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Publication - Statistics Publication

Sexual orientation in Scotland 2017: summary of evidence base

Published: 24 Jan 2017
Part of:
Equality and rights, Statistics
ISBN:
9781786527684

Summary report of statistics and research on sexual orientation in Scotland.

35 page PDF

1.8MB

35 page PDF

1.8MB

Contents
Sexual orientation in Scotland 2017: summary of evidence base
7. Discrimination and Attitudes

35 page PDF

1.8MB

7. Discrimination and Attitudes

i. Summary of Scottish Social Attitudes Data

The Scottish Social Attitudes ( SSA) Survey is run annually and involves face-to-face interviews with a sample of adults. The discrimination module is run every four or five years and in 2015 questions included an exploration of attitudes to lesbian and gay adults.

SSA included a question on people's views on whether sexual relations between two adults of the same sex are wrong. In 2015, just under a fifth (18 per cent) believed that such a relationship was 'always' or 'mostly wrong' with a large majority (69 per cent) saying that same sex relationships were 'rarely wrong' or 'not wrong at all'.

Figure 15 shows that since 2000 there has been a decline in the proportion saying that 'sexual relations between two adults of the same sex' are 'wrong' and an increase in the proportion saying they are 'not wrong at all' and findings in 2015 continued this pattern.

Figure 15: Attitudes Towards Same Sex Relationships - Scotland

Figure 15: Attitudes Towards Same Sex Relationships – Scotland

Source: Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2015

Figure 16: Proportion Unhappy With Close Relative Marrying/ Forming A Long-Term Same Sex Relationship - Scotland

Figure 16: Proportion Unhappy With Close Relative Marrying/ Forming A Long-Term Same Sex Relationship – Scotland

Source: Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2015

Discriminatory views about someone marrying a close relative have declined with regards to lesbian and gay people. In 2010, almost a third (30 per cent) of people said they would be 'unhappy' or 'very unhappy' about this; by 2015 this had halved to around a sixth (16 per cent).

Figure 17: Proportion Who Thought That Gay Men And Lesbians Were Unsuitable As Primary School Teachers - Scotland

Figure 17: Proportion Who Thought That Gay Men And Lesbians Were Unsuitable As Primary School Teachers – Scotland

Source: Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2015

SSA includes a set of questions about how suitable people in different groups are to being a primary school teacher. Figure 17 shows that views on lesbian and gay people for the role have become more positive over the decade, with only 13 per cent feeling lesbian and gay people would be unsuitable as primary school teachers, down from 21 per cent in 2006.

Figure 18: Attitudes towards giving equal opportunities to gay men and lesbians in Scotland

Figure 18: Attitudes towards giving equal opportunities to gay men and lesbians in Scotland

Source: Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2015

Figure 18 shows that attitudes towards equal opportunities for gay men and lesbians 'going too far' have reduced by eight percentage points between 2002 and 2015. In the latest year one in ten respondents thought that equal opportunities had gone too far, compared to nearly two in ten in 2002.

ii. Summary of Literature on Sexual Orientation and Discrimination

Despite increased acceptance of LGB people, some research findings show that this group continues to face discrimination and inequality. For example, the Scottish LGBT Equality Report (Equality Network, 2015:6) found that 89 per cent of its survey respondents believe that LGBT people face inequality, with 79 per cent of the LGBT respondents experiencing an incident of prejudice or discrimination in the last year.

LGB men and women describe the prejudices which still exist, despite LGBT rights having a strong focus in Scotland (Equality Network, 2015). Discrimination can take place in a range of settings such as home, work, leisure, healthcare, places of worship and places of education. For example, a study conducted in Fife by LGBT Health and Wellbeing (2016:17-18) reported that 9 per cent of respondents stated that their work colleagues did not respect their LGBT identity. Stonewall (2014a:5) found that 12 per cent of the LGBT people surveyed had a negative experience at sport and leisure facilities.


Contact

Email: Jon Hunter