Scotland "a more tolerant place"

Seven out of 10 Scots want to banish prejudice.

Prejudice based on people’s age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or religion is falling across the board in Scotland.

Published today, the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey: Attitudes to Discrimination 2015 figures also show:

  • almost 70% of Scots feel everything possible should be done to rid Scotland of prejudice of all kinds.
  • almost 90% of people think a woman who has taken a year off after having a baby is equally deserving of promotion as a woman who has not.
  • almost 50% decrease since 2010 in proportion of people who would be unhappy with a close relative marrying or forming a long term relationship with someone of the same sex (down from 30% in 2010 to 16% in 2015).

The survey is commissioned by the Scottish Government and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, and carried out by the Scottish Centre for Social Research.

Commenting on the survey findings, Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said:

“These figures show clearly that Scotland is becoming a more tolerant place and therefore a better place to live for us all. That is good news and we can be proud of the progress we have made.

“Discriminatory attitudes towards disabled people, LGBT people and people of minority faiths and communities are continuing to fall.

“And more people than ever before value the positive impact of people moving to Scotland from other countries, making our communities multicultural and vibrant places to live and work.

“However, while any kind of prejudice still exists we cannot afford to be complacent and this survey also shows there are areas where, as a welcoming and tolerant nation, we must challenge ourselves to do more.

“No-one in Scotland should face discrimination and we will work tirelessly with communities and partners up and down the country to eradicate any form of intolerance where it still exists.

“Absolutely everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect – there are no exceptions.”

Susan Reid, Research Director, ScotCen Social Research said:

“Today’s findings show a marked decline in levels of prejudice towards lesbian and gay people in Scotland since we last asked in 2010. A large part of this is down to a significant decline in negative attitudes among the over-65s. Although older people are still more likely to express prejudiced views, the age gap has narrowed since 2010. This is a positive step towards a more inclusive Scotland. However, our research still shows relatively high levels of prejudice towards some groups in society, such as people who cross-dress, those who have undergone gender reassignment and Gypsy/Travellers.”

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