Global Attitudes on Sexual Diversity Continue to Improve, but Discrimination Remains Commonplace
As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City and Pride celebrations begin around the world, Viacom is releasing its latest research on global perceptions surrounding the LGBT community and the catalysts that are driving change.
These findings form part of the third annual study on Global Attitudes on Sexual Diversity, carried out in partnership with RIWI Corp., ILGA, and SAGE. The study remains the largest ever on the topic, spanning more than 100,000 respondents in over 65 countries. Due to shifts in the global political climate, this year’s study has uncovered positive changes — but still room for improvement.
Key findings from the study:
Two key catalysts continue to drive change: knowing an LGBT person and media representation. As previous iterations of this study revealed, personally knowing someone who identifies as LGBT correlates with higher levels of acceptance. For example, respondents were 162% more likely to say they support same-sex marriage if they knew an LGBT person.
When individuals don’t know anyone who identifies as LGBT, media representation and celebrity acceptance are the #1 factor in changing perceptions. Among teens, 1 in 3 said they would be more likely to accept LGBT people if their favorite celebrity did, too.
Global support for transgender rights is becoming more widespread. Half of people worldwide agree that transgender people should be granted full legal recognition of the identity they declare. Among teens (ages 14 to 17), 46% said they are comfortable socializing with trans people.
Support for same-sex marriage is on the rise globally: This year support increased 12%, compared to the initial findings in 2016. Teens and young adults are more likely to support same-sex marriage than those over 35.
Perceptions of LGBT people are growing more favorable. A third of respondents said their perceptions of LGBT people have improved in the last 5 years – and most LGB people agree, with more than 80% saying that attitudes toward sexual diversity are improving or staying the same in their country.
While attitudes and perceptions are trending up, there is still progress to be made.
LGB people still face discrimination in society. More than 1 in 4 have experienced physical violence because of their attraction to the same sex. In the workplace, 43% of LGB people have experienced at least some discrimination because of their attraction to the same sex. Nearly 2 in 5 LGB people still face rejection or disapproval from family members upon coming out. Teens are 1.7 times more likely than adults to face rejection from family members because of their sexuality.