someone from different religious groups, differences across religions were evident. Looking at the proportion who said they would be 'happy' or 'very happy', the most prejudice was shown towards a Muslim with half saying they would be happy if a family member married a Muslim (49%) compared with 57% who said the same of someone who is Jewish and 68% for a Christian.

Table 3.1: Views on a close relative marrying or forming a long-term relationship with different groups of people (2015)

Very happy/ happy Neither Unhappy/ very unhappy (Depends/ Don't know/ Not answered)
Someone who cross-dresses 32% 28% 39% 2%
Someone who has undergone gender reassignment 36% 31% 32% 2%
A Gypsy/Traveller 37% 30% 31% 1%
A Muslim 49% 29% 20% 2%
Someone who from time to time experiences depression 45% 34% 19% 2%
Married/ civil partnership with someone of the same sex 52% 30% 16% 1%
Someone who is Jewish 57% 35% 6% 1%
Someone who is Black/ Asian 62% 31% 5% 1%
A Christian 68% 31% * 1%

Base: All respondents
* less than 1%

How have views towards people from different groups marrying a close relative changed over time?

The groups attracting most prejudice with regards marrying a close relative remained unchanged in 2015 - someone who cross-dresses, [12] someone who has undergone gender reassignment and a Gypsy/Traveller. However, the proportion of people expressing negative views towards all three groups declined between 2010 and 2015. Figure 3.2 shows that this was most evident with regards someone who has undergone gender reassignment and someone who cross-dresses. There was a decline of 17 percentage points, from 49% in 2010 to 32% in 2015, in the proportion saying they would be unhappy with someone in their family marrying someone who has undergone gender reassignment and a 16 percentage point decline in the proportion saying that they would be unhappy with someone in their family marrying someone who cross-dresses (55% in 2010 to 39% in 2015). (See Table A3.1 in Annex A for details).

Another notable change since 2010 is the positive shift in attitudes towards a close relative marrying, forming a civil partnership or a long-term relationship with someone of the same sex as themselves. In 2010, 3 in 10 (30%) people said they would be 'unhappy' or 'very unhappy' about this; by 2015 this had halved to 1 in 6 (16%).

Figure 3.2: Proportion of people unhappy/very unhappy with a close relative marrying or forming a long-term relationship with different groups (2006-2015)

Figure 3.2: Proportion of people unhappy/very unhappy with a close relative marrying or forming a long-term relationship with different groups (2006-2015)

Base: All respondents

For the remaining five groups - someone experiencing depression, someone who is black or Asian, a Muslim, someone who is Jewish and a Christian [13] - attitudes have remained fairly constant between 2006 and 2015. For example, the proportion of people reporting that they would be unhappy if a close relative married a Muslim did not vary significantly between 2006 and 2015 (24% in 2006, 23% in 2010 and 20% in 2015). Similarly, in both 2010 and 2015, around a fifth of people (21% in 2010 and 19% in 2015) said they would be unhappy if someone who experiences depression from time to time married into their family. [14]


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