On May 17, 2016, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) shares the first round of results of the ILGA-RIWI Global Attitudes Survey on LGBTI People in partnership with Logo.
This is a new annual survey to gather and assess credible data on public attitudes to particular issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.
Developed in cooperation with the innovative Canadian technology company RIWI Corp. and in partnership with the US entertainment brand Logo, the survey collected answers to 31 questions from 96,331 online individuals in 65 countries. Significantly, the survey reached environments highly hostile to LGBTI people, such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, resulting in the largest investigation of attitudes towards LGBTI people around the world ever conducted.
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ILGA-RIWI Global Attitudes Survey on LGBTI People in partnership with Logo
The survey findings are often predictable – 68% of respondents would have a level of upset if their child told them they were in love with someone of the same sex - but notably this is the first time the world has actual verifiable evidence-based data, rather than anecdotal evidence on these attitudes.
A surprising and welcome result came on a question of whether human rights should be applied to everyone, regardless of whom they feel attracted to, or the gender they identify with: a stunning 67% of the world agreed (62% Africa, 63% Asia, 69% Americas, 71% Europe, 73% Oceania), with only 17% disagreeing.
This global survey is a powerful tool for the advancement of human rights of LGBTI people around the world. In time, when the survey gets to cover every country on the planet, one function of this tool is that, over the years, it will give actual LGBTI population estimates.
“We are witnessing a global shift in consciousness away from discrimination, but we need to increase public education efforts if forward progress is to continue”, said Renato Sabbadini, Executive Director at ILGA. “Even in countries known for anti-LGBTI laws, attitudes are moving away from supporting blatant discrimination against LGBTI individuals and towards acceptance.”
By way of entry to the massive data trawl provided by the survey, ILGA used its flagship publication, State Sponsored Homophobia 2016 – also released today - as the first vehicle to transmit the relevance of this data when set against States’ legal codes and socio-legal environments.
For its purposes, ILGA only counted countries where over 700 people responded during the 60 days the survey was live – 53 countries in total (9 in Africa, 15 in Asia, 15 in the Americas, 12 in Europe and two in Oceania). The analysis of the results painted both positive and troubling pictures: acceptance of LGBTI persons seems to have grown consistently worldwide over the past five years, yet equality still lies very far from achievement.
The survey showed 53% of the world feels that being LGBTI should not be a crime, while only 25% think it should. As 39% of UN States criminalise same-sex sexual relationships, these figures are interesting to LGBTI advocacy.
Further, of great significance as a measure to the acceptance of diversity in societies, 65% of respondents declared that they would have no concern if their neighbour were lesbian, gay or bisexual. Yet, the 32% of the world agreed that same-sex desire is a Western phenomenon, a reasoning which grassroots activists are often seeing used by politically conservative and religious opponents in opposing the equal application of human rights for all.
With the range of attitudes across the planet, global averages flatten the extremes found in individual regions and countries. For example, 54% in Pakistan think being LGBTI should be a crime, while further east in Asia, Japan thinks 12%. A huge 73% of people in Egypt would be uncomfortable to some degree if their neighbour was lesbian, gay or bisexual, while at the other end of the continent, in South Africa, only 23% would be.
96,331 respondents completed the full battery of 31 questions on perceptions of LGBTI people. Data were collected from 65 States. The analysis focused on the 53 of them with more than 700 respondents each: 9 African States (eight of them criminalising States), 15 from Asia (of which six are criminalising States), 15 from the Americas (two criminalising States), 12 from Europe, and two States from Oceania. The survey went out in 22 languages, and was live for 60 days.
The survey fielding approach for this study used RIWI Corp.’s (www.riwi.com) patented Random Domain Intercept Technology™, which targets random Web users around the world, including remote locations, who are surfing online through an anonymous opt-in survey. More detail on the global RIWI survey system, which collects no personally identifiable information, may be found here: http://riwi.com. RIWI Corp. is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) http://thecse.com under the symbol RIW.