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Publication - Statistics Publication

Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2014

Published: 18 May 2016
ISBN:
9781786522610

Official statistics publication on equality groups across a range of measures from harmonised questions across the major SG population surveys.

103 page PDF

2.0MB

Contents
Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2014
6 Sexual orientation

6 Sexual orientation

Self-identified sexual orientation was introduced to Scottish government surveys to underpin the equality monitoring responsibilities of public sector organisations and to assess the disadvantage or relative discrimination experienced by the lesbian, gay and bisexual population.

It is felt that the figures are likely to under-report the percentage of lesbian, gay or bisexual ( LGB) people within society due to a number of reasons, including the following:

  • Asking about sexual orientation/identity is a new development in national surveys and such questions can be seen as intrusive and personal.
  • There is still significant prejudice and discrimination against LGB people in society. In a context where some LGB people will not have told friends and family about their sexual identity, there is a real question about whether LGB people generally would want to be open with an interviewer.
  • The default option for being uncertain about one's sexual orientation may be to respond 'straight/heterosexual' rather than to say 'don't know / not sure'.
  • Particular LGB people are still less likely to be open where they belong to groups or communities where an LGB identity is less acceptable.

For these reasons, analysis of the SSCQ between sexual orientation groups should be treated with caution. Due to the small number of people reporting their sexual orientation as lesbian, gay, bisexual or other, it is necessary to group these individuals together to maintain a statistically significant sample.

The changing attitudes towards sexual orientation are at least partly reflected in the age distribution of the LGB & Other group versus those identifying as heterosexual (Table 51). Nearly half of those identifying as LGB & other are under 35. Less than 10% of the LGB & Other group are aged 65+, compared with over one fifth of those identifying as heterosexual.

Summary Findings

  • After age standardisation, the proportion of the " LGB & Other" group reporting good or very good general health is significantly lower than the rest of the population (65.6% compared with 74.5%).
  • The " LGB & Other" group has a higher smoking rate overall, but when their younger age distribution is accounted for this apparent difference is found not to be significant.
  • The " LGB & Other" group has a lower mental wellbeing score on average than the heterosexual group (1.4 points lower)

Due to the significant differences in the age distribution of sexual orientation groups, age standardisation is applied to many of the analyses in the following section. For more information on this process, see section 11.10.

Table 51: Age profile of sexual orientation groups, SSCQ 2014

 

Proportion in Age Group (Row %)

Adults

Col%

16-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65+

Heterosexual

13.7

15.7

15.3

18.2

15.3

21.8

4,256,000

96%

LGB & other

26.4

23.1

18.4

15.8

7.8

8.5

72,200

2%

Where statistical testing is used to identify differences between subgroups the heterosexual group is used as the basis for comparison. Where p-values are provided, a value of less than 0.05 indicates statistical significance at the 95% level. For more information about statistical tests, see section 11.11.

6.1 General Health

Table 52: General health by sexual orientation, SSCQ 2014; changes from 2013 and 2012

 

2014

Change

grp %

+/-

from 2013

from 2012

Heterosexual

74.5

± 0.7

-0.9

+0.6

LGB & other

68.9

± 6.2

-3.1

-3.8

Differences in the general health indicator across sexual orientation groups are not statistically significant.

This picture changes upon age standardisation. The LGB & other group has a younger age profile than the heterosexual group. As a result, upon standardisation, the general health indicator reading is lowered and the confidence intervals no longer overlap.

Table 53: General health - age standardised sexual orientation group results, SSCQ 2014

  Base level Age standardised
Heterosexual 74.5% 74.5% ± 0.7
LGB & other 68.9% 65.6% ± 6.4

When the differences in age between sexual orientation groups are taken into account, LGB & other sexual orientations tend to rate their general health lower. Only 65.6% said their general health was "Good or Very Good", compared with 74.5% of the heterosexual group.

6.2 Long-term Limiting Health Conditions

Table 54: Long-term limiting health conditions by sexual orientation, SSCQ 2014; changes from 2013 and 2012

2014

Change

grp %

+/-

from 2013

from 2012

Heterosexual

22.8

± 0.7

+0.9

-0.9

LGB & other

29.8

± 5.8

+4.0

+4.6

The apparent difference between sexual orientation groups is not statistically significant under formal testing (p=0.77).

Table 55: Long-term limiting health conditions - age standardised sexual orientation group results, SSCQ 2014

  Base level Age standardised
Heterosexual 22.8% 22.7% ± 0.7
LGB & other 29.8% 32.1% ± 6.2

When age standardisation is applied, the difference between groups is accentuated (see Table 55). However, the confidence interval on the LGB & Other group estimate also increases and the evidence for a difference remains weak (p=0.17).

6.3 Smoking

Table 56: Smoking prevalence by sexual orientation, SSCQ 2014; changes from 2013 and 2012

2014

Change

 

grp %

+/-

from 2013

from 2012

Heterosexual

21.0

± 0.7

-1.2

Indicator down arrow

-2.6

Indicator down arrow

LGB & other

29.0

± 5.8

+1.1

-5.2

Smoking rates are higher in the LGB & other group than among heterosexuals (p=0.01). However,when the younger age distribution of the LGB & other group is taken into account this apparent difference disappears (p=0.25).

Both groups see a percentage point reduction over three years. However the reduction in the LGB & Other group (5.2 points) is not sufficiently large to be statistically significant. The heterosexual group sees a similar reduction as the populaton overall (of 2.6 percentage points).

6.4 Mental Wellbeing

The LGB and Other group has a lower mental wellbeing score on average than the heterosexual group (1.4 pts lower) - a statistically significant difference. This relationship is unaffected by age standardisation.

Table 57: Average SWEMWBS score by sexual orientation, 2014

 

2014

Mean

+/-

Heterosexual

24.5

± 0.1

LGB & other

23.1

± 0.5

6.5 Provision of Unpaid Care

The difference in care provision between sexual orientation groups is not sufficiently large to be statistically significant. Age standardisation does not greatly affect this relationship.

Table 58: Provision of unpaid care by sexual orientation, SSCQ 2014

 

2014

grp %

+/-

Heterosexual

18.0

± 0.7

LGB & other

21.1

± 6.5

6.6 Perceptions of Local Crime Rate

Although the LGB & Other group appear have a lower tendency to report a reduced or unchanged local crime rate, the apparent difference is not statistically significant. Age standardisation does not affect this finding.

Table 59: Local crime rate by sexual orientation, SSCQ 2014; changes from 2013 and 2012

2014

Change

 

grp %

+/-

from 2013

from 2012

Heterosexual

77.5

± 0.9

-0.3

+1.6

Indicator up arrow

LGB & other

76.1

± 6.9

+4.0

-2.8

6.7 Confidence in Police

Analysis of Confidence in Police is conducted on latent classes across all six questions. These statistics are in development and are therefore provided in a supplementary paper available from the SSCQ website. [42]


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